My son is 13 and in the 7th grade. He is very bright but has few friends. Other kids are easily annoyed with him. He does have trouble listening, interrupts and doesn’t respect their personal space. On the other hand, he’s kind, loves animals, painfully honest (about himself), extremely funny, and more genuine than anyone else I’ve ever known.
I would love to see him improve his ability to have relationships and his memory. I don’t know how he gets through the day sometimes. He has incredible math and science skills and can’t remember his house key. What do we tap on first?
Thank you for sending me your question. I’ve been considering it for several days now. And one suggestion keeps coming back to me, over and over again:
First, work on yourself.
My son Jimmy is also the same age. I know that many of the struggles I perceive are ones that are echoes from my own past. I’ve been quite surprised sometime to find out that what I thought would really bother him didn’t phase him at all! So it is vitally important that what I find the least bit upsetting about his life should be addressed within me, first. Anything about what I perceive about his life as being “wrong” or “not the way it should be for such an incredible young man”… is something I need to tap on to get clear in my own energy system.
As I read your message to me, as well as an earlier one where you said he has been given the label of ADHD, I think about the energy that can shift if you do the initial work of addressing these issues with EFT. It is my experience that within every family and group dynamic that when one person becomes calm, confident, and present, it makes it possible for others to SEE, FEEL, and HEAR what calm confidence really is. Frankly, most of us grow up without having a clue! It’s like unconditional love… when you feel it, you KNOW, you REMEMBER somewhere deep in your core. And it makes it so much easier to get back to that feeling, again and again. So, I’ve listed some EFT setup statements for you. Please modify them to be closer to your own words and feelings, and add your own.
“Even though my son has few friends, and that really bothers me, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
“Even though kids are easily annoyed with him, and I remember what that feels like, I choose to be calm and confident.”
“Even though my son has trouble listening, I choose to find it surprisingly easy to listen to him.”
“Even though my son interrupts people, I forgive him for being passionate about his own words.”
“Even though my son doesn’t respect people’s personal space, and maybe he learned that from me, I choose to forgive both of us for desperately wanting to be close to others.”
“Even though it is easy to get upset with his faults, I choose to know my son as a kind, honest, funny, and loving spirit, and see him as that even as we learn strategies to improve his life in other areas.”
My professional coaching suggestion is that we not try to work with our children directly on any issue that is still above a “3” in our own system. If by tapping ourselves, we can get to a place where we are truly calm and confident, and can meet and greet whatever pain shows up, then as parents we can bring a real gift of listening and presence to our kids. This requires both self-awareness and a willingness to “own” our emotions as parents. I work with parents who want to get to this place with their children; what’s interesting is that they often start with a focus on the children, but as the parents heal and become the confident and clear parents they want to be, surprise! The children often (but not always) shift as well. And there is almost always a positive shift in perception.
This self-work also ties directly into the power of “surrogate tapping.” As we address the energy of an issue, even when it belongs to someone else, it very often helps. There is ample evidence of the power of prayer to help those in need. In my experience, prayer and EFT tap into the same energy fields. Combine the intention of prayer with the physical action of tapping… and just notice what happens.
As I mentioned in Hunters in a Farmers World: IS ADHD a Disease?, we take what may be natural gifts of the “hunter” and make them defects by putting children who need to be physically active in situations where that is punished. A young man of 13 who has a new hormonal fire burning probably needs to feel physical connection—the types of man-handling energy we get through wrestling, football, active play, climbing trees, etc. Does he get much of that?
In our culture it is common for boys to become homophobic just at the time when nature is saying, “Go out and wrestle, be physical, butt heads, start showing your manly strength!” I picked up karate during that period of my life, and we played a lot of tackle football (without pads). But if your son is surrounded by non-physical kids, who are “head oriented” (as almost the entire school day is these days!), he may be expressing this natural need to express his power through “verbal wrestling”—interruptions, getting in people’s faces, moving into their space.
In such a case it may be helpful to both find an outlet for his emerging physicalness and discuss human interaction from the perspective of boundaries, attack, safety, and connection that doesn’t require physical proximity. Martial arts taught from a balanced spiritual perspective (which you may have to shop for) teaches patience and the proper use of personal power. That may not be you son’s choice. He may prefer yoga, massage, and meditation. Or the wrestling team! Or rock climbing! Just realize that kids with “ADHD” have an inner power that in other circumstances would be considered leadership qualities.
I believe that it can be empowering (even if a bit frustrating for him) to know that he has been blessed with certain gifts, and that there are other areas where you need to work out strategies for success.
Forgetting the Keys
If he is good at math but cannot remember keys, get a keyless entry lock for one of your doors! He can pick the number based on some formula he likes. I call this a coping strategy. Similar ones are teaching him when he comes home to take off his shoes by the door and immediately place the keys INSIDE the shoe. Putting on the shoes forces him to remember his keys.
Can EFT help here? Sure! It can always help with the emotional angst of feeling stupid, forgetful, angry, and frustrated. Sometimes it can even make the behavior go away. Here’s how I’d play around with it (saying it with intensity!):
“Even though I forgot my keys, AGAIN!, and it makes me feel so ______ (stupid? angry? ??), I ask my mind to find it surprisingly easy to remember my keys… not matter what!”
I hope some of these ideas and approaches, you as a parent, find encouraging. EFT can help the family feel emotionally safe and at peace, even when our kids still have growing up to do. (And don’t we all… <smile>).