Tapping for frustration when your teenage child shuts down

"We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves." Henry Ward Beecher

It's not easy writing this. Admitting that I get frustrated as a parent and go through my own myriad of emotions.

I want to do the best for my child and yet there are times when I loose it or feel inadequate. 

While I have the understanding that my teenage son is going through his own challenges and my aim is to be supportive, it does not stop me from being human. 

What really gets me, is when he shuts down and withdraws his energy from me.

I know he is doing this because something is going on for him and yet it does not stop me feeling that it is about me. 

My immediate impulse is to reach out to him and find out what is wrong but this causes him to withdraw even more.

It makes me feel sad and isolated. I love him so much and I just want the best for him.

At times like this, I like to take time out for myself and tap out my own frustrations and trauma which gives him the space to come out of his shell when he is ready. 

Here is my tapping script for overcoming frustration in the face of shut down. This script will work whether you have a similar challenge with your teenager, a parent or even a spouse or partner. 

When you love someone you just want the best for them. 

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Round 1: 

Karate Chop: Even though I’m so frustrated that my child is shutting me out and I just want to help him and don’t know how to get through to him, I love and accept myself (3 times).

Eyebrow:  I am so frustrated.

Side of the eye: My child has shut me out.

Under the eye: I just want to help him/her.

Under the nose: I’ve been through teenage years.

Chin: I know how it feels.

Collarbone: He/She is so closed up.

Under the arm: Closed so tight like a shell.

Thumb: I know better.

Index Finger: I can help.

Middle Finger: Why does he/she not trust me?

Little Finger: If only they would open up.

Closing sequence (Karate chop): Even though I get frustrated when my child shuts me out I am open to the possibility of loving myself anyway.

Breathe in and out and take a sip of water

Round 2:

Karate Chop: Even though I am stressed out because I want to help my child, but he wont' let me and I understand that he needs to be left alone and I choose to trust my child’s abilities and my ability as a parent, (3 times).

Eyebrow: I'm so stressed out.

Side of the eye: I am frustrated.

Under the eye: I feel like an on looker.

Under the nose: I know how to help.

Chin: I wish he would trust me.

Collarbone: I just want to help.

Under the arm: I trust his abilities.

Thumb: But I can’t leave him alone.

Index Finger: I need to communicate.

Middle Finger: And this behavior is frustrating me.

Little Finger: I am just stressing myself out.

Top of the head: I choose to breathe now (breathe in and out while tapping).

Closing sequence (Karate chop): Even though I am stressing myself out, suppose somehow I could relax and trust in me and him.

Breathe in and out and take a sip of water

Round 3

Karate Chop: Even though I would only like to help and I would like to take a step back, and my love for my child won’t let me I love and accept myself.

Eyebrow: I only want to help.

Side of the eye: He won’t let me.

Under the eye: What if I could help myself?

Under the nose: I know they will get through this stage.

 Chin: What if I could take a step back?

Collarbone: What if I could let him be?

Under the arm: What if I could show support from the sidelines?

Thumb: I don’t need to interfere to help.

Index Finger: I can do it by just cutting my stress out.

Middle Finger: May be if they get a free hand, they might make better decisions.

Little Finger: I can show them support without being over bearing.

Top of the head: Suppose somehow they find a solution to their problem without my support, I am so grateful to have a teenager.

Closing sequence (Karate chop): Even though I can be over-bearing, what if i gave him and me the space to be and trust that things will work out for the highest and best.

Breathe in and out and take a sip of water

Round 4

Karate Chop: Even though I really love him, what if I could give him and me the space to heal and not take it personally and whole heartedly love and accept myself. 

Eyebrow: I am allowing myself to love myself.

Side of the eye: What if I could take the time for me?

Under the eye: Suppose I can trust that this is what is meant to be.

Under the nose: Not taking it personally.

 Chin: Letting him find his way.

Collarbone:  Letting me find my way.

Under the arm: I love getting the space for me.

Thumb: I am sorry for all the ways I have shut down to me.

Index Finger: I am grateful to my son for teaching me patience.

Middle Finger: I love being able to feel good in myself.  

Little Finger: I am here for him and I am here for me.

Top of the head: I love myself for giving me the space.

Closing sequence (Karate chop): Even though I was frustrated, that was then and this is now, I am grateful for having giving both of us the space to be ourselves and I deeply and completely love and accept myself.

Breathe in and out and take a sip of water

So in closing, my learning is to be kind to myself and to give my son the space to find his way. To trust that all is well and how it is meant to be.

Keep Tapping

Love Donita (a work in progress mom)

P.S. Here is another tapping sequence to let go, forgive and move on.


  1. Don't bottle up your emotions- It'll knock years off your life and raise cancer risk by 70 percent - The daily mail UK, article by Pat Hagan
  2. The link between cancer and unexpressed anger - Psycho-oncology
  3. Tantrum Tapping - Blog, How important is energy? 3 daily exercises to boost yours
  4. Generalized anxiety disorder – The Mayo clinic
  5. Cortisol and anxiety reference  - The Effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques on Stress Biochemistry: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Church Dawson PhD *Yount, Garret PhD; Brooks, Audrey J. PhD‡ Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease
  6. Psychological Trauma in Veterans using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): A Randomized Controlled Trial, Church, Hawk, Brooks et. al. 
  7. Forgiveness – your health depends on it, John Hopkins Institute

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