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

Ring Finger: he/ She should know I’m here

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 behaviour is frustrating me

Ring Finger: I wish I could help

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

Ring Finger: May be if i don’t smother them, they will open up about their problem

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 to 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 

Ring Finger: He will come back when he is ready 

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.

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  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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