Anxiety in the playground

“If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him" -- John Holt

Helping kids to learn or perform something new can be pretty frustrating if the kid is scared of doing it for some reason. EFT can be an effective tool in these situations.

Height anxiety in the playground

Recently I had a chat with my daughter's teacher and she mentioned that some kids were scared of climbing the bars of the jungle gym (climbing frame in the playground) and requested us to  spend sometime with our kids at our local playgrounds to help them out.

Next time we went to the playground, I asked Swapna to climb the rainbow and after the fifth bar she refused saying she was scared. I asked her to climb down and we had an agreement that I won't force her to climb and that if she is scared she should come down and we will do EFT till she feels ready to try again.

After a couple of rounds of EFT on "I am afraid of climbing the bars", she took two more steps but was scared of the transition when she had to move over the legs to the other side and refused to go further.

So I asked her to come down again and we did EFT on "fear of moving the legs to the other side", after a few rounds, she relaxed noticeably and started smiling. She said that she was ready to try and went ahead and climbed down the other side a bit clumsily. That did the trick and she could do it easily much more easily when I asked her to do it a few times to see her comfort level.

For a good measure, I asked her to climb from the other end and while she was initially hesitant to try, she could do it without any further rounds of tapping!

In all in took about twenty minutes from start to finish and both of us were super happy with the results. 


Helping a kid when they are learning something new can be extremely challenging.

I have seen both ends of the popular approaches, where parents allow their kids to opt out of something if it scares them and the other extreme where parents force the kids to do it in spite of their fears. 

The first approach will probably deny kids the pleasure of many activities (swimming, skating, climbing... etc) if they are initially scared of them. 

The latter approach can be pretty stressful to both parents and kids and often escalates into unpleasant situations. The default reaction when we are scared is to take steps to get the situation under control to gain a sense of safety. When parents push the kids in this state, the kids feel out of control and it is not surprising if such kids avoid situations which will make them feel like that in the future i.e. they won't try anything outside of their comfort zones.

Methods like EFT have a huge untapped potential in this area and totally worth exploring. They offer a means to let the kid be in control of the whole process, and get the satisfaction of overcoming a personal limitation when she is finally able to crack it.

Related Reading

  1. Introduction to EFT
  2. Why can these methods solve?

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