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Which Buttons Does Your Child Push?

Combining EFT with visualization to end the vicious cycle.

Is there one thing your child does that REALLY pushes your buttons and drives you CRAZY? For Mary Lou it was whining! "When my child is whiny it really gets to me and sets me off immediately," she said, "Her tone of voice grates on me and puts me on edge. Then I don't do well from that point on." She went on to explain how things would escalate until finally there was a meltdown before hugs and calming down. In order to help Mary Lou interrupt this vicious cycle, I used EFT to explore what might be triggering her to have such a strong reaction to her 6 year old daughter's whining.

I asked her if there was anything that the whining might trigger. She shared with me how her dad would get on her case when she was little for whining. "He would say, 'Just go shut yourself in your room! Go cry on your bed! Go be a baby!' He was very chiding and would put me down" I asked her if she felt it anywhere in her body as she talked about it and she said she felt a chest tightness. The "go be a baby" feeling in her chest was a good solid 8.

Think about something your child does that pushes your buttons. If you can, identify what it might trigger in you. Tune in to whether you feel a sensation anywhere in your body when you think about the thing that pushes your buttons and tap along with Mary Lou and me.


Once you have tuned in to your own feeling in your body, just tap along with the words below. (Borrowing benefits)

Begin with the Karate Chop point: Get EFT instructions

KC: Even though I have this "go be a baby" feeling in my chest and it's a good solid 8, I accept myself and how I feel.

KC:  Even though I have this "go be a baby" feeling in my chest and it feels like tightness, I accept my chest and how it feels.

KC: Even though this "go be a baby" feeling is in my chest,
I love and accept myself with this feeling

EB: This "go be a baby" feeling
SE: I can hear my dad saying it
UE: I can feel it in my chest even now
UN: Go be a baby and cry on your bed
CH: I remember him saying that
CB: This tightness in my chest
UA: Whenever I would whine, and now my daughter whines
H: I remember being told I was a baby and I feel this tightness in my chest when I think about it


After this first round, Mary Lou didn't feel like anything new came up. She stated the feeling in her chest was about a 6-7 and that it had moved down a little bit and was more in the solar plexus area. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to recognize that small shift from chest to solar plexus. Even though it felt almost the same, it showed movement! She stated the feeling was still tightness and gripping and the emotion was probably shame and fear. At this point I asked her if she remembered a specific time where her father had yelled at her for whining and she did. This was the perfect opportunity to begin to bring her into the memory in a more active way and allow EFT to connect her to that little girl part of her. .prepare her lead her into a visualizationhave her really see it through her eyes as a child.


Notice if anything came up for you, or if the sensation changed.


We then began our second round.

KC: Even though I still feel this go be a baby feeling and I feel it now in my solar plexus like a tightness and a constriction. I accept my solar plexus and how it feels.

KC: Even thoughI have this shame in my solar plexus, I accept who I am and how I feel

KC :Even thoughI have this shame in my solar plexus and it has something to do with go be a baby and cry on your bed, I'm still OK

EB: Tightness in my solar plexus
SE: It feels so constricted
UE: All the feelings in my solar plexus and everything they mean to me
UN: The shame in my solar plexus
CH: The "go cry on your bed" and "be a baby" shame
CB: I'm ashamed I had to be a baby
UA: I wonder how old I was.

I paused to ask her how old she was and she said about 5-6 , about the age of her own daughter.

EB: I was only a kid
SE: I wasn't supposed to be a baby
UE: After all I was 5 years old
UN: I wasn't supposed to be a baby
CH: Was I?
CB: And I feel that in my solar plexus
UA: I'm so ashamed I was such a baby
H:  I was a 5 yr old baby



By now she had become more and more connected to her own self as a little girl and I guided her into a visualization where she was really looking through her 5 year old eyes.

I asked her:

Can you see yourself going to cry on your bed?
Can you see your dad yelling at you?

She said, "yes" so I asked her to close her eyes and just keep tapping through he points as she described what she was experiencing. This is the power of using visualization with EFT: that the client says what is happening and what they are feeling in detail through all of their senses while they keep tapping on any points they want.(I don't want them being distracted by worrying about where to tap because it really doesn't matter.)

"I see my dad yelling at me and I run into my room and probably throw myself on the bed"

The key is to keep asking questions about details using all five senses
so I had her go back to seeing her dad and tell me more details such as how big he looked and how he sounded. She said, "He sounds whiny because he's using that chiding mocking voice." I encouraged her to stay in her 5 year old self and say what her dad was saying. She imitated "go be a baby" in a really whiny way.

It is fascinating to note that because she was connecting to the experience as the 5 year old, she spoke in the tone of voice her dad used rather than just saying the words she remembered. She exclaimed, "Isn't that interesting?" and then we continued on through the visualization as she saw herself run to her room, flop on her bed, curl up like a ball under her covers and suck her fingers. All the while I continued to ask sensory questions like, "Tell me what you see. Tell me what sounds you hear. How did the blanket feel? What is she doing now? How is she feeling, etc."

Then at some point I asked her, "When you see yourself in the covers all curled up can you see yourself both looking at you and being you?

This is an important healing moment. She could begin to be her adult self giving her own inner child what she needed. I told her, "Breathe as you look at yourself curled up in the bed and ask the little girl, 'what do you need right now?'" Mary Lou responded by saying, "The mom part of me wants to wrap myself around her and protect her." I asked, "How would you do that?" She answered, "I'd probably crawl up on the bed and wrap myself around her."

We continued on to further visualize her doing just that in the same way as earlier tapping as we went along. She ended the visualization saying, "She feels me behind her and I feel her breathing light and shallow"

We stopped tapping there and took a deep breath together. I asked her if she had noticed how whiny her dad's voice was. She said, "Yeah, that was really interesting. I think I knew on some level that my dad's behavior was really childish but I never really connected it to my own daughter's behavior and how that set me off. This puts her behavior in a whole different perspective, and now I know it's not about my daughter anymore. "

I checked in with the "go be a baby" feeling in her solar plexus. It was now a 3-4 and deep in that soft spot of the solar plexus right below the sternum. She described it as achy with the emotion of sadness. See how the layers peel away!


Remember to check in and rate yourself after tapping.


We tapped one more round on the remaining "go be a baby" feeling and the really young achy sadness. We also tapped on being open to the possibility of  feeling safe.

KC: Even though I still have some of this “go be a baby” feeling in my solar plexus and it feels achy and sad, I love and accept that little girl

KC: Even though I have this achy sadness in my solar plexus, this remaining go be a baby feeling, I'm still OK

KC: Even though I have this remaining achy go be a baby feeling in my solar plexus, I love and accept myself anyway

EB: achy sadness
SE: and all it means
UE: this really young achy sadness
UN:I still feel it
CH:this remaining go be a baby feeling
CB: and the achy sadness
UA: and everything it means
H: and I'm open to the possibility that I could feel safe anyway even though I'm not sure how yet, I know Im still OK

I tested her by yelling in a whiny voice "Go be a baby a cry on your bed!"
"Oh yeah," she said, "It's much less, 1-2. My lungs feel a lot better too!"

Can you imagine how much more present she will be to her daughter next time
she is whining?

Can you imagine how Mary Lou will be better able to respond as Mom rather than react from her 5 year old?

What if the vicious cycle was interrupted before it even started?


Would you like to find out more about ending the struggle and restoring peace at home? If so, contact me today and we'll schedule a complimentary session so you can start receiving support right away.