For many of us, this is a season of giving and receiving, as well as a time to look forward to the less tangible gifts the New Year may hold for us.
When I consider the intangible gifts I would like to give to children, I am reminded of the story of Sleeping Beauty. In this famous tale, the young princess was granted gifts of Beauty, Grace, Riches and Talents upon her birth. Yet, I think that one of the most valuable gifts of all was forgotten by the fairies – that of Resilience.
Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover quickly and successfully from difficulties and challenges.
Resilient children are able to bounce back from their troubles, to accept and let go of problems without holding onto blame and self-pity. Since resilient children are happy children, the value of Resilience is immeasurable.
We all want our children to be happy, but it is not possible, or even wise, to protect them from every disappointment or difficulty they encounter. In fact, we do them a disservice by overprotecting them. Our children are going to fall, to make mistakes, face setbacks, disappointments and ‘failures’. They are going to experience anger, grief, rejection, heartbreak and worry. It is not our business to take these experiences away from the children we love. Rather, it is our role to teach them how to cope successfully with challenges, and to instill in them the self-confidence, desire and capabilities to do so.
With tapping, the quality of Resilience is strengthened.
Tapping helps children to bounce back from disappointments, enhances their confidence in overcoming difficulties, and instills within them the desire to let go of their troubles.
Recently I tapped with a child who was overcome with emotion and stubbornly stuck in a story of anger and blame. After five minutes of tapping, his anger was gone, his tears had disappeared, he was willing to accept responsibility for his actions and suggest proactive ways to resolve similar problems in the future. This was not an enormous problem, but to this child it was an opportunity to learn that tapping helps us to quickly and effectively let go of our troubles, to bounce back from emotional upsets and feel happy once more.
Every time we give children the opportunity to tap through their troubles, we are teaching and fostering Resilience, and that is an invaluable gift.
When we encourage children to tap through small problems, we provide them with tools to help them cope with greater challenges in the future.
“You know, I still tap whenever I have a problem”, a student of mine from many years ago confided recently, much to my delight.
As adults, we have all experienced challenges during our lifetime. Some of these challenges may have seemed random and undeserved, some may have resulted from our own actions, others from the actions of others. Regardless of the challenge, the ability to accept, overcome and learn from every difficulty we have faced has been fundamental to our personal growth.
It is often hard and sometimes heartbreaking to watch our children encounter difficulties, however tapping can help us to strengthen not only their Resilience but our own as well. And with every difficulty our children face, we can make a conscious choice to teach them that Resilience is always at our fingertips.
So with this New Year, as we consider the possibilities and challenges it may bring, perhaps we can strive to give our children the valuable gift that was overlooked in the tale of Sleeping Beauty – that of Resilience.