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Surrogate EFT to help children sleep - a critical lesson regarding intention

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Wendy Koebel points out a vital concept regarding the success of our surrogate tapping ... namely, that we need to focus on the other person instead of our own needs. This is beautifully illustrated by Wendy's effort to have her young son (Frank) fall asleep at night. Sometimes the surrogate EFT worked beautifully and sometimes if failed miserably. Eventually, she concluded, "I realized that the nights I focused truly on Frank's need for sleep and security, the surrogate EFT worked.  But the nights I wanted him to go to sleep because I wanted to do something, it did not work.  Apparently - intention matters!  It makes sense but it took me a while to get there."

Hugs, Gary

By Wendy Koebel

Dear Gary,

I thought it might be helpful if I shared my story regarding surrogate tapping for my son's sleeping problems.

Frank was 2 years old when I finally decided he should be able to put himself to sleep.  Until that point I had been laying with him until he fell asleep.  The times I would try to leave before he was sound asleep would result in him screaming and I would come back in and sit with him some more.  I tried lots of very creative solutions, none of which really worked.  At the same time I was learning EFT, so decided it would be the perfect opportunity to help us both.

I explained to Frank that I would stay with him for 2 songs and then he needed to go to sleep on his own.  The first night during those 2 songs I mentally envisioned myself doing EFT on Frank.  I used every phrase and feeling I could think of that might relate to him, including the following:

Even though I don't want Mommy to leave, I know that I am safe.

Even though I like it when Mommy stays until I am sleeping, I am a great kid.

Even though I don't like change, I can feel relaxed.

Even though it's not fair, I can lie quiet and still.

Even though it makes me mad that Mommy won't stay, I know I am a great kid and can choose to be relaxed and calm.

Even though I normally cry when Mommy leaves, I choose to feel safe and calm.

After the songs were over, I kissed him and walked out.  He, of course, began crying so I stood outside his door and began tapping the Karate Chop spot saying, I am Frank, I am Frank, I am Frank (to prepare for surrogate tapping).  I then went through a round of tapping saying I miss mommy, but I am safe.  I was ready with more phrases, but after a round I noticed the crying had stopped.  I held my breath, went downstairs and could not figure out what to do with the extra hour I now had in my evening.

The next five nights were the same.  I decided at that point EFT was the greatest parenting tool of all time and nothing short of a miracle.  Frank was getting the sleep he needed, I wasn't laying there for an hour or 2 and life was good.  That is, until night six.

On night six I did the exact same thing as the other nights, but I tapped in the hall for what seemed like 25 rounds and the crying just got louder and louder.  I finally had to go back in and lie with him.  Over the next two weeks there were 5 good nights and 7 nights I ended up going back in. 

I wasn't disillusioned with EFT, but also couldn't figure out what the problem was.  Why did it stop working?  On night 15 as I was back in his room, tapping on myself at that point as I was so frustrated, I remember thinking, "Just go to sleep so I can make my phone calls!"  That was the epiphany I had needed.  The tapping wasn't supposed to be about me.  As I went back over the last two weeks I realized the nights I focused truly on Frank's need for sleep and security the surrogate EFT worked.  The nights I wanted him to go to sleep because I wanted to do something, it did not work.  Apparently - intention matters!  It makes sense but it took me a while to get there.

Since then the EFT has worked great.  I now do a couple rounds on me first to clear my stuff and my agenda saying things that include:

Even though I have lots to do downstairs, I choose to focus on Frank.

Even though I can't stop thinking about my stuff…

Even though I have better things to do, I choose to stay in this moment.

Even though I am tired of parenting, I love, forgive and accept myself.

Even though I have needs too, I choose to focus on Frank.

This tapping seems to get me in a place where I can then focus on him and he is able to put himself to sleep.

Several months later, I rarely have to tap for him, as it is now just habit that he can put himself to sleep.  I have to admit my daughter was 4 ½ before she could do it as well as he does.  EFT not only allowed him the sense of safety to do it, but it also gave me some time back in the evenings.  I now tell everyone I know about the perfect parenting and sleep aid tool - EFT!


Wendy Koebel LMSW, ACSW


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.