Sunday 14 October 2012

Love bombing

I did some love bombing today - and it was really fun. You should give it a go. A responded amazingly and I can't wait to do it again.

I'd read about 'love bombing' a while back in The Guardian and thought it a really interesting concept. The idea of showering your child with love, allowing them to sleep with you, saying 'yes' as much as you can and letting them decide what you do, is an initially odd concept to deal with children that are playing up at home.

Yesterday A had an almighty meltdown. Yes, she was tired. Yes, she was grumpy. But as she sobbed to herself in bed there was a searching look in her eyes, it almost said "I didn't mean to do that, I didn't mean to hit P, I didn't mean to squeal and shout and moan at every request." She genuinely couldn't help it.

I thought I'd try the 'love bombing' condensed style today. Oliver James suggests that with children that are disrespectful, sometimes violent to their siblings and need constant nagging that you could do the following:

1. Take the child away from the rest of the family for a weekend, two nights.

2. Tell the child repeatedly that you love them, making sure to hug them and look them in the eyes for long periods.

3. Sleep with them in your bed at nights, during the day tell them that this is their special time and that you will do whatever they want.

4. On return to normal life, create a 30 minute slot each evening with a label they have chosen, like 'mummy time', in which you repeat the same formula in condensed form.

We set aside 2 hours of special time in which A chose what we did. She chose what we ate and how long we spent there. I, in turn, did not look at my phone once. I tried to say 'yes' as much as possible and listened to what she was saying. I noticed that she is silent and brooding and day-dreaming for a lot of the time. I asked her what she was thinking and how she was feeling. I didn't nag, or boss or shout. I noticed that she is quite a fiddler and a fidget. She is always using her hands for something, makes a huge mess with her food and not because she is naughty, but because she is day-dreaming and fiddling as she eats.

I learnt about my lovely A today. I learnt about myself as well. I too am distracted by my everyday life and perhaps don't fully interact and listen to her as I should.

Love bombing has done us the world of good. A hugged me completely off her own back today, she never does that, usually turning a cheek as I kiss her goodnight.


  1. Interesting, my DD1 is 5 and her behaviour is all over the place. She could really use this sort of one on one time.

  2. Oliver James has a book out on the subject ( - no Im not being paid to advertise it! I was thinking of doing the whole weekend thing, not desperately because A's behaviour is bad, but I think it could do us both a lot of good.

    Good luck and thanks for reading!

  3. This is really interesting. I read that article too and have been meaning to try it... but have been distracted by life. it says a lot, I tihnk, doesn't it. I think my 6 yr old could defintiely do with some love bombing. Thanks for sharing - really good to see someone else's experience

  4. Hi RJ. It was so lovely yesterday, I can't stop thinking about it. This morning A came into bed with me and snuggled up. We talked about inane stuff before her sibling woke up and climbed between us. Really interesting, she really wanted to be near me and I normally get the feeling she is aloof, cold and dislikes contact. Bless her.

  5. Ahhhh, this is lovely! However, it appears that I do 'love bombing' with Rory all the time. Except the sleeping in my bed bit. Ain't no waaaaay that's going to happen, fool. (use voice of Mr T for last sentence).

    1. Oooooh, there is nothing nicer than a good squishy cuddle up with you little one! Cheers for reading!

  6. Love this post, positive parenting is right up my street! My kids are older now (the two eldest have flown the nest) but both Hubby & I have raised all 4 of them like this. People would often accuse us of being 'too soft' on the kids by keep saying yes and co-sleeping etc, but they all ate their words when they realised that this style of parenting does actually work.

    Each to their own and I guess it might not work for everyone, but saying yes more often worked very well for us. I've never read Oliver James book but it sounds like it gives some good advice :-)

    1. Thanks for reading!

      I believe I follow a positive parenting philosophy but have never spent much time alone with each child, totally focussed on them - more than 'quality time'. My partner remarked how communicative and touchy A has been this week, how calm and responsive as well. Astonishing for 2 hours special time.