Why You Should Love Bomb Your Child

By Oliver James, Psychologist, Bestselling Parenting Author and Columnist

Love Bombing – Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat by Oliver JamesPerhaps your child is a bit troubled in just one respect, like a little shy or sometimes over-demanding. Maybe he or she has much more numerous and serious problems, like severe temper tantrums at the age of 10, or being paralysed by groundless fears. Either way, Love Bombing can help.

The child’s problem is almost never the fault of parents, who are only doing their best. Because of one misfortune or another, or a chain of them, the child’s basic brain chemistry is in need of adjustment, usually only a small one.

One of the most astonishing and significant scientific discoveries of the last ten years is that children’s brains are much more plastic – malleable – than previously believed. We have an emotional thermostat, and luckily it is a thermostat.

Just as you can alter the amount of heating or air-conditioning in your home, so you can adjust your child’s brain. Of course, making the change takes more effort than just turning a dial, which is where Love Bombing comes in: you do not have to agonize about what went wrong in the past or beat yourself up about that stuff – the joy of Love Bombing is you can just get on with putting things right.

Love Bombing gives your child a very intense, condensed experience of feeling completely loved and completely in control. The period during which this is done can be 48 hours (two nights), 24 hours (one night), a single day, or shorter bursts. Whichever period you use, you subsequently rekindle that experience daily for half an hour.

During the time in this zone, the child is told it is in charge and can do almost whatever it likes. You also lavish love on it.

It might sound bonkers to do that if your child is badly behaved or you are just sick of being messed about by its nastiness and wilfulness, like rewarding bad behaviour. But oddly enough, the 100 or so parents who have done various versions of it say otherwise. It has taken off worldwide.

Dramatic shifts result in the child’s personality and behaviour. When it comes to dealing with disobedient or shy or clingy or aggressive or impatient children, love and control, it seems, really are the answer. What is more, because so many parents are, or have had periods of, living very busy or miserable or complicated lives, most of us need to reconnect with our children from time to time. Love Bombing does the job. Parents report it has radically favourable effects on their relationship with the problem child.

The Love Bombing need cost nothing, financially. In my book I describe many cases where they did it at home or found ingenious ways of doing it in short bursts.

If you have tried it let me know what you think or if it sounds interesting and you have questions, I would love to hear them.

Love Bombing – Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat by Oliver James is published by Karnac Books.

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