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'Love Bombing' - the solution to children's emotional and behavioural issues?

143 replies

KateMumsnet · 27/09/2012 12:29

This week sees the publication of a new book by Oliver James called Love Bombing: Reset Your Child's Emotional Thermostat.

'Love bombing' involves spending bursts of one-on-one time with your child, away from other family members, in which you hand over to them as much control as possible while bombarding them with expressions of love. According to James, it's a technique which can help a wide range of challenging emotional and behavioural issues in children. 

The idea might seem counterintuitive; often, when children's behaviour is causing problems, parents feel that the solution is more control, not less. But James insists the system work - and that many children could benefit, from the fundamentally happy, to those with depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, perfectionism, even Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and autism. He explains the principles behind the technique in our guest blog this week.

What do you think? Does it sound like something you might try? Or is it an unrealistic 'fix-all' which can't really address deeper problems? A new idea - or something you've already tried?

Let us know if you take up this blog-prompt - we've a signed copy of Oliver's book to give to the first name out of the hat next Wednesday! And if you're not (yet Wink) a blogger - let us know what you think here on the thread.

OP posts:
Lambethlil · 28/09/2012 13:15

I'm more than happy to read anything to help. I disagree with you that the majority don't need help and ideas. I don't understand the resistance.

QuangleWangleQuee · 28/09/2012 13:22

I agree with Lambethlil

MerryCosIWonaGold · 28/09/2012 13:23

I read it. Interesting. I like the idea of it being a set period of time, because of course it's good to 'bombard' with love anytime, but very difficult especially if your child is being challenging. I think it could really work and I will be trying it, particularly the handing over control.

ItMustBeSaturday · 28/09/2012 13:34

I would definitely respond well to this. If you are reading mother, I am free most weekends in November.

MmeLindor · 28/09/2012 13:41

I think the issue is not that parents have no idea what to do, but that that they are bombarded with often conflicting advice and opinions.

From their relatives and friends, and from whichever parenting guru is popular at the moment.

And it does sometimes feel like we are being blamed for our children's bad behaviour, that if we just read this book or watch that programme that everything will be solved.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy · 28/09/2012 14:03

Isn't love bombing a technique used by religious cults to get their recruits hooked? Hmm

My kids get control where it's practicable, 1-to-1 attention wherever possible, expressions of love all the time - all woven into the fabric of the day. I find the idea of it being a different, set-apart 'zone' (which may be discontinued if the desired effects show themselves?) a bit odd tbh. A special day where the child is in charge, fair enough. But maximum control and maximum attention and maximum affection all at once as something entirely separate from the usual run of life?

Lambethlil · 28/09/2012 14:27

Grin itmustbe

ReshapeWhileDamp · 28/09/2012 14:55

Far from new, AFAIK. And Evenifyouseeapoppy (hey! I know where that name's from. Is it MillyMollyMandy? Grin) I was about to comment that as far as I'm concerned, 'Love Bombing' is or was a technique used by cults to brainwash converts. Rather unfortunate re-branding here! Grin

willowthecat · 28/09/2012 16:13

I personally agree that ABA is the only evidence based approach to follow if your child is autistic - although I think OJ just stuck in 'autism' at the end of his list of claims as it has a great 'this really does wash whiter' look to it.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy · 28/09/2012 17:26

ReshapeWhileDamp - spot on! Grin

fridascruffs · 28/09/2012 17:52

As a single mother it's not really something that's open to me very often at all- I don't get to spend time alone with each of the children, it's nearly always both of them.

Mayisout · 28/09/2012 17:54

I was a very reserved and unemotional mum and DH was worse. The book would have been useful to point out to DH that he should be doing one to one with DCs which I doubt he every did and to point out to me that I should have expressed my love vocally and demonstrably.

I and DH are middle aged and copied some of the reserved styles of parenting from our upbringing and most of our aquaintances at that time were the same.

But want to point out that none of my 3 fun loving and 'normal' adult DCs are autistic due to 'cold' mother.

OJ makes a living from his books so imo stretches the info a bit and also wants to cause some debate as it's good publicity but there is usually a bit of sense in what he writes.

achillea · 28/09/2012 18:33

Oh god, reshape, that's where I've heard it before. Religious cults. I think Oliver needs a new researcher.

achillea · 28/09/2012 18:36

Now I've done my research and according to Wiki, abusers in romantic relationships do this in the early stage to their victims.

Silly old Olly.

LeftyLucy · 28/09/2012 18:42
achillea · 28/09/2012 18:55

Gi'es a job Olly.

ouryve · 28/09/2012 19:06

What a muppet!

achillea · 28/09/2012 20:09

Like the terms 'love-in' and 'tough love', 'love bombing' really doesn't sit right.

MmeLindor · 28/09/2012 20:41

oh, dear. That is rather unfortunate.

Didn't he or his publishers google the title?

Rumplepump · 28/09/2012 21:51

Indulgent, anxious, middle class, boden wearing, private school attending parenting advice at it's worst IMO. Why can't you just spend individual time with your kids & be nice to them without reading how to in a book?

achillea · 28/09/2012 21:54

Oh it's a great technique rumplepump he's just used a really bad name for it.

Lambethlil · 28/09/2012 22:07

Hmm yeah bastard mcs reading books to make their kids happy.

Brycie · 28/09/2012 22:14

I think people do forget how to have fun with their children, I think Rumblepump that is very harsh. I think it's quite easy to get into a routine or rut or bad habits, vicious circles of impatience and resentment. Sometimes a jolt out of the vicious circle is helpful. So what if it's in a book. At least it's people who really want to think about how they're doing things with the family and their children. He's not soppy at all, didn't he used to recommend tying bedroom doors shut or something? Maybe some of it is commonsense or what should come naturally! but how it's possible to get cross and angry with somebody recommending doing this stuff with children, I dont' understand!

QuangleWangleQuee · 28/09/2012 22:29

I think some of the anger seems to be because he has previously suggested that nursery may not be the best type of childcare for babies. Is that right? I noticed a few people had tacked on comments about this to the end of their posts.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim · 28/09/2012 22:37

"Indulgent, anxious, middle class, boden wearing, private school attending parenting advice at it's worst IMO. Why can't you just spend individual time with your kids & be nice to them without reading how to in a book? "
I don't know. Perhaps for the same reason you can't avoid being a class-obsessed bigot i.e. human frailty?

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