So, what on earth is love bombing? It is a new concept, unknown to me until a couple of weeks ago, when I stumbled across an article about the subject on the online parenting community, essential baby (FYI-The EB website consists of some trashy and some thought provoking and interesting articles and forums, along with the typical unwanted advertising for things like formula). Unfortunately I can no longer find the actual article but there are also quite a few newspaper articles on love bombing and you can google it if you want to read up further.
The basic concept is that spending a chunk of one-on-one time with your child can drastically change their emotional and behavioural issues. Well duh! Didn’t we all already know that? But there is a slight difference to this new method. The mysteriously lost article on EB talked about having a 24 hour period of one-on-one time with your child, where they are the boss. They get to decide what you do, where you go, what they eat, when to go to bed… Basically every decision is up to them. The only thing the parent has to do is say yes and shower the child with affection whilst telling them you love them, constantly. You also share a bed with them if that’s what they want. It’s all about them. This “love bombing” supposedly rewires the brain’s pathways to help kids feel more confident and secure, especially following a trauma. I should also mention that it was only recommended for children between the ages of three to adolescence.
The author of the EB article experimented with love bombing with her two kids because they were showing differing levels of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) following their father’s suicide. Her son is very active and crammed lots of energetic activities into their 24 hours together and ate tons of ice-cream and soft drink. Her daughter is more quiet and they enjoyed doing craft together and having lunch at her favorite restaurant. The mother now swears by love bombing. The kids loved spending “special” time alone with their mum. She says the changes in her kids’ behaviour was almost tangible. She has implemented love bombing her children every once in a while, to help boost their confidence and self assurance. They call it “mummy day”.
I am really interested by this. I would love to try it out. Not only for my kids, but for me. I often feel sad that I don’t get to enjoy each of my beautiful children by themselves without any other distractions. When his brother was born, my first child had to learn that he no longer got my undivided attention. My second baby has never even really had my undivided attention like an “only child” would. How precious it would be to give that gift of time and love to each of them separately.
There are a few things I’d probably do differently though. I think I’d still have to have rules. Things like “no hurting other people” and “no swearing” etc. would still be in place. I’ve heard a few people do different versions of the same kind of idea. I read about one woman who has a pyjama day every school holidays with her kids, where they stay in bed and watch movies or tv all day. Another has a day of unlimited xbox use once every school holidays. What a great idea! I love that parents are making conscious decisions to shower their kids with the desires of the kid’s hearts. It’s all too easy to stay in the pattern of “cruel to be kind” or “doing it for their own good”, which of course is necessary the majority of the time, after all we parents only want the best for our kids. I like, however, that love bombing allows kids to have a say and get to do harmless fun things with their devoted mum or dad’s undivided attention, every now and then.
Even if it doesn’t “reprogram” a child’s behaviour and self esteem, I can’t see that it would cause too much damage (besides maybe a trip to the dentist). It’s not the same as over-indulging a child all the time. The child knows the game, the parameters. It’s an occasional foray into being solely responsible for one 24hour period’s activities.
I’m going to try it when my kid’s are at an appropriate age and can reason more sensibly. Can’t wait!