Love Bombing

This is a brilliant idea!
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I first read about it in a Guardian article here. I had a quick look at Oliver James’ website. Then I went ahead and bought the book.
It’s a very simple idea: you take one child away for a special holiday where they can do pretty much whatever they like. You follow up with half an hour of special time each day where the child can do pretty much whatever they like.
It is incredibly hard to do!
Firstly, you have to arrange the big holiday. This doesn’t have to be a massive trip, but it does take planning. If you have several children it takes even more planning.
Last year I took the other children to my parents for the weekend and my husband did the Love Bombing from our house. This year, he’s taking the boy being ‘bombed’ away and I’m staying home with the other children.
For the sake of fairness, we give Eldest and Middly a turn each. Last year we managed consecutive weekends. This year there’s a couple of weeks between them.
It is expensive. ‘Special times’ tend to be more expensive than every day times, though you can – obviously – limit how much you spend.
The daily half hour is a massive commitment. Last year we kept it going for two months before we gave up (or ‘rearranged the timetable’, as I put it to the boys). It takes serious effort and a fair bit of luck to be able to give each child half an hour each day. I used a combination of threat (‘if you ruin your brother’s special time, what do you think he’s going to want to do during yours? You need to be careful.’), bribery (child not having special time can take a snack and an electronic toy to his room) and distraction (bags of stickers for the baby, desperately trying to get his nap in sync).
We open the time with a phrase borrowed from filial therapy: ‘this is your special time. You can do almost anything you like. If there is anything you can’t do, I will let you know.’
Then we try – as far as is safe and sane – to say ‘yes’ to everything!
Of course, we have to set a few limits. I refused a bath full of custard, for example! And Middly is still not allowed to watch Game of Thrones! But, hours of TV, sweets and an impromptu cinema trip is all fine. It’s surprising how little the boys really ask for during these times.
Last year Eldest chose to sleep in a tent for his Leopard-Otter Weekend, and was sick three times in quick succession. All over himself, his Dad, the tent and then his bed.
But, we’re doing it again!
We’re doing it again because it worked. It worked wonders for us!
As well as loving the weekend, the boys became much calmer and happier. They made amazing progress as a result of last year’s Love Bombing. And that progress has remained!
I am a bit worried about explaining the other benefit, I don’t think it reflects well on me! But, as a result of Love Bombing, I felt more affection for the boys and more joy in their presence. It definitely made me a better mum. So, we’re doing it again, starting with Eldest’s ‘Treasure Time’ (in the book James encourages you to get your child to give the time a name, part of marking it out as being Not Like Normal Time) today and tomorrow.
Middly and Baby are staying home with me, and we’re having Special Time, which is like Love Bombing, but with the added distraction of Baby.
Of course it probably wouldn’t work for all families (what does?). But it is one of the best things we do and we plan on continuing.
One of Middly’s sweeter requests today was that we painted each other’s faces:
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(I’m a tiger – Baby helped!)

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6 thoughts on “Love Bombing

  1. Thanks for sharing! We discussed love bombing in our parent support group. Turns about a lot of us are doing it! Sometimes only for 10mins. Sometimes for a day. 🙂 have fun!!

  2. Pingback: The manners that maketh a man | frogotter's Blog

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