Last weekend, I came across an article about “Love Bombs” in the newspaper. It described a parenting trick that’s apparently become quite popular recently, involving one or both parents setting aside a day or a couple of evenings to completely dedicate to their child.
There’s of course nothing new about that – except that with a ‘love bomb’, the time you spend with your child is all about what they want. Whatever your child wants in that set time period, they get. They choose where you go, what you do; they can eat whatever they choose. OK, so you’d put some limits on it if their ideas are getting a little far fetched (like a spending spree at Legoland). But during a love bomb, you happily say yes to the things you’d usually say no to – like letting them choose any type of chocolate bar. Or maybe a fizzy drink. Or another chocolate bar..
But it’s not just about letting them gorge on sweets and lemonade if they wish. It’s all about your child – no rushing to be somewhere else, no mobile phones. Letting them go back to see a certain fish in the aquarium five times if they want to. With lots of ”I love you’s” and positive affirmations thrown in.
In short, imagine the most amazing, indulgent experience your child could dream of – that’s a love bomb!
The objective of a love bomb, claimed by psychologist Oliver James (who coined the term) is that a child feels so deliriously happy, content, and loved as a result, this emotional effect lasts for a significant period. He also suggests love bombs boost self-esteem and positivity in a child. You can read the original article here.
In a way, it’s like the equivalent of an adult indulging in mood-boosting activities – a shopping spree, trip to the salon or day spa, dinner at a fancy restaurant. If it’s good enough for us adults to be spoilt for a little bit…
Mr.5 has never experienced a true love bomb. He’s experienced many outings and periods of ”quality time” with either myself or Mr.42 – train trips, going to the beach, the Zoo, aquarium, the circus. Often he’s asked to go to one of those places, and we’ve said yes. One of these special outings might involve a milkshake, or an icecream at the beach. But we’ve never said yes to everything during an outing. Believe me, Mr.5 knows how to ask for everything and anything!
So I’m curious to know: have you ever properly ‘love bombed’ your child (or secretly wanted to)? Was there a positive outcome – or did it just create higher expectations next time around?