The movies often paint a happy, caring and selfless version of love. The ideal version that you and I would like it to be, isn’t it? But anyone who has been in a relationship would know that love is all of that, but with its own politics and strategies.
It takes hard work to maintain a relationship and sometimes, you may have to do things that you may not be particularly proud of. Ideally called manipulation but in relationship-speak, you call it love bombing. There are many love bombing examples such as gifting somebody what they love, or taking them out to a place of their choice. In simpler words, it’s essentially bribing somebody to gain authority or power in the relationship.
Love bombing isn’t all that bad as much we made it sound. After all, the idea is to make your partner feel better about themselves and the relationship. And as it turns out, love bombing is a parenting technique as well, if used thoughtfully.
It is a powerful tool to reset behavioural issues with children. The idea is to offer incentives to your child to make them listen to you for their own good. This may require bending some of your own rules, and offering a free pass. But how do you differentiate between constructive love bombing and a toxic one? Read on to find out.
Love Bombing Examples And Parenting Techniques
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Clinical psychologist, Dr Bethany Cook, explains that ‘love bombing’ is essentially a tactic to make a deeper connection with your child by offering full attention without any distractions.
You end up spending more time with your child, albeit with an incentive added to the mix like a visit to the amusement park, the movie theatre or even as simple as their favourite restaurant.
The one-on-one time with the child is intended to reset your child’s behaviour back to neutral territory. In simpler terms, love bombing aims to divert their attention and change their mood to something more happy or sober.
When Does Your Child Need A Love Bomb?
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Positive love bombing could be required when your child is feeling low or is irritable and is throwing a tantrum. For instance, a bad grade in school or the death of their pet are times when love bombing would be a handy technique.
Sometimes, your child may feel zoned out with something bothering them. While he may not open up to you about the issue immediately, a day of love bombing could help you bond better with your kid and help him open up to you.
You may also need to adopt the technique when your child is studying at a boarding school and visits you occasionally. Kids feel depressed at times, as much as adults do, and you can look to cheer up by using this tactic. Do remember to not confuse clinical depression with one-off instances and do consult a child psychologist if your child shows signs of prolonged depression.
However, a day of love bombing between the parent and child can be a good reminder that you care about him.
Love bombing also works as a tool of encouragement when your child achieves something. It’s an appreciation of their hard work and effort and more effective over showering just verbal praise.
How To Make Love Bombing Effective?
The idea of love bombing is to make your child feel empowered about himself. To make love bombing efforts, you can start by telling your child that they will soon receive a love bomb. It’s that special activity usually reserved for selective days and doing it on a regular day adds to the excitement.
The special day then also sees some leniency on parenting rules like playing loud music in the car, as long as it’s not a safety hazard, or even eating in the car. As a thumb rule, carry dry snacks that are easier to clean, so you don’t have to say no to your child. You can also make a stop for desserts and splurge on something they like. The idea is to give control to your child and make them feel rewarded.
However, as the adult in the group, you ultimately get to decide what rules can be amended and when. It will also help if you plan the day ahead with your child incorporating what they would like to do. Is it a day around the city that your kid wants, or a weekend away from the routine chores? Make an occasion out of the activity, no matter how small it is.
It would be a great idea to bring back a souvenir from the activity to preserve a memory from it. A happy meal toy or a small gift is just the right memento to remember the day. At the same time, do not confuse love bombing with a lavish excursion. You can still say no to expensive toys or even that trip to Disneyland.
When Is Love Bombing Toxic?
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Much like adult relationships, love bombing between a parent and a child can become toxic, if it goes unchecked. The technique needs to be used on occasion to lift the spirits of your child. Do not use it to escape the responsibilities of a parent. Using the technique too often will also result in your child building a connection with you for all the wrong reasons.
At the end of the day, your child should be spending time with you irrespective of a reward. Love bombing is nothing more but a stimulus to boost a relationship. Parenting can’t be a transactional relationship.
Once your child realises that your efforts aren’t genuine, the effect of a love bomb would disappear altogether with no change in your child’s behaviour. If that seems to be the case, it’s time to think of a new method to bond with your child, only this time, make sure it’s genuine.