A Love Bombing Daddy Day

_MG_0260Quite some time ago, hubby and I read the fascinating book Love Bombing by Oliver James. In it he talks about resetting your child’s emotional thermostat by giving them undivided one on one attention. During this time it is essential to let your child set the rules, and dictate what you will do.

As regular readers will know, our eldest daughter P was diagnosed with high functioning ASD earlier this year, and a lot of our energy goes into averting her meltdowns, and keeping her on an even level. Unfortunately, so much effort goes into this (especially now that she’s back at school) that it can leave very little time for much else over and above basic need meeting for our younger two.

Survival mode

I’m sure many parents will relate to feeling as if they spend all day putting out mummy/daddy fires. Life is often about surviving as best you can when you’re in the thick of it with small kids, but chuck the early days of autism into the mix and you’re in survival mode constantly.

With time being as sparse as it is, and so much of it going on our eldest (and by default of age) our youngest, it’s our middle girl who often draws the short straw. After returning to school P’s behaviour has been getting steadily worse over the last two weeks. We pretty much saw the back of pinching and name calling towards her siblings over the summer holiday, but it didn’t take long before it was back with a vengeance.

At 19 months F is starting to fight back, and screams in her face when she’s being spiteful towards him. C (3½) is another story though, because she’s such a good natured kid she rarely fights back. Instead she retreats, looking like a wounded animal, into her own world. It is heart breaking to watch.

Ironically after my blog Top Tips for Surviving the Witching Hour was published on the Huffington Post on Thursday, we had truly horrendous bedtime that night. I suggested to hubby that he take C out for a daddy day on Sunday, to give her some extra love and try and reverse the pain that’s being caused at the moment.

Quality daddy daughter time

Middle child syndrome is well documented, and as hubby and I both grew up in families with three kids, we are super conscious of trying to ensure this does not happen with ours. We don’t want C to feel like she’s missing out, because her needs come last. So a daddy’s day was had, and it sounds like they had a brilliant time.

Oliver James recommends letting your child choose everything that will happen during their special time. C declared she wanted to eat fish and chips for lunch, and go swimming in the afternoon. They left the house before 10am, and along with a coffee shop pit stop, this is what they did. 

She came back absolutely beaming, the difference in her was truly remarkable. Even a full scale meltdown from both her brother and sister did not remove her smile. My ears were ringing for at least an hour afterwards, but that’s a whole other story. 

C is a gorgeous girl, inside and out. Her world is small though, and when she’s copping it in the neck by her sister multiple times every day, the cracks soon start to show. This weekend has proved to us a little bit of love bombing goes a very long way!

Do you love bomb your children? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section!

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24 Replies to “A Love Bombing Daddy Day”

  1. Its on my list to read, but just not managed to actually get my hands on a copy (those millions thoughts in my head…)!

  2. It’s one of my all time very favourite books! The follow up How to Not F*** Them Up is also brilliant xx

  3. Yes, I have read that one, although was thinking about re-reading it as it was a couple of years ago. I remember it being very good but not all the details. I’ll manage it in a few months then maybe! xx

  4. That sounds like a really lovely thing to do Alice! Can’t recommend the book enough, in fact all of his books are amazing. As far as I’m concerned Oliver James is an absolute legend. They F*** You Up is a must read if you haven’t already.

  5. Oh darling I feel bad now for making you cry! It was so needed for her, and Andy took P out yesterday and she really enjoyed herself too. It’s become a sad fact that splitting the family in half is absolutely necessary for us at the moment, for some of the weekend at least… believe me I’d rather it wasn’t like this xx

  6. They really do! It was great to meet you too hon, hope to see you again soon xx

  7. It can be a military operation to orchestrate but so worth it! Hope you manage to get one booked soon 🙂

  8. That’s such great news Sam. Perhaps he was acting up because he was a bit overwhelmed with going back to school? So pleased to hear that things are on the up now, and I’m sure the babyccino helped 🙂 xx

  9. Thank you honey, what a kind thing to say. It made such a difference for C that we did the same for P this weekend just gone and she absolutely loved it!

  10. This is a lovely post. Its such a good idea, I must read that book, have read others by him but not that one. Actually this inspired me this week to spend a bit of one on one time with our middle one who was not wanting to go into school because she wanted to be with me, so I promised her mummy time, which got her into school and then I just spent a lovely hour curled up in bed reading and chatting until she got bored of me!

  11. You’ve just managed to make me cry, hun. I do loads with my kiddos, but it has been so long since I have given them one-to-one time… Sounds like C had a great day with her daddy. Stunning picture of your little lady. x

  12. Every little girl loves time with their daddy and I’m sure they both had a fab time, she’s a lovely little thing and it was great to meet you both and F the other week x

  13. What a great reminder to spend one on one time with each child. I grew up as one of three where one was quite demanding of attention and so am very conscious of trying to share my time equally with my two but is hard with the younger one naturally being less self-sufficient than his older sister. Time to book in a mummy daughter day 🙂

  14. Aw I’m so glad that C got a bit of special time with her daddy. It makes such a difference doesn’t it? After my week of hell with JJ last week I decided that instead of removing positive attention I should increase it so I took him out just him and me for just half an hour on Sunday morning for a babyccino and – who knows if that was instrumental – but he has been much better behaved this week (still some flare ups of course!). I think I will try and do this with him again but let him choose next time for a proper ‘love bomb’ experience! Xx

  15. I’m so glad you’ve shared this. It’s a technique I used to recommend at work and so important when you’re a family stuck in the midst of dealing with another child most of the time. Such a lovely approach to parenting. Your kids are so lucky to have parents as thoughtful as you are.

  16. It’s just one thing after another at the moment, but hopefully won’t continue. I have high hopes for 2016 😉 Glad love bombing works for you too hon, and has had such a lasting effect on your middle boy xx

  17. It is magical Tas, honestly I cannot recommend it enough for when the baby comes. Even will the best will in the world there will always be a wee bit of jealousy, and a bit of one on one time goes down so well. Best of well lovely, can’t wait to hear your news xx

  18. Thank you so much my darling friend, what a lovely thing to say. It’s really been a hugely tough year for us, but even with all our little challenges it’s nothing compared with what some people go through. Love bombing is amazing, honestly cannot advocate it enough xx

  19. I love this concept and we try and do it occasionally – it makes a huge difference when we do. On holiday in the summer, I took the oldest and youngest off while the middlie went for a hike up a mountain with daddy, and I think he is still glowing from that. Nice to hear that yours went well with your husband, but sorry to hear how difficult things are at the moment. xx

  20. Oh hun this made me emotional because you are all going through a lot yet are as ever so wise, and always, always put your beautiful kids first with such love and mindfulness. I feel so proud of you all. I also know that when my boys get one on one time they behave so differently, particularly my eldest who no doubt remembers being the king of the castle. You are all doing so well, sending love, friendship and am here for you always x

  21. I’ve never heard of this but I really love the idea of it. With the new baby coming imminently I think this may be perfect time for us to do it with Z. We’ve been trying to crow bar in lots and lots of outings but I think the love bombing might be best when the baby is here. Ahh thank you 🙂

  22. It really does do them the world of good doesn’t it, and choosing what they do is the icing on the cake 🙂 Hope you both have a wonderful girly day when you get round to it xxx

  23. Sounds like they had a wonderful day together. My girl and I are definitely due a ‘girly day’ as she calls them, and it’s fun letting them choose what they want to do and lovely for her to get my undivided attention. Definitely worthwhile doing, for both child and parent x

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