Don’t punish kids, try a love bomb

Herald Sun February 22, 2011
FORGET the naughty corner – try a “love bomb” instead. That’s the latest message for parents trying to rein in troublesome kids, and it’s catching on in Melbourne. Love bombing involves dedicating one-on-one time for spoiling and lavishing your child with love, and, within reason, pandering to their every wish. It could be a special weekend away – just parent and child – says UK-based author and psychologist Oliver James, or at home without the rest of the family. James, who is penning a book on the idea, said love bombing could be tailored by individual families but could be useful for most. The process would not only benefit challenging children, he said, but also those whose early academic promise had dwindled. He admitted it sounded like a recipe for a spoiled brat, but argued making a child feel loved was a better remedy than dishing out rules and punishment. But Australian experts expressed caution. Adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said love-bombing was from the “Looney Tunes” school of parenting. “It’s a thought bubble and should stay as that,” he said. “What is wrong with authoritative parenting? “It’s worked for generations and has an evidence base.” Australian Childhood Foundation chief executive Dr Joe Tucci said parenting must be about balance.