When a parent decides to contact me about a hypnotherapy appointment for their child, it turns out that many of the problems children face are due to low self-esteem, frustration and a lack of confidence in their own abilities or trust in the adults around them. Kids respond so well to hypnosis because, during a hypnotherapy session, we work on all these issues. Hypnotherapy is a great way to encourage a child to look within themselves, to help them find alternative and solutions and to increase their confidence by using their state of hypnosis.
When I work with kids in our hypnotherapy appointments, I always look for the ‘practical’ things they can do to support the hypnosis work – such as setting goals and pushing themselves outside their comfort zone. And one practical step which I truly love – and strongly encourage parents to explore with their child – is love bombing.
I first discovered love bombing a couple of years ago when my son was about 8. He was feeling a bit frustrated with some stuff which was going on at school and was venting this in terms of angry outbursts at home. At about this time, I read about ‘love bombing’ and decided to give it a try with – it turned out – miraculous results!
So what is love bombing? It’s a method which was developed by psychologist Oliver James to help children with a variety of problems including aggression, shyness and underperformance at school. The concept is fairly simple. It involves spending time alone with a child and doing exactly what the child wants to do. That’s right – for a set period of time, your child makes all the decisions! You will want to set up some boundaries – time limit, spending limit, no screen time, for instance – but other than that, the child makes all the decisions. Love bombing doesn’t have to be extravagant – although I have heard of parents going away with a child for the night and allowing the child to control the decisions for a longer time period. You can simply set aside a few hours in the day, put the boundaries in place, and let your child make the decisions.
What I’ve found when I’ve love bombed my son – which I’ve done on several occasions now – is that he just loves the experience. We always have very strict money boundaries, so that it’s not about buying things, and it’s incredible to me how grown up he is in his decision making. We often do it when I feel he’s become frustrated about something or when I’ve been very busy work-wise. The one-on-one time together is very important. But this isn’t just about spending quality time together. It’s about letting the child make the decisions. It’s about showing your child that they have value. It’s about increasing your child’s confidence by allowing them to decide what happens next and increasing their sense of self esteem by showing that you trust them as a person.
Love bombing also helps you get out of some of the traps which it is so easy to fall into as a parent. Some of the time it seems like we’re just nagging – and it gets tiring and boring for the parent and child! Letting go of the responsibility is actually a pleasant exercise, and it might reveal to you areas where you are over-controlling with your child.
Love bombing helps a child who is frustrated feel empowered. It helps a child who lacks confidence in decision making make choices. It enables a child who is behaving badly to realise that they are capable of making grown up choices. And it’s a great way to make your child feel valued and loved by you – the most important person in the child’s life.
The next time you feel your child is experiencing difficulties, consider suggesting love bombing!