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Love Bombing: Reset Your Child's Emotional Thermostat Paperback – 28 Sep 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Karnac Books (28 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780491379
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780491370
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Finally something that works that doesn't involve shouting, screaming or the tiresome 'naughty step'! Love Bombing is a more pleasurable, interesting and intelligent way of getting any parent-child relationship back on track. --Imogen Edwards-Jones, Daily Mail columnist, award winning journalist, broadcaster, novelist and screenwriter, best known for the Babylon series of exposés

'Love Bombing': the best of care made possible and funky. --Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of The Place2Be and Kids Company

Oliver James occupies a pre-eminent position in the field of psychology and mental health. Whether writing about teenage violence, or dementia, or the roots of personality, Dr James approaches his subject with a unique combination of rigour and accessibility - a rare quality among health care professionals. In his latest book, 'Love Bombing: Reset Your Child's Emotional Thermostat', one can see why James has become Great Britain's best-selling psychological author. A friend to all parents, Oliver James has developed a creative, sensible, and effective method for helping parents to improve their relationships with their children. A brilliant antidote to the many punitive and prescriptive child-rearing manuals which dominate the shelves of our bookshops, Dr James encourages parents to love and respect their children with real compassion and understanding. His concept of the 'emotional thermostat' deserves a prize. This book has the potential to transform the fabric of family life. --Professor Brett Kahr, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health, London, and Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Arts at Roehampton University, London

About the Author

Oliver James trained and practised as a child clinical psychologist and, since 1988, has worked as a writer, journalist, broadcaster and television documentary producer and presenter. His books include the bestselling 'They F*** You Up', 'Affluenza' and 'Contented Dementia'.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really wanted to read this book for two reasons: one negative and one positive. Initially I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea, but my negative reaction was `why make something special out of something that should be so commonplace?'

Then I remembered reading about how Penelope Leach (who kind of `invented' time-out) said she actually hated the very premise of time-out but that she was writing in an age when smacking children as a punishment was considered the only way to discipline a child, and in order to get parents to stop doing it, they needed to be given something else they felt might work. So maybe that's what Mr James is doing when he suggests parents give their children special time...?

The basic premise is that you give a struggling child intense and long, if possible, time with just one parent doing whatever he or she wants and with lots and lots of `I love you's from that parent. The book is divided into a `why' section, a `how to' section' and then the largest section is parents' stories from families who've tried it and for whom the technique of Love Bombing has `worked' (and some from a few where it hasn't worked).

Anyway, I read the book, feeling half sceptical, and half intrigued, and here's a tidied up version of the notes I wrote while I was reading it:

I'm feeling dubious about this. I try to ensure my children get plenty of this `love' and `time to choose' all the time, and I have noticed the competitiveness between my children that ensues when I single out one of the children for one-to-one time.

However, I have also noticed the vast improvement in our children when we give them time like this when they're struggling with something so I guess the premise makes a lot of sense.
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Having thought that we were giving all of our children fair amounts of attention and love, it seems that our middle son felt that he had lacked something in the formative years. He went through a prolonged phase of aggressiveness and self loathing that were both infuriating and heart breaking. To hear a young child say "I hate myself and want to die" is one of the most painful things a parent can hear from an otherwise healthy child.

We decided to try this technique and have simply not looked back. His conduct and confidence are so different that it is now difficult to imagine he's the same boy. When we talked about it afterwards he said that it wasn't so much about where we went or what we did; it was the fact of having my full and undivided attention which reminded him that I really loved him. This surprised me to begin with; we have cuddles and are affectionate, we praise the children for their positive deeds and we have no difficulty in saying " I love you". But during a difficult time for the family, and with full time jobs - and therefore, just the evenings with the children during the week - most of the time is spent chasing up undone homework, messy rooms, unworn glasses, late bedtimes and unbrushed teeth.

We're about to do this again with our older teenager who is in the throws of all the angst that this throws up. For us to go away for a night and do exactly what the child wants for a short period is what seems to work for us. Oliver James's book does talk of other stories and different methods other families have used. It is extraordinary to think that once you have more than one child, each of them will rarely get a full 24-48 hours with you alone unless you do something like this.
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I've been waiting for this book ever since I read an article Oliver James wrote sometime ago describing the method in overview. I tried out Love Bombing with my son based on my understanding of it from the article. I didn't consider I had a particular problem on my hands regarding my son's behaviour yet I do find with the distractions of modern life, that it is near impossible to give the attention that I would really like to my children. How often do we put our children 'on-hold' to attend to the many devices that demand an instant response?

I took my son away for a weekend to London and we had a ball. We both gained a reconnection and deeper level of trust. Coincidentally it was not long before he turned seven and I suspect that having had this weekend together helped in his transition towards this new age of greater independence. My husband spent time at home with our younger daughter while I was away with our son and this also helped deepen their father-daughter relationship. He travelled considerably in her early months and it has been a joy to see how they connect so much better as a result of that intense period of time together Love Bombing at home.

Reading the book helps me understand how we will build in further 'top up' time. Next time we do a trip away or one-on-one time at home we'll swop and I'll spend time with my daughter.

Families are about multiple relationships between several individuals. I'm convinced that family life can be much improved through Love Bombing. We can get to know one another's feelings at a whole new level thus make better decisions about how we want to live going forward. As can be understood from reading the book, there are many scenarios when the method will prove helpful to families.
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