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EJB: How to delete child entries from a parent-child CMR one-to-many relationship?

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In situation where a parent entity has a one-to-many CMP/CMR relationship to
a child entity, is there a quick way to delete all child entity data
instances without deleting the parent entity?

I thought I read somewhere that you could use the parent entity field
representing the child entity container method and call its 'clear' method
but this doesn't seem to work.

Also I've tried retrieving the child list collection and then using an
iterator to find the child entity instnces and call the child entity remove
method. But this seemed to cause problems for subsequent calls to the parent
entity child lost collection field.

Any ideas?

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