Tough Love: Can you do it and is it enough?

No matter when you are dealing with a child for any behavior that is not acceptable you must find out the source of the issue. However, when and if you have done everything you can to find out what the issue might be, and have taken steps to help your child if they do not start to change their behaviour, you only have one recourse left and that is tough love.

Tough love is defined as: promotion of a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions.

Due to years of lying and stealing we had to take my daughters seventh birthday party away from her. We had tried counseling, persuasion, grounding her, taking away computer time, social events, plus anything else we could think of and although this was extreme, we felt this was our last option.  We were hopeful that when she had to tell her friends that it was cancelled and the reason why thus making her accountable for her actions that this would work.

Admittedly, this was one of the toughest things I had to do as she had planned a great party and was looking forward to it immensely.  Watching her while she explained to all her friends was heartbreaking, but I was so convinced that this would be an end to her lying and stealing and for that reason alone I was willing to try this.

Being told by one of her teachers I was the worst mother ever for doing this to her, angered me, but I am not so sure she wasn’t right, and the reason I say that is because that consequence didn’t work.  Nothing worked, and we just got to the point where we had to get safes and locks in our home.

However, I do have another example in the video below of a time when tough love worked, albeit, was to date the toughest thing I have ever had to do as a parent. I have two things I was ready an willing to do, so make sure you watch all the way to the end to see the whole story.

The truth is that there is never a guarantee that tough love will work, but if we don’t try, do we really care about our child’s well-being?

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