Parenting Tips-Raising Children With Tough Love

If you are a parent of even just one child you understand that parenting is the toughest job anyone could have. Of course there are also many joys that accompany bringing little ones into the world, with all the cute little things they say and do. As children grow in age and size the tough responsibilities of parenting become more clear. Parents expecting their first child oftentimes load up on parenting books in order to learn tips and tricks to become the “perfect parent”, only to find that each book offers very different strategies and tactics towards “perfect parenting”.

One author might recommend discipline in the form of spanking, whereas another author would vehemently oppose spanking but recommend putting your child in “time out”. Reality television shows and talk shows attempt to teach parents how to regain structure and control of households with children running amuck. To put it mildly, parenting is tough. Tough Love advocates discuss parenting children and teens who’ve become involved with drugs and alcohol, but today‘s society of children and young adults, believing the world “owes” them everything, gives new reason for broader understanding towards parenting with tough love.

What Tough Love Is-

Raising children with Tough Love is just that: tough. We love our children with every inch of our soul, doing our utmost to provide for their need of food, clothing, shelter, personal attention, guidance, direction, appropriate discipline when needed, a good education, recreation and more. Tough love is required in order to properly handle the inevitable disagreements, conflicts, arguments, and even physical battles that sometimes occur in families today.

Raising Self Reliant ChildrenParents that have the tendency to quickly give in to their children’s every want and whim, or give in after their child has a conniption fit in the toy or grocery store, are systematically setting themselves up for failure. It is your responsibility as parent to raise your children to be respectful and self-reliant. Parents must “let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no”.

Each and every time a parent portrays weakness towards children’s demands, ultimately giving in after a battle of wills, all the hard work of initially standing your ground has been for nothing. Rather than the parents raising the children, it quickly becomes the children ruling the household, or as Dr. Phil would say, “the tail wagging the dog”.

Tough Love In Action-

I’m often amazed at the number of parents who routinely give the warning “I’m going to count to three…” How many times have children actually done what was asked of them after the parent said “One“? None that I’ve seen. More often than not children will wait until after the parent has counted past “two” before reluctantly beginning to take action. Raising children with Tough Love requires that the parent be in control of the situation. When a child is asked to do something, perhaps pick up toys or clean their room, children should know without a shred of doubt in their mind that you mean Now.

Tough Love Is Not Bullying-

Scream Free ParentingTough love does not mean behaving as a tyrant or dictator. Screaming at your children, threatening bodily harm if your wishes are not adhered to, is not parenting with love. It only makes you a bully. You want your children to respectfully and obediently comply with your wishes, not cower in fear of what they think a parent might do to them. Children learn what they live, and they will grow up to pass the same onto their own children.

Tough Love Does Not Allow Enabling-

Many of today’s parents are preoccupied with trying to be friends with their children rather than parenting their children. Maintaining a close bond with your children, including a great deal of deep and meaningful communication, does not minimize the enormous responsibility of raising your children to become independent, self-sufficient adult members of society. There are vast differences in the advice and opinions many children and teens share with each other, versus what a responsible adult parent would advise. Can parents really afford to confuse their roles, allowing themselves to be placed in the position of becoming their children’s peer, rather than that of being the responsible parent?

Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids-

Respectful ParentsParents have only one shot in this life to raise their children to become upstanding, respectable adults, where they will then pass it onto the next generation and the next. While parents may wish there were some magical, trick-filled manual on how to raise children, it really boils down to doing the very best job of parenting possible. And praying a lot.

Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children As long as we continue to keep enabling our adult children, they will continue to deny they have any problems, since most of their problems are being “solved” by those around him. Only when our adult children are forced to face the consequences of their own actions—their own choices—will it finally begin to sink in how deep their patterns of dependence and avoidance have become. And only then will we as parents be able to take the next step to real healing, forever ending our enabling habits and behaviors.

The Toughlove Prescription “Inspired by the revolutionary bestseller Toughlove,” a guide to help parents discipline their children with love and consistency. “Toughlove” was an international bestseller and one of the first guidebooks for parents of extremely troubled teens. “The Toughlove Prescription picks up where the million-plus mega-seller left off, helping you discipline your children, who live in a world saturated by cell phones, the Internet, and graphic displays of nudity and violence. Dr. Ron Zodkevitch helps you apply the Toughlove techniques to more-common problems such as a messy room, smoking, and homework. He also incorporates a new, four-step program for you to reach out to your teens.

Related Post:

How to Stop Enabling: When Our Grown Children Disappoint Us
Support Groups for Parents with Grown Adult Children Living at Home with Parents


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23 Responses to “Parenting Tips-Raising Children With Tough Love”

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  1. pet says:

    i agree with you the parents zone, parents should thought their children how to love and be able to guide them to become a good person.

  2. I liked the term “Tight love”.
    Even we have suggested some resolutions before your kid ask you “Did you make any resolution??”
    Let us know if you can add some…

    Good Parenting’s last blog post..New Year Resolution For Parents

  3. THanks for sharing this. We have been learning about Love and Logic parenting, but this also seems like a good method of raising responsible children.

  4. DG Haldeman says:

    I once read a poem about how children test you in order to see where the boundaries are, because they dont’ really knwo themselves, especially small children. Therefore you must be firm, but loving.

  5. Lin says:

    DG, children learn real fast how to test the boundaries and if parents don’t keep alert, the home situation can quickly turn into “the tail wagging the dog” rather than the other way around. Loving but firm is needed.

  6. brenda says:

    its my son he lives at home and expected us to do every thing he pays for nothing and still take me hear take me there.i need glasses cell phone after loosing his twice he is 23and gets in trouble and we get calls 3to330 in the morning to go and pick him up at the police station.for being drunk and mouthing off at the police go to his room and plays video games till 4or5in am talking we have to go to work to suport the house all we want is peace and quiet farther is 69 dont kneed the agravation i dont know how to say NO

  7. Lin says:

    Hi Brenda, what you’re dealing with is something I’ve written about quite extensively, and is commonly referred to as “helping vs. enabling”. Here’s a link to my article How to Stop Enabling which has several other articles on the subject. Once you’ve had a chance to read them, I’m sure you’ll find it relates well to the problems you’re experiencing. Let me know if you have any further questions.

  8. Rob O. says:

    Seems to me that a child will never truly understand the repercussions of losing or neglecting belongings unless there’s the opportunity to truly experience the loss. If your child loses a cell phone (and that’s a whole other rant – children don’t need cell phones!) there needs to be felt that sting of not having a coveted or (supposedly) needed item. I believe that will reinforce the need to care for belongings far more than any words can.

    Even at age 2, my son is beginning to grasp this ever so slightly. Granted, his attention & memory span severely limit how effective this is, but the main thing is that we’ve started to allow him to experience the consequences of his choices and my wife & I believe that’s a key to raising a responsible child who will someday be able to be self-sufficient and grounded.

  9. Lin says:

    Hi Rob, I agree with you that children of all ages need to learn to do without. Some would disagree about whether a child need a cell phone, since many are of the opinion their child can call them in an emergency or when stranded. I personally feel that’s just an excuse, a way for parents to feel guilted into buying and paying for more “stuff” that we managed to do without for generations.

    Just because there are technological advances that offer people various conveniences doesn’t make them necessary or required. And it certainly doesn’t mean parents are required somehow to pay for it. Just try and tell enabling parents that very fact and watch them squirm.

    I’m amazed at the number of parents who feel the need to “make things as easy” on their kids as possible, with the excuse “we didn’t have very much growing up and we want more for our kids than we had”. No wonder society is full of entitled kids and parents who are creating and indulging the problem. Until the parents go broke and they start wondering where did I go wrong? Hmmm.

  10. Rob O. says:

    One of my co-workers has a very appropriate motto: Just because you CAN do a thing, does not necessarily mean that you SHOULD do that thing.

    Likewise with all of the cell phones & text messaging-obsessed people. We somehow managed to survive quite nicely 20-30 years ago without all of this instantaneous communication. Yet today, the overwhelming majority of people feel that they “need” constant connectivity.

    Cell phones steal the independence and rationale from those who carry them. Especially with kids, they no longer have to mentally map out what they’ll be doing for the remainder of the day or if they’ll need something from someone else at some point in the day. Instead, they just wander blindly off into the day, knowing that they’re always a button-press away from their parents who’ll swoop in and rescue them at the last minute.

    I consider cell phones to be one of the worst “drugs” around now and its nasty side effects are rippling throughout our society practically unnoticed.

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