Tough Love Approach on Children

Topics: Love, Abuse, Parent Pages: 7 (2375 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Joshua Red

In American society, media portrays tough love as a negative factor that should not be applied to children. Coming from a family with a tough love approach, I would have to disagree with the majority. Tough love opens up a whole new way of raising a child especially when it comes to them growing up in the long run. Many people would look down upon “tough love” considering they want to see their child content and corporal punishment would of course upset them. The road to taking a tough love approach may be rough but in the end, it would all be worth it. I believe all parents should take a tough love approach in raising their children to benefit them in the future.

An interesting research would state tough love does not allow enabling; parents usually try to seek to be friends with their children rather than taking up the roll in actually parenting them. (Straus) It is important to maintain a close relationship with a child but also remember one’s roll as a parent. Giving leeway to a child while knowing they are wrong and not pursuing in punishment or consequence would only lead to a greater chance in the child repeating their mistake. There is nothing wrong with trying to be friends with your children as long as their wrongs will still be pointed out and made right.

One question that may come across a tough love approach would be what exactly is tough love? Tough love can be defined as many things depending on the parent and their views on how to raise their children. Major aspects of tough love would fall in the categories of discipline, assertiveness, and corporal punishment to an extent. In other words parents shouldn’t let their children have their way if they know that their behavior isn’t proper. “Tough love is simply not letting a child practice bad behavior or anything that will lead to mischief or trouble in the long run.” (Straus)

Another way of seeing tough love is the approach parents take to love their children enough to set limits and follow them through on the appropriate consequences when they are not followed. Referring to Williams, he states that a major problem parents have is struggling to be assertive with their children.(Williams) For example, a child can be using illegal narcotics such as drugs. The child can be coming home high while the parent has somewhat of an idea what the child has been doing but chooses not to act upon it. A child or teenager may also be bad mouthing the parent, the parent then chooses to avoid what’s really going on and ceases to do anything. Some parents may be afraid that their child may run away or somehow separate themselves from the household that they choose to give in to this kind of behavior.

Straus suggests another path parents can take to let their child get away with things is by simply pretending it’s not happening or saying it couldn’t possibly happen to their child. (Straus) By doing this a child or teenager will learn nothing and continue on with their bad habits or anything else that is looked down upon by the parent. In a strange way the parent might feel a sense of relief by giving in to the child but in reality this will only result in danger or harm for the child now and in the future.

Being the parent of a teenager, a huge responsibility is set not only on the child but to the world as a whole to contribute to society rather than create a pull on society. One way parents can take a tough love approach and seeing that it is okay is by having a mindset in which “it is acceptable to be tough because it’s for the best and that it’s all out of love. It is best to start a tough love approach when the children are at a younger age because it will conclude better. Even if this process is to begin early, a teenager can still learn a lot by implementing on tough love aspects. What this means is that if a child chooses to do anything that can harm others as well as themselves, a parent must take a stand...
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