As a parent advocate, I have heard many parents that turn to tough love as one of their last resorts to help their struggling teen. Many cannot understand or grasp the concept of, tough love or “not enabling” the child to ruin or run the family unit.
Enduring life with a teen that is running the home can result in many uproars, conflicts, arguments, battles, and sometimes psychical and verbal abuse. Tough love is exactly that: Tough. Loving our children is unconditional, but we don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are destroying their lives.
There will come a time when a parent realizes enough is enough!
This is the time that they need the support from outside sources, such as a Tough Love support groups, along with professional intervention.
This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family, it is the child that is making the bad choices and the family is suffering from it.
Many times tough love is simply letting go. Let the child make their mistakes and they will either learn from them or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately depending on the situation, it is not always feasible to wait until the last minute to intervene.
If you see that tough love is not working at home, it may be time to consider residential placement (placement outside the home). Quality Residential placements work with the entire family. Once the child is safely removed from the family, everyone is able to concentrate on the issues calmly and rationally.
Tough love can mean finding the most appropriate setting outside of the home for your child. While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or problems. With time and distance, the healing starts to occur.
Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, however in many families, very necessary and very rewarding. Tough love if used correctly can be helpful. However if you are the type to give in at the end, all the hard work of standing your ground will be for nothing.
Actually, your weakness or giving in could result in deeper and more serious problems. Please confer with professionals or outside help if you feel you are not able to follow through with what you are telling your child you will do.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, you are certainly not alone.
By Sue Scheff
Founder of Parent’s Universal Resource Experts
Author of Wit’s End!