Tough Love

tough love
-promotion of a person’s welfare, esp. that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions

-an expression used when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run. The phrase was evidently coined by Bill Milliken when he wrote the book Tough Love in 1968

I am the mother who drags a crying boy away from his lollipop.

I am the mother who carries a kicking child away from toy displays.

I am the mother who lets a whining boy roll on the ground for not getting what he wants.

But I am also the mother who gives in when he prefers biscuits over fruits. Or when he refuses help when climbing high chairs or doesn’t want to shower at night. Because I want him to grow up to be an independent person and make his own choices. Yes, there have been times I have had to bribe and cajole him. But I am still a learning mother. While I am still trying to learn when not to say no to win this war in a battle of wills, giving in to his every wish every time, of course, is still a no-no.

So, when to say no? When to say yes? A learning mother needs all the help she can get. For now, choosing the middle ground is my choice of parenting. And maybe read up on Tough Love and learn why children misbehave because raising a happy strong kid is my end goal.

Over the past 30 years, a major shift has occurred in American culture: the transfer of authority from parents to children. ~Dr Leonard Sax 

[Parents are] motivated by a desire to raise their children thoughtfully and respectfully. In theory, their intentions are good and their efforts impressive—-moms and dads today are trying to build up their kids by giving them influence; they also want to please them and avoid conflict. In reality, parents are at risk of losing primacy over their children. ~Cathy Gulli on The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up


Angel is a mother of one and works as a full time editor and writer. She writes on a wide variety of topics in a number of reputable publications.

You may also like...