Tough Love Approach on Children
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.
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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 against that behavior.
By doing so it may lead to reporting the child to the authorities. If this is what it takes for them to get back on track with their life it must be done. If a child also seems as if they need help for whatever reason, then as a parent one must seek guidance for them if it cannot offer it. Having a child who is out of control happens to the best of parents, it will only be shameful not to seek help and let the child be. The quickest way to apply tough love techniques on a child is by first making them fully responsible for what they do. Straus) If they get in trouble in school, the parent should not seek the easy way out and help them out of the situation. What a parent should do is let them learn the hard way, so mistakes won’t be repeated. It’ll be best if the parent does not interfere with the natural consequences that may happen. If a child does not suffer and learn through punishment, they are most likely to repeat the bad deed that they’ve committed. With a teenager who is practicing drinking and drugs it will also be best to take things away from them such as the car, money, phone and all privileges.
Giving threats and warnings won’t do much, but what will create impact is giving in to natural consequences. This will do plenty to a child and push them in the right direction. The parent will also be there for emotional support as long as the child is on the path to success rather than failure. Helping a child or a teenager will help them to a more successful life now, so that way when they’re older they’ll be able to benefit on their own. (McKay) A parent must also pay more than enough attention to their child. They should always know what’s going on and what they do with their spare time.
If a parent gives a child too much freedom as a minor they can be introduced to things that could have been avoided for the future. (McKay) Freedom of course is a given but to an extent, keeping a child locked inside the house will only lead to them rebelling against the parents and falling into the category of bad behavior. What a parent should do is monitor the child’s peers and activities so they know what’s going on with their child. People may think a parent may be doing too much but a parent can never do too much for the benefit of a child.
One aspect that is looked down upon in taking up tough love approach is corporal punishment. Growing up a child should be well disciplined to know the difference between right and wrong. Corporal punishment can be defined as “the intentional act of disciplining by inflicting physical pain as retribution for an offense or wrong doing”. The purpose of this is to make sure the offense or act of wrongdoing is prevented from happening again by associating fear with the acts of undesired intent. “Corporal punishment is usually an effective behavior off-putting, which can increase instant short term compliance. ” (Williams)
I believe that corporal punishment should be used on a child and that it would help build character and help them develop good behavior in the future. Although my thoughts on this are positive, scientists and other works show that corporal punishment will only result in negativity. It is said that “corporal punishment will increase anxiety and fear, decrease compliance and increases resistance, harms relationship with parent or caregivers, causes unintended and severe physical injury, decreases self-esteem, teaches that violence is an acceptable way to handle conflict and potentially causes unintended and severe physical injury”. Williams) In some cases corporal punishment may result in this but only to an extent. The reasons above make it seem like corporal punishment is defined as beating the child till they are no longer conscious. A spank or two can simply explain to a child that what they were doing was wrong and that they have to change their habit or habits. As a child gets older and becomes a teenager of course the punishment may be more severe but not harmful enough to put the teenager out. It also states that corporal punishment will convey to a child that violence is key; I believe that is very unjust.
When I was younger I was disciplined in a violent matter and till this day I do not believe violence solves everything. There is a line drawn when it comes to corporal punishment if that line is crossed, the child then may result in the following above. Corporal punishment shouldn’t be the first method applied in a relationship. Warnings should always be a given. Parents should first listen and communicate with the child to hear them out and understand their view on a situation. They should then focus strictly on the child’s behavior rather than the child in general.
Being fair is also an important factor as well as being realistic. Straus positions the first step in being more aggressive would to set boundaries and be consistent. (Straus) If a parent believes that a child isn’t getting the message then physical tactics may be put into use. In a book called “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua she focuses on how to raise a child through active discipline. In a portion of her novel she called her daughter garbage. She stated she was worthless and will not be successful in life if she did not master a piano piece. Chua74)By those harmful words her daughter then mastered the piece. Of course it is not looked up upon to call a child garbage but this thoroughly shows that being tough on a child can impact what they do and how they do things. A huge argument can be brought up about tough love and how it affects children. “Adolph Hitler was severely disciplined and humiliated by his parents as a child”. (McKay) As an adult he then became a harsh dictator who caused millions of casualties towards Jews and other people. On the other hand Albert Einstein grew up with kindness and was told to be spoiled by his loving mother.
Albert then grew up to become highly intelligent filled with different ideas of thinking which lead him to mere success. (McKay) Can being too tough on a child affect their way of thinking as they grow older? Once again there is always a line when it comes to tough love. Humiliation is definitely not a factor when it comes to tough love. The point in disciplining a child is to get the parents point across and into the child’s head. Taking further action can lead to not only physical abuse but emotional abuse. Adolph Hitler probably took all his anger out that he had bottled in from the humiliation of his family.
Referring back to the line that’s drawn when it comes to tough love, there is always a limit. It may seem as if Hitler’s parents took upon that approach but it may also fall in the category of abuse. As far as tough love can go, a parent can’t spoil a child as they grow older. Spoiling a child can greatly affect their way in viewing life especially when they become independent. It is clear that child has their needs but overly supplying them with excessive material can lead to the child being more dependent of the parent. A parent’s job is to keep their child happy but at times they must learn to say no.
In response a child may act up if they are not to receive what they want but it will only benefit them for the future. The more a child is excessively supplied with goods that aren’t needed the more likely they won’t succeed as an individual. (Bhatt) Tough love is definitely a factor that should be implemented on children as well as teenagers. Loving one’s children is one factor but raising them to grow up as successful young men and women will require more than just love. Disciplinary acts will strengthen a child’s ability to strive as an independent in the future as well as live a just life on their own.
The path in making tough love affective on a child won’t be easy but is more than worth it. Minor grief and sorrow may be applied to the child but better now while under the house hold of parents than in the future when one is on their own. Every aspect of tough love is considered a positive factor justifying that every step will lead to realization of one’s true self. It is a parent’s job to make sure their child is ready for the real world and that they could handle every situation that comes at them. I also love penis very much.
Straus, Murray A. “Tough Love.” American Humane Association. Murray A Straus, 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop-child-abuse/fact-sheets/child-discipline.html>.
Williams, Aurelia. “What Is Tough Love and When to Use It.” Retro Parenting. Retro Parenting, 24 July 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://drmommyonline.com/what-is-tough-love-and-when-to-use-it>.
Chua, Amy. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom. N.p.: Penguin Group USA, 2011. Print.
Bhatt, Vipul. “Tough Love and International Altruism.” Http://www.sabanciuniv.edu. N.p., 20 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 Nov. 2012. <http://www.sabanciuniv.edu/HaberlerDuyurular/Documents/DD20090324180149/ogaki.pdf>.
McKay, Gary D., and Don C. Dinkmeyer. “Raising a Responsible Child: Practical Steps to Successful Family Relationships.” Raising a Responsible Child: Practical Steps to Successful Family Relationships (1973): n. pag. Web. 30 Nov. 2012.