We are wired to love, care and protect our relationships but sometimes the situation is out of our hands, and we are vulnerable to damage. In such times, it is important to practice tough love to undertake decisions which impact your whole life in the long run.
Tough love is an effective relationship strategy which is based on the blend of toughness and warmness that directs you toward a better life.
It is a widely practised approach used in different areas of life. Tough love advocates the following principles:
- Better communication
- Expression of softness and firmness side by side
- Respecting your relationships
- Setting fair boundaries and expectations
- Grooming yourself personally and professionally
- Taking strict measures in adverse situations
Practising tough love in parenting
Being parents makes us wired to love and protect our children, but oftentimes this kind of love is insufficient to breed discipline in children.
Tough love is a successful parenting strategy that helps groom a sense of responsibility in children by enabling them to learn the consequences of their actions and behavior, rather than giving them a soft touch at everything in life.
Tough love teaches right attitude to the troubled teens and makes them control their temper, fuel a sense of responsibility, teach them moral values and help them develop a good character.
It is often confused with authoritarian parenting style which focuses on controlling children and ultimately has a bad effect on children.
Tough love can be devastating if practiced that way.
Is tough love helpful?
It is important to note that tough love allows you to give your children a reasonable space to anticipate their actions and outcomes.
It helps you make sensible decisions which are good for children in the long run. It does not endorse enforcing yourself on children all the time. It teaches you to respect your children as they learn to grow into sensible individuals and positively contributing citizens of society.
As parents are the role models, they should inspire children with their words and actions; therefore, kindness and empathy are the essentials of tough love.
Tough love is a complete philosophy which does not endorse any kind of disrespectful actions like spanking or hitting the children, confining them to the house or a single room as a punishment, harsh punishments, physical violence or mental abuse.
It teaches them good lessons and helps them pave a successful path to get a better start in life, thereby breeding responsible and smart children.
Tough love for overcoming addictions
Tough love can prove to be a lifesaver for addicts.
It enforces to establish healthy boundaries and combat addiction by exercising self-control and discipline in life. Thus, in doing so, it may involve serious actions like refusing to provide any kind of legal or financial aid to the child, like assisting with bail money or paying their bills.
However, in adverse situations, one should not attack or harm the addict, rather seek an intervention specialist or report if your child is persistent on drugs.
Tough love and relationship advice
When it comes to romantic relationships, tough love may sound scary, but it’s a harsh and sometimes quite necessary reminder of each other’s self-worth.
Tough love can pave a path for deeper understanding and intimacy by fostering tolerance, vulnerability, consent and necessary criticism at the same time. Romantic partners should strike a balance between soft and tough love as it is necessary for the wellbeing of your partner.
Tough love teaches important lessons in a relationship
Tough love teaches important lessons in a relationship, like not to take your partner for granted, and ultimately saves a relationship. It helps you and your partner establish and cherish values in a friendly way, leading to a better understanding and awareness about each other’s wants and needs as well as practical necessities of a relationship.
However, it is important to empathize and have an open mind at the same time. Proper communication is the key because cold attitude can breed violence.
The important reminders for couples who practice tough love are:
- Never threat, abuse or embarrass your partner
- Express yourself
- Respect your partner
- Take firm actions to follow boundaries