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Tough love: When loving your teen can actually do more harm than good.
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 physical 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. You can actually do more harm when you believe you are helping or saving your child.
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 parent support groups or a local therapist. This does not reflect you as a parent, nor does it place blame on the family. The entire family is suffering, including the child.
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 (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, yet working with the entire family.
While in the whirlwind of confusion, frustration, and stress that the child is causing, it is hard to see the actual problem or issues. With time and distance, healing can occur. Tough love is a very painful and stressful avenue, but 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.
P.U.R.E.™ invites you to fill out a free consultation form for more information on finding the appropriate help for your teen.