Is tough love an effective parenting measure?

Tough love is a parenting approach that helps children realise that even though their parents have undying love for them, they won’t just sit back and watch as they misbehave. Tough love parenting is one that sends a message that says “I know you don’t like what I am doing, but I will do it anyway because I love you and it is good for you”. This is what teenagers in most cases find hard to comprehend.

The ultimate idea behind tough love is for a parent to love their child enough for them to consistently set rules and regulations that are to be followed. Consequences should be implemented as well, if in case rules are broken. In most cases, this is where the war between a child and a parent begins. This occurs especially with teenagers, since this is the period when they develop their own understanding and take on life.

 When a child becomes a teenager, their personality has grown and they believe that their way of handling things is probably the right way. Well of course this can’t be true. Yes, a child’s opinion or view matters, but at that age, a parent’s guidance is always needed.

“Of course I believe tough love is an essential measure regarding parenting. However, sometimes I just feel like it is exaggerated. Our parents need to tone it down a bit. I think we can all find common ground if we compromise on how extreme the measures need to be,” says Sheenah Keza, a high school student at Green Hills Academy.

One of the areas that stir trouble between teens and parents is wanting to go out whenever and however they want. Teenagers from all corners of the world all have one belief. They are certain they can take care of themselves when they are out and don’t see the need for their parents to constantly check in on them. Then the teen comes home past their curfew. A parent then has to make the tough choice of either letting it slide, or using the incident as an opportunity to teach the child some life lessons. This will mould them into being liable adults.

“Tough love is definitely necessary when raising a child, especially teenagers. Teenagers tend to think their way is the right way, yet we as parents truly know what is best. And it takes time for a child to understand that,” Jacqueline Munezero, a parent of two teenage girls, says.

That being said, tough love can be implemented as a parenting measure. Such means of parenting on the other hand shouldn’t be used as an excuse for brutality. There is always a civilised way of instilling discipline.


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