Last month I spoke about LOVE and a Parent’s love. It is an important action a child will need. It will help so much. There is also that other part of parenting that can be difficult, that is when you must give tough love. This is the hardest part of parenting. Remember when we were young and if we would hear parents say before disciplining the child. “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you”. Now I did not get disciplined a lot, but I did hear children say that, and when my mom would be upset she would say that from time to time. That never made sense to me, because if I am the one that is getting in trouble how is this going to hurt me more than you? When I became a mother I understood. With the love I have for my children, I never want to see them hurt, and I don’t ever want to hurt them. Have any other parents felt this way?
My two children mean the world to me, they have taught me so much and in this parenting life, I am still learning. They are now adults, one 25 and the other 21. I still must provide guidance for them from time to time. With both of them, I have had to give tough love, and I was completely heartbroken. Not because I don’t want them to be upset with me, but because I just want them to do what was right.
I have heard many people say, parents just don’t want their kids to be mad at them. Or, they won’t give that tough love because they are trying to be their kid’s friend. Have we stopped to think that this is a hard thing that the parent might have to do? I will share in disciplining my kids when they were younger, and as they got older I would cry. As they became young adults I would cry giving them tough love. First, because I never want to see my children struggle or go without. Second, I do not want to see them hurt. Lastly, I just want to see my kids prosper and be happy. The joy my kids have makes me happy.
When do we have to give tough love to our children?
- When they are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. This means however you raised the children, and they choose to do the complete opposite.
- When your young adult does not want to respect your household and rules.
- When they just need to bump their heads a few times.
Sometimes we need to allow our children to go through their growing pains, which as we watch and cannot fix, hurts us just as much as it could be hurting them.
Tough love is not an easy task and how do we as parents get through it? Stay strong and in prayer. The hardest part of parenting is teaching your child how to adult (Which is providing guidance). Many times we are trying to push through our own pain. When our children see us being strong, getting through, and seeing resilience, they will know they can get through tough times. Do not give up. Just keep praying harder. Tough love is not bad, it is something that we may have to do. As our children get older they will appreciate all the tough love that we had to give.