tough love

there is a very fine line between nice and too nice.  between tough and too tough.  between firm and too firm.  these fine lines are lines you, as parents, have to distinguish and stick to through trial and error.  ultimately you have to parent how you feel is right.  discipline in ways you feel are logical and fair.  in ways that work for you and your family.  no one, me included, can tell you how to parent.  nor, should anyone tell you how to parent.  this is your job!  they are your kids, your responsibility and it is all up to you how you decide to take this journey. 

i have found through teaching and parenting that kids don’t have to be a burden.  they don’t have to be constantly difficult, troublesome, irritating, and so on.  kids truly are the worlds biggest gift and i feel it is my job as a parent now and back when i was teaching to foster them to the best of my ability.  to help mold and shape them to become the best people they can be.  in order to do this, i have found you need to find that fine line between nice and too nice and tough and too tough and create a world of tough love!  two words that may seem complete opposites of one another, but when put together they become one of the most powerful tools any parent can have. 

tough love…what exactly does that mean?  to me, it means to love, love, and love your kids as much as humanly possible.  within this love the word tough is embedded throughout.  tough refers to the type of discipline i use within my love.  this may sound strange, but discipline, 100%, is love.  you can’t really fulfill the love without it.  by disciplining and finding your balance of tough love you are showing them the ultimate love.  the love that shows that you, their parents, care so much about them that you demand they behave and act appropriately.  that there are no if, ands or buts about it.  that you are tough enough to follow through with each inappropriate behaviour no matter how busy or exhausted you may be.  that you will follow through daily and take all the time it needs until they learn your expectations and act accordingly.  no one can do this for you.  you as the parent are your kids only hope.  don’t do them a disservice and ignore their naughty behaviour.  do to them as they deserve and give them tough love!

lately i have had many discussions with mothers whom feel they don’t want to be mean.  or they feel they may be acting too nice.  i can assure you, that if you feel this way, you are definitely NOT alone!  this act of tough love takes hard work and commitment.  as a parent it takes practice, but i promise you, you can do it and once you establish this love with your kids you will be so thankful that you took the time and energy to create this tough love balance in your household.

kids want nothing more than to please you!  they idolize you.  they want to mimic all you do.  therefore we need to take this job extremely seriously and do it to the best of our ability.  start brainstorming today about what your discipline actions are in your household.  do they exist?  are they consistent?  are they fair?  are you firm in your delivery?  these are questions we can all ask ourselves.  by creating a firm, fair and consistent discipline approach you will be showing them the tough love they deserve and need.  it’s not yelling or hitting or scaring your kids.  it’s simply a firm voice, that shows you mean business.  sometimes it’s a look with the voice and others the look alone will do the trick.  have a consistent plan thoughout.  for example:  3 strikes you are out and time out to follow for each and every inappropriate behaviour.  stick to it no matter what.  parenting is hard work, but we all had kids and now it’s our job to do our job!  in my opinion parenting is the biggest job on the planet and if you try your very best than your kids are very, very lucky to have you as their parent!! 

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