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Tough Love

How do you show tough love so your teen learns that you are the parent, without them hating you?

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Asked by badmoparmom at 2:52 PM on Dec. 20, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 7 (181 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Thats where the tough part comes in. They will hate you but they will also see you are serious. It's tough for both.

    Answer by luvmygrlz at 2:54 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Idk if there is an easy answer for this one. I just do it. They know I still love them no matter what, but there are consequences for their actions. It really helps to build their character, make them responsible for their actions and think first before they act. all part of growing up in my opinion. If I let them get away with stuff everytime they screwed up there would never be accountability. To me thats a huge life skill.

    Answer by beyondhopes at 2:57 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • You don't.

    If you seek to be vicious, cruel and heartless to someone else, you can pretty much expect it right back at you.

    I always recommend being much more loving (actually loving, not compensating for a lack of connection and affection with stuff) than is reasonable in any given situation...

    We have a terrible story of what happens when tough love is imposed on children, even at quite a late age, here in Canada: one of Paul Bernardo's victims was 3 minutes late for curfew and her mother locked her out of the house. While she was fretting about what to do with herself at 18 with nowhere to sleep and no idea where to go or what to do, Paul came along.

    The video footage of her rapes and torture and eventual murder, assisted by his wife Karla Homolka, were destroyed with the understanding that they would never be needed again as the descriptions of them were horrific enough, and Karla turned State's Evidence.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:59 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • As parents sometimes we have to be "the bad guy" and show that their behavior or actions are not acceptable. You know what is reasonable and what is not. We love our kids no matter what, and sometimes they will hate us for doing what is right. Being their pal isn't going to teach them responsibility and common sense. In some cases, because mom and dad keeps bailing the child out of trouble, the child learns that he or she can do no wrong and eventually finds themselves in jail or worse. Sometimes love means being tough.

    Answer by duckigrrl at 3:05 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I think that you have to be balanced & fair. Kids don't always like it, but they do have to learn to follow rules. They will have to follow rules for the rest of their lives. If they don't follow the rules at work, they won't be able to keep a job, if they are spoiled and selfish people then they won't be able to have healthy relationships, and they will always feel like they're owed something....& the sad thing is, that in giving in to them to make them happy, they are only happy for the moment & they end up unhappy often for the rest of their lives because they believe they are entitled.

    Yes, we need to act out of love with our children, that was the biggest parenting advice my dad every gave me, make sure you are acting out of love, not out of anger.....but also not because what you're doing is easier than holding your child accountable. That's the hard part. Those poor parents in Canada can't be held accountable


    Answer by ohwrite at 3:35 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • for what one evil person did. You can find examples of kids who have died of drug abuse, or in drunk driving accidents, or any other number of ways because their parents DIDN'T enforce rules & the kids felt they had a right to do what they wanted.

    Being a parent is the hardest job their is, and sometimes our kids hate us......but usually later they come back & thank us & I can tell you that from personal experience w/ my own boys. I wasn't a spanker, but I did enforce consequences & as they got older, sometimes they hated the consequences, but they always knew what they would be if they broke the rules & why we had the rules. They don't have to agree, but they have to respect our rules and follow them.

    If you want to drive, you have to follow the laws, or risk losing your license or even your car. If you want a job, you have to follow the rules or risk not getting promotions or even lose the job. We all have rules to follow.

    Answer by ohwrite at 3:39 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • If you worry too much about them hating you for enforcing the rules, then you'll end up with out-of-control children. Of course, they're not going to like when you give them rules and consequences, they're teenagers who want to be adults. But you're the adult for now and it's up to you to do the right thing, whether they like it or not. Hang in there!!

    Answer by ceallaigh at 4:10 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I agree with the previous poster.

    Answer by older at 4:31 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Sorry, I laughed out loud when I read this. Did you have moments as a teen when you said you hated your parents? We all did. Now it is your turn. I say, if my kids are not angry with me, then I am not doing my job. Friends they have...parents they NEED!

    Answer by salexander at 12:52 PM on Dec. 21, 2010

  • I did not have rules for 1 child and boy did that turn around and ruin his life, we are now practicing tough love and he is not living with us anymore, set your rules make them follow, we enabled our son.........................

    Answer by lovelife1127 at 9:00 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

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