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Have you ever had to do tough love?

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2014 at 8:13 PM
  • 6 Replies
I feel like my kids are getting out of control. Ex: fighting, talking back, not helpful. I am super stressed all the time and they are making me loose my mind not to mention causing a rift in our marriage. Their ages are 14, 11, 10. I have taken away sport practices, games, electronics..etc. And nothing seems to work :( Hoping someone can help me.
by on Mar. 6, 2014 at 8:13 PM
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 7, 2014 at 12:11 PM
What are you wanting to try with "tough love"?
by on Mar. 9, 2014 at 1:32 AM

First , you're not alone! Mine are older now.  I do remember those days all to well.  An important thing to remember is that we as parents shouldn't take away everything because it will get worse.  I would encourage you to allow sport practices for two reasons.  First , the activity will help them express their frustration and second, it is a postive outlet.  Their behavior that you mentioned is typical for siblings as well as their age.  I learned the hard way and I hope this helps but a lot of it has to do with how WE as PARENTS respond.  You will be surprised at their reaction when you react in a soft voice.  THEY have to quiet themselves in order to hear you which will take practice but the end results are amazing!!! If we as parents allow them to express themselves while showing them that we are actively listening you will have some change.  After they have shared their feelings,side of the story and or frustration we then can let them know; example; I hear what you are saying and I can understand how you about we try to handle this like...or give ideas on healthier ways to handle the situation.  

I hope this is or will be of some help.   Don't forget to be good to yourself as well!  All the daily responsibility's add up along with "life happening" it takes one small step at a time in the right direction.  :)

by on Mar. 10, 2014 at 1:13 AM
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My kids and I were just discussing this, this morning. They know that I will be just as permissive or tough of a parent as they want me (or make me) be. My actions are dependent on theirs.

About the fighting, a therapist gave me some great advice about this a few years ago and it has made a world of difference in our house. You start with telling them that everyone (parents included if needed) is going to work on how we talk to each other. You give them two weeks to practise (you will be correcting them alot during those two weeks) and then there will be punishments. Everytime you hear someone yelling or saying something in an inappropriate tone, ask them to say it again in a nice way. After the two weeks, everytime you hear an argument start, all participants in the argument get a chore to do. Don't accept "we weren't arguing", if it sounded like an argument then appropriate tones/works were not being used. It took less than a week after the chores started to see a huge difference.

As far as not being helpful, I have been known to go on strike to get the point across that we are a family and we all pitch in to help. I am not a slave and refuse to be treated like one. I stopped doing their laundry for them ( they know how to do their own), I stopped cooking for them (they know how to cook), I stopped doing anything for them that they could do themselves to show them just how much I do for them, they quickly changed their tunes.

Hang in there Mamma! These years can be tough, but good years too.

by on Mar. 10, 2014 at 1:53 AM

<3 I have a 9 y old and a 4 month old so you know way more than me I am sure. If you were advising a mom on here in a similar situation what would you tell her? Do that.  Also I am sure you already do this but it can help to identify the cause of an underlying behavior. And you know we can only effectively address 1 behavior at a time. We home school but even if you don't homeschool I am sure you can pick one goal for the family to address and then every time there is a teachable moment tie it back into that goal. Maybe your goal is showing respect to others. If that were the case and it's time to get dinner started. You ask your kids to do their part but they balk, as kids will do. You say sometime like "So what you are saying is you would rather read your novel. I understand that, I can respect that. This doesn't change the fact that you as a part of a community are expected to respect the norms of it. In this case helping with dinner."  Or say they made a bad choice and got caught "You chose to do xyz instead of abc. The consequence as you are aware is blah blah blah. By choosing as you did you disrespected yourself in this way, and disrespected your family that way."

Since our family has had a very challenging past year I have set the goal for us to work on family cohesion. So I try to emphasis that when my 9 y old gives me a hard time about doing a chore, how does this effect himself and how does this effect the family as a whole? When he makes good choices I emphasize the same things. For example he noticed the rice on the stove was starting to burn and took care of it all on his own. I thanked him and pointed out how he's grown over the past year, going from only knowing how to use the microwave to cooking on the stove, and how he helped the whole family by preventing waste, smoke in the house (we have a premie with chronic lung disease and others have asthma) and prevented a fire from even being a possibility.  

by Member on Mar. 12, 2014 at 8:49 AM


Quoting butzi: What are you wanting to try with "tough love"?

by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:22 AM

When my 13 yr old fights with her 4 or 6 yr old siblings, which happens alot, we practice being kind. Meaning that she has to spend every minute for a specified amount of time being kind and doing whatever they want. Play barbies, house, wii games, paint, make cookies, whatever. The kind time starts over every time they start to argue. Works every time.


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