Since the 1970s, tough love has received a great deal of attention. It's all about creating tough consequences for teens when they make irresponsible or dangerous decisions. Sadly, the term has been used to describe a parenting style that often resembles bully behavior. Parents are struggling with their parenting voice — trying to find a way to be effective parents with teens who are making poor choices. They need help practicing tough love by creating healthy boundaries and external controls for children who are unable to do this for themselves. 10 Ways To Keep Your Kids From Growing Up Too Fast
If you're parenting teens, your job is just plain harder!
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The issue comes into play when parents cross the line from effective mindful parenting into bullying behavior. Tough love isn’t about a parents’ convenience. Its not a ‘style’ to practice when teens makes choices that are different, when they say “no” to parental demands, or when they embarrass the family. Difference is not defiance. Here are the warning signs of bully parenting.
1. You frequently raise your voice when communicating with your teen. Do you meet your child at the end of the day with a lecture? Holler when your teen won't get going in the morning? Do you yell, telling yourself that your teen knows you love them anyway and this is just your style?
2. You find yourself reminding your teen of his failures. Do you ever say, "I knew you wouldn't remember to do what I told you to do?" Your voice is loud, and you use put-downs when you're frustrated with your teenager. Have you said, "Well what did you expect? An A? I've told you a million times you won't get good grades when you never study."
3. You are impatient with your teen's self expression, and take his differences from you as a personal insult. Parents can feel threatened when their teen changes their hairstyle, gets tattoos or piercings, or reject the parent's religious beliefs.
4. You threaten "consequences" if your teen doesn't comply with your demands."If you're not home in ten minutes, I'm calling the cops!"
5. Sometimes you're nice, other times you're not nice at all. You justify this by saying that everyone has bad days sometimes, that your teen pushes too hard, or that part of life is that they won't always be treated well and they need to toughen up. Do you justify rude statements and put-downs of your teen by telling yourself (and them) that they're just too sensitive?
6. You blame your teen for your bad moods."I wouldn't have to yell if you would just pay attention / listen to me / follow direction / stop arguing / do what you're told …!"
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7. You expect your teen to "bow to your wisdom." "Why don’t you ever listen to me?"
8. You and your teen frequently get into arguments and you usually win. Do you find yourself always being "right" when arguing with your teen?