The Toughlove Prescription

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maril, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    Has anyone read this book? If so, any comments? This is one of several books I picked up at the library having to do with parenting teens. Interesting reading.

    One paragraph (pg. 10, The Problems Facing Today's Families) reads as follows, "As a result of pop psychology and societal changes that focus on the individual's rights, you are probably much more willing to accept questionable actions by your teens. You may have been brainwashed to think you need to allow a child's individual spirit to be expressed and set free with few limits. Politically correct parenting may have made you impotent."

    That is food for thought. Personally, I think I was more concerned with that "political correctness" when my kids were younger; at one point, I realized that if I did not find a way to be more assertive, my kids were going to run all over me; in my opinion, nobody wins that way. It has gotten better but it has also taken time and work.
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I seem to have fallen off the Tough Love wagon and I can't seem to figure out how to get back on - at least to where difficult child believes me.

    When my kids were younger, it was so different. I remember friends being amazed by how my kids listened (difficult child has always been more challenging she just usually does it in private). I replied of course. When I speak in this house it should be like God spoke. Ha! Teenagers will cure that. Actually, it starts about the age of 10.

    They were always encouraged to be individuals and creative, but with limits and boundaries. Then we went with a babysitter who is great with kids and the kids loved her, but she is very much a free-spirit and I never really was able to overcome that. The kids seemed so happy and this woman and I became close and I started to emulate her parenting technique. I mean, it was easier in the beginning to just let some things slide. However, once you lose your authority, it's much harder to get it back.
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    wyntersgrace: kudos to you as a single mom!!!

    I respect and agree with the statement where you said you encouraged your kids to be individuals and creative (I should not want to stifle that, of course) but with limits and boundaries (this is the part where difficult child has had more trouble than my daughter did and why I decided to toughen up; however, difficult child has had more challenges/has needed more parental support in some ways than daughter, i.e., school and all that goes with ADHD. I am also very aware that he is a follower along with having poor self-esteem and have tried to be helpful and guide him through those toughies).

    Thanks for listening and for your thoughts.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I haven't read the book but it sounds interesting. I think Heather has a point - I agree that once you lose authority it isn't easy getting it back. Looking back, I think I used to be somewhat more lenient with easy child than with difficult children. I think I was like this because I felt badly about all the chaos my difficult children created in our household.

    Now, easy child refuses to listen to me at all. Even the "do to get" approach doesn't work well. I feel like a worn out floor mat - Her nasty attitude, refusal to do simple chores, etc. is wearing me down.

    Underneath it all, buried somewhere, I still think easy child is pretty level headed and responsible for her age. I know this sounds hypercritical, but she still calls me when she is going to be late getting home from anywhere and is very responsible when it comes to doing her homework. She gets excellent grades and has future career goals. She has a strong work ethic outside of our house. She understands the value of a dollar and will gladly give up free time on a weekend to "dog sit" my neighbors' two dogs. To an outsider looking in, she is almost a "model" teen.

    I think I should read the book. I'm not sure how I'm going to survive easy child's teen years... WFEN
  5. maril

    maril New Member

    Yeah, I know the floor mat feeling. I try to "take charge" but guess I am trying to "mess with established behavior patterns" and probably won't be incredibly successful; in retrospect, some of this is my fault but, hey, hindsight is 20/20.

    Even though difficult child is on the brink of adulthood, I still feel I can learn and keep trying -not ready to give up; hence, reading the books...

    Your easy child sounds much like my daughter, as far as being level-headed and responsible. daughter just turned 23, so I must add that we did have our rough spots when she was a teen, also. Eventually, things did get better, she matured, I grew, too, and she is a wonderful young woman. I am so thankful.
  6. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Reading your response about your 23 yr old daughter gives me hope. I'm glad she blossomed into a wonderful young woman. You deserve to be very, very proud of her!!!

    I hope and pray that someday, I'll be able to feel the same way about my easy child. We were always close until she hit her teen years. Even then, we still enjoyed each other's company last summer... Now, I miss that closeness. I miss her... WFEN
  7. maril

    maril New Member

    Awww...thanks, WFEN. Hang in there, and my wishes for the best for you and your daughter. I remember up until just a few years ago that "phase" my daughter had gone through starting somewhere in the teens till about a couple of years into college, where she was sometimes embarrassed by me as well as impatient with me. I am so glad that passed. I enjoy her company and love it that she seems to enjoy mine as well.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    once you lose your authority, it's much harder to get it back.

    Absolutely, Heather!

    I haven't read the book ... at this point, I'm still wading though The Bipolar Child and digesting the part about stealing, since it's close to my heart at the moment.

    But it sounds interesting, and I do agree, that pop culture is totally clueless, and more, that it's damaging.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  9. maril

    maril New Member

    It is damaging, and I could kick myself for being gullible back when I was a young parent; a little bit of the rebel, too, since I thought "my way" was going to be better than my parents. My parents were actually pretty good but both with baggage; still, they were very responsible and committed, and I was a brat for taking it for granted. ;)
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marilynne, are they still alive? Were you ever able to tell them that you appreciated their efforts?

    My husband and I alwasy joke that we are not going to scr*w up our kids the way our parents messed us up. We're going to invent entirely NEW ways to mess up our kids! LOL!
  11. maril

    maril New Member

    TerryJ2: :bigsmile: Funny...

    To answer your question: I have told my mom many times how lucky my brothers and I were and that I would be in trouble if they had not raised me the way they did! We all got a chance to be with my dad the night he passed, and I am so glad I got to tell him I love you and what a good job he did.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    {{{Sigh.}}} :)