I'm so tired of hearing mom's advocating Tough Love on their adult children with addiction issues. As parents, we seldom get it right when raising them. We neglect them for our jobs, ourselves, or other children with more immediate needs. Statically, 50% of the mom's who advocate tough love on their children are divorced. 1 out of 15 of their daughters have been sexually abused or assaulted. 1 out of 20 of their sons have been molested. Maybe you just never found out about it. Maybe they just can’t get over what ever it was that traumatized them. Maybe you just never knew what set them down a path of self destruction. Maybe it was you! It took us over 3 months to find out a neighbor rapped my 12 year old daughter, yet, we were suddenly dealing with a child acting out in the worst ways imaginable. Tough love has become an excuse to negate the responsibility of caring for the children you created in order to “move on with your lives”. You isolate yourselves from them to avoid being called an “enabler” and abandon your children, who, because of your parenting skills haven’t a clue “HOW” to be an adult. You let the state raise them because you can’t. You give them over to the state and lock them up in rehabs and institutionalize them because you can’t handle them and wonder why they come out knowing more about drugs, theft and manipulation than when they went in. Your love has always been the reward system. Conditional Love without an ounce of genuine empathy. Long range rewards compounded with almost eternal groundings and punishments that suck the life and hope right out of them. You set them up for failure. You demand more of them than you do yourself or expect them to be become instant adults at 18 when you’ve had enough. You’ve turned the TV on since they were infants and let Sesame Street teach them to read and allowed them to play video games until their frontal cortex became mush. Now, your children are really screwed up with expired drivers licenses, low paying jobs or no jobs at all, warrants for their arrest and more problems than you could ever hope to fix. Their addicted to drugs and alcohol, because, no matter how you justify yourself, you have failed them. You think you didn’t. You look for a way to excuse yourself. But you missed it somewhere. You find other mothers and support groups to give you the strength to abandon the children you created physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. No, not all family dynamics are the same and every situation between the child and parent relationship is different and every life experience has its own free radicals to create the millions of variations of ciaos that find it’s way into our lives everyday. But you walk away. You want them to fail until they hit so hard they learn to pick themselves up. People aren’t rubber balls. They don’t bounce. They break. And they break into smaller and smaller pieces every time you drop them. So abandon them. Cut them off. Let them fall on their face. Maybe they will get it together without your help. Besides, by the time they’ve reached adulthood, they probably realized that it was you who had the abandonment issues and not them. They understand you won’t help them because you can’t. That giving up on them is the best you can do. Tough love is an excuse for poor parenting and those that advocate it almost always turns into ugly, narcissistic bullies that take no responsibility for the damages they’ve created. You think you did all the right things, well obviously you didn’t. You cared more about your own needs, your loneliness, your financial stability, your job, your boyfriends, your health, your time, you own addictions, whether its, weed or the latest episode of The Bachelor. Pretty much everything comes before your children. You need to be shot the next time you tell someone “I did the best I could,” because you didn’t. Face it. Most of you probably have the nurturing instincts of a bird that eats it’s young. You’re emotionally detached. Fearful over money. You were probably abused yourself or neglected in some way by your own parents. You might think I’m generalizing the entire Mothering Universe. But that’s exactly what you do when you give in to the Tough Love Approach as a viable alternative to being a parent and taking responsibilities for your own lack of parenting skills. Eisenhower had to make a tough choice once too. Drop the atom boom and kill a few hundred thousand or let the wars rage on and allow a million more American men die. But after the war was over, we spent the next 20 years helping to rebuild a nation who was once so totally screwed up it sent its owns sons on suicide missions. If you failed your child when they were young, then it’s your responsibility to them and society to rebuild their lives. By the way, I had a good mom and dad that bought me unconditional love has no boundaries or limits and I'm a better man today for it. Yours Truly, The Enabling Dad AKA – The person left to clean up the emotional mess left by an emotionally challenged mother.