Does tough love parenting workDoes the tough love parenting method assist children with growing and evolving into mature, responsible balanced adults?

It is surely a way to work with children, but does it benefit children more so than simple love?

No, it does not. Then why do parents still use tough love parenting?

Every parent has used it to some degree. It is the process of approaching and raising children from the ego-perspective using force.

Tough love parenting forces children to be a certain way through, usually, verbal, emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Abuse is tough but not in a loving way.

Parents use tough love parenting to deal with situations because they have no other coping mechanisms to use. Parents call this abuse tough love because they want to be seen and feel as though they are good loving parents.

Parents who use the tough love parenting method want to feel it is actually good for their child’s development when in fact it is detrimental. Please remember that soul-based parenting includes allowing, observing, learning and understanding.  Ego-based parenting relates to forcing, judging, proving and blaming.


© 2015 Jason Nelson

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#9 Jason Nelson 2012-12-12 18:28
Comment by Jason Nelson:
Thank you for all the comments! I’ve been speaking a lot about this subject on the radio lately for my new book, particularly the topic of soul-based discipline. I’ll talk a bit about it here but if you’d like to understand this more, please read my book or listen to some shows on my media page.

Soul-based discipline is the process of teaching from a neutral and hopefully loving place, versus the ego-based discipline which is the process of punishing from a reactive and usually angry place. Does this make sense?

Very important: parents are doing their best and children are doing their best, or both would do better. That being said, when parent reacts toward the child, it is not the child’s fault that their parent is emotional and even abusive. Each of us is responsible for our own emotions and thoughts, and especially actions. The tough truth with tough love is that it is attempting to match a child’s perceived misbehavior with misbehavior from the adult through punishing the child. Conflict doesn’t resolve with more conflict. It resolves with love and kindness. Suffering doesn’t resolve with more suffering. It resolves with acceptance and understanding. Pain doesn’t harmonize with more pain, it harmonizes with connection and listening.

Children who have parents reacting from ego, can remember it is not their responsibility to accept Mom and Dad’s story about the them. It is just a story, and the true story is that every child is a beautiful perfect creation.

Every step we take as adults to choose to come from the soul-based perspective and love our children, especially when it is the most challenging, we enable them to grow into loving adults too.
#8 Rebecca 2012-11-25 18:59
I have to disagree with your article. Tough love is not abuse and what you explain in your article is abuse. I use the tough love method without verbal, mental, or physical abuse from my point of view anyways. I believe that tough love is more of a natural consequence way of punishment. I don't bail my children out or run around behind them with a net to catch them when they fall. I let them fall and next time they won't make that mistake. Am I a bad parent for doing this? I think not I believe I am a good parent for this because when my children get old enough to take care of themselves they will know how and won't be asking or depending on me to do everything for them. I do however balance this out by spending quality time with them. That is playing board games or going to the movies (hanging out)and they seem to love that.
#7 Kehaulani 2012-11-08 21:35
so i really would like to know...?? why do they want to blame the child or even abuse if its there own at fault. i am 16 years old and am growing up really fast because this tough love stuff. please tell me is it really our faults???
#6 Andrea 2012-09-28 19:57
Tough love just creates anger in your child, or adolescense. Perhaps, you need to look at yourself. If you have been angry and abusive at some point; you are going to have a resentful, disrespectful child. Look inward. Stop screaming, name calling; and try be loving, patient, and understanding. Your child will come around, and begin to listen to you and obey; if you haven't alientated him with your domineering and abusive ways until his mind is made up against you. He didn't get that way from being in a loving home.
#5 betty 2012-09-28 19:54
Tough l ove doesn't work if your child has an anger issue, and is disrespectful towards you. You are just adding to the child's anger, and creating more of a problem for yourself and him.

Instead try asking him why he is so angry; let him vent; get it out; try to be non-judgemental; tell him you understand. It might take a while and his anger may continue for a period. Gradually, when he sees you are trying to understand, he will change, heal, and you and he will begin to have a better relationship. You can't be angry with a child that is hurting inside.
#4 Patty Connelly 2010-02-22 19:08
When my son was a teenager and I didn't have a clue what I was doing, I ended up at a Tough Love meeting. It never made sense. It seemed to me the parents were figuring out a way to place the blame on the child for having such nut cases for parents. I, being one of them.

One evening I was driving home and having a conversation with God and saying "how could my son ever survive, having had such nut cases for parents." It finally occurred to me that as long as I was seeing my son as a victim, I was helping to cripple him. I decided that perhaps my son, being a spiritual being also, was probably capable of taking is own spiritual path and that he was also that connection to God himself. Life has been so much easier, for both me and him, since I started seeing him as a powerful and mighty being.
#3 Julie 2009-12-12 01:25
I have been butting heads with this very parenting style for years, I always knew it just wasn't right but could not explain what it was about that I had such a problem with. This definition hit it right on the head for me. Until now all I could come up with was "You first need love and then it has to be tough" because it was my sense that this practice was far too easy for some people so it just makes perfect sense that it is EGO-BASED. Thank you!
#2 Jackie 2009-09-20 10:18
I agree! My parents still practice this even today and I'm 23 years old already. My question is how should the children deal with parents who are ego based?
#1 stella pacific 2009-09-07 03:30
Bravo, Jason! I agree whole-heartedly with your article about tough love! You explained it beautifully!

Thanks for putting this explanation out there...there are far too many who need to know this and understand it!

Stella ;-) (ps- I'm a friend of Leah's)