Did you know there is something called tough love and something called rough love or practicing harsh discipline?
Tough love is when you want your child to be disciplined and in your tone/approach, there is respect for your child. In your methods there is patience. You have empathy. You understand the struggles your child is going through. But, since you know it is necessary, you are tough. But practicing harsh discipline or rough love is a whole opposite concept.
This example will help you understand better.
Your child wants to watch a movie but the school project work is still pending. You know that your child has been waiting to see this movie for weeks but the project work has to be submitted tomorrow.
Your child comes to you with a request may he be allowed to see the movie.
You should hug the child, kiss the child and empathize with them. “I understand your pain, but all of us have to face the consequence of our choices,” is this what you say? Help him understand that he delayed the project work without genuine reasons. Empathize by saying, “Even though I understand your pain, you must be responsible for your choices”. You tell your child that you will help him every way you can to complete the project work but till it is done he cannot engage in other ‘comparatively non-essential’ activities.
What happens now is that,
The child will feel the pain of missing out on the movie but believe me this experience will help him in the long run. Whenever there is project work, he will make sure he finishes it on time. This is tough love.
Here you love the child and respectfully deal with the situation. Your child may not like you for that night. He might be angry too, but, in the long run, your child will thank you for lovingly teaching him discipline.
On the other hand,
‘Practicing harsh discipline’ is when, in the same situation, you scream at the child, shout at the child, make them fall in their own eyes or make them feel really low about themselves. You call your child names or say hurtful things like, ‘You cannot do anything right in life’. This is showcasing rough love or harsh discipline
At Wow Parenting, we understand that both ‘tough love’ and ‘rough love’ are born out of concern for the future of your child. Love is still present in both situations.
In tough love, the hurt is superficial and for short-term. But, in the long term, it creates self-esteem and self-belief.
In rough love or practicing harsh discipline, the hurt is very deep and long-term. Rough love creates a complex in a child.
So If you find that…
- Your child does things at the last moment…
- He was irresponsible in a situation…
- And is giving excuses and passing on blames…
…will you practice ‘tough love or rough love’?
In all these cases if you become rough or let your child make mistakes casually, they will never learn discipline.
With practicing harsh discipline, the child is left with deep hurt and anguish that leads to complexes, which eventually turns to lack of self-esteem in kids.
On the other hand, when you practice tough love, you are composed, you understand the pain yet your child understands that they cannot take things for granted. This tough love will create the child.
May you ALWAYS practice TOUGH LOVE and NEVER EVER rough love.