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1.Introduction

“Tough-love parenting- Should or
Shouldn’t?” is currently a highly controversial issue. “Tough-love” is an
expression that is used in regards to one person treating another person in a
strict, firm, consistent, yet loving manner with the intent of helping that
individual in the long run” (York & Watchel, 1982, p.52). Based on this
work, tough-love teaches parents the way how to face and address problems, meet
the challenges and then, according to their experiences, they can give a young
person or their children the orientation, a sense of direction and support. By
contrast, in real life, there are also some more factors that can prevent
tough-love parenting from being successful such as diversity of children. It
can be clearly seen that, tough-love parental choice in education is not
consistent with every child due to their behaviors and their living
environment. This paper, with the purpose to raise awareness and change the
attitudes of people about the way they teach their children, will discuss the
positive and negative effects of this parenting style.

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2. Discussion of findings

2.1. What is “tough-love” parenting?

In the process of a child’s development,
there are a great number of factors have impact on this such as the teachers,
the friends, or the environment of living or education. However, the first and
foremost element which must be totally concerned is parenting. Diana Baumrind,
the author of a vast number of parenting research, divide parenting styles as
three types: the permissive parents, the authoritarian parents and the
authoritative parents. Each of them have their own advantages and
disadvantages; however, Baumrind found authoritative parenting to be associated
with better outcomes for children (Spina, 2015). Expanding on that parenting
styles, based on Baumrind’s research, Bill Milliken, an educator, in his 1968
book first released the noticeable parenting called “Tough-love”. There has no
clear definition of “Tough-love”. Nonetheless, it can be easily understanding
that “Tough-love is an expression that is used in regards to one person
treating another person in a strict, firm, consistent, yet loving manner with
the intent of helping that individual in the long run” (York & Watchel, 1982,
p.52). It has been noticed that “tough-love” approaching is positively
evaluated to have the higher successful ratio that “children brought up by
parents practicing “tough-love” are more likely to have well-rounded
personalities and well-developed characters” (Spina, 2015).

2.2. What are positive effects when a child was
educated by tough-love parenting?

It has been noticed with concern that each
parenting styles possesses their specific merits and demerits. On the authority
of Baumrind’s research, there are three models of parental control which are authoritarian,
authoritative and permissive parenting. In fact, as the definition,
“tough-love” parenting is one of the styles excluding from the Baumrind’s
research. This expression was first utilized by Bill Milliken in his 1968 book
with the same name “Tough Love”. According to some reports and some previous
researches, it was generally reckoned that this “tough-love” parenting style shares
some similarities with Baumrind’s authoritative one. “Parents of the children
who were the most self-resilient, self-controlled, explorative and content were
themselves controlling and demanding; but they were also warm, rational and
receptive to the child’s communication. This unique combination of high control
and positive encouragement of the child’s autonomous, and independent strivings
is called authoritative style” (Baumrind, 1971, p22-23). Tough-love parenting has
a strong influence on children’s life as well.

Firstly, tough-love parenting highly
develop nice personality of children. Children brought up by parent opting
“tough-love” parental choice in education are better prepared to do well in
their future. Personality is one of the crucial factors which decide whether a
person would be successful or not. The Baumrind’s research reveals that “the
permissive parent attempts to behave in a nonpunitive, acceptant and
affirmative manner toward the child’s impulses, desires, and actions” (Baumrind,
1971, p.889). The parent enables their kids to indulge themselves for anything
they want. However, the overly comfortable parenting can easily lead to some
negative outcomes of children as displaying more aggression or less emotional
understanding, being unable to manage their time or habits or suffering from
delinquency or substance use (Cherry, 2017). Conversely, “the authoritarian
parent attempts to shape, control and evaluate the behaviors and attitudes of
the child in accordance with a set standard of conduct, usually an absolute
standard, theologically motivated and formulated by a higher authority” (Baumrind,1971,
p.890). Nevertheless, this very strict parenting can make children feel stress,
lack decision-making ability, fear of failure or have trouble in dealing with
negative emotions (Maheswari, 2017). To address almost the negative effects of
two kinds of parenting, parent should follow the tough-love parenting or
authoritative parenting. It is important to nurture a child to be empathetic, resilient,
patient and know how to protect themselves from temptation. Parents choosing “tough-love”
parenting are well aware of balancing warmth with discipline, which is the most
effective way to raise their children. The children receiving a combination of
affection and regulation are well develop personality traits such a self-control,
determination or empathy (Woods, 2009).

Secondly, some parents choose “tough-love”
parenting to rear their kids with high hopes for making a good orientation for
their children. Mother and father are the older generation, as a general rule, they
gain more experience which enable them to get more lessons, therefore, easily
pass down these to posterity. Tough-love parents with their confidence and
accomplishment, would have the right way to share their knowledge with their
children. Parents who take tough-love child-rearing are doing their offspring a
favour, not imposing (Woods, 2009).  It
is good for children to decide their own way; however, if they receive a
strongly support from their parent, it would be better. Tough-love parents neither
show their affection as the permissive parents nor do they force the discipline
as the authoritarian parents. In other words, the former and the latter blend
together perfectly. Parents taking tough-love parenting respect and restrict
their children simultaneously. They acknowledge their responsibility for giving
their kids some advice, indicating the shorter way to catch the desire and to
be successful faster. Being brought up with tough-love parenting, children
would have a very good chance of having a sense of well-being that parents
always stand with them and ready to support them whenever possible.

2.3. What are negative effects?

We are well aware that everything has both
benefits and drawbacks and tough-love parenting is not an exception. It can be
clearly seen that this parenting is the most effective way to raise a child;
nevertheless, there does exist some problems as well. In fact, tough-love
parenting may be a bad influence on children for three main reasons.

First of all, some parents often give
their sons or daughters, especially the kids under 10 years old, “the harsh
physical punishment” whenever they make any mistakes. If the children do not
adhere some regulations, some people mete out them by physical activities such
as smacking or slapping (Saunders & Naylor, 2012).
It is seriously believed that physical punishment would create the classical
conditioning; thus, the children will not relapse into their old fault. In the
beginning, there could be parent’s anxiety and passion; in contrast, children would
be negatively affected both physical and mental health, not only at that time
but also the development into adulthood. It is associated with fear of making
mistake, antisocial behavior or loss of self-control (Saunders & Naylor, 2012).
The more harsh physical punishment children receive, the more vulnerability
they get. On occasion, utilizing physical punishment seem inevitable. In
addition, it is a highly controversial issue that some people think that these
were loving discipline and would protect children from harm or bad manner while
the others disagree. Children would perform well under pressure on account of
physical punishment.

Second, tough-love parental approaching in
the wrong way would lead to some reverse effects. Some parents dangerously seem
unbalanced between warmth and discipline. They protect their children in a
serious way instead of training them how to protect themselves, how to be an
empathetic, a resilient or a patient person. They overrate their
responsibilities and always feel extremely anxious about their children. Therefore,
when a child faces up to any difficulties, he or she is easily vulnerable and
need their parent’s understanding and support because he or she cannot tackle
this problem by his/her own. They lack confident and basic experience to
confront with the trouble (Pieper, 1992). Children need a caring as well as self-developed
and exploitation themselves environment. They have to be stronger and gain more
experiences. There are some important factors preparing for the better future.

Finally, tough-love parenting could be make children easily suffer from emotional abuse because parents ignore
them, reject their needs or keep them in isolation (Ghosh, 2017). This
parenting could be put some distance between parents and their children. Some
people find it hard to show their feeling outside so that they occasionally
perform their affection with their children. Likewise, some others always stay
behind their sons or daughters, and keep supporting them silently. However, the
child’s misunderstanding is synonymous with their belief that their parents do
not love them. There could be leave behind both short term and long term
psychological impact that make it hard for children to overcome. The children,
especially the adolescence, would suffer from depression, low self-confidence,
low hope in life or displaying anti-social tendency (Ghosh, 2017). The
psychological crisis would be getting worse and worse if tough-love parents do
not recognize and have any urgent solutions to address this problem. For
instance, some parents believed that prevent their child from keeping in touch
with friends or peers would protect them from temptations. Nonetheless, it
creates the reverse effects. Children who suffer from emotional abuse in the
long time are more liable to be teen-pregnancy, delinquent behavior or
substance abuse (Ghosh, 2017).

3. Conclusion

This research aims to determine some of
the facts about the “tough-love” parenting. It is apparent that in spite of the
merits, there does exist the number of drawbacks which needs to be tackled as
soon as possible. Obviously, tough-love parental option is not the most
effective way in every case. For individuals, depending on their living,
education environment and their behavior that parents had better decide which
kind of parenting is an appropriate method with their children. In conclusion, the
above analysis has shown that if parents practice “tough-love” parenting in the
right way, it would bring a better life and well prepare for children’s
development. 

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