Sunday, December 23, 2018

Tough Love

One of the local papers ran a story of a child who dropped dirty and her dad kicked her out.

It was the dad's story.

Several years later, his daughter died in bathroom stall in a restaurant from a drug over-dose.

The dad was lamenting "tough love." He said it does not work but he was unable to offer any alternatives.

Mrs ERJ was deeply touched by the story. We talked about it.

One of the things we sorted out is that "tough love" comes in many different flavors.

One end of the spectrum is defined by the parents getting counseling from a competent professional and often involves defining a clear path(s) for the young person to crawl back into the life-boat.

The other end of the spectrum often involves a single parent and a child of the opposite gender. The parent is overwhelmed and often has their own demons to wrestle with. The parent drop-kicks the kid out the door and that-is-that.

Like Eskimos and their 47 words to define different types of snow; perhaps it is past time to define the various flavors of "tough love" so distressed parents realize there is a menu of options available to help them.


  1. Sadly, pretty much every situation is 'different', and few counsellors are capable of actually determining the 'correct' way to apply the tough love.

  2. This is one of those stories that after reading it, you say a prayer and remember the gifts you have been given. A couple wrong turns and many of us could be in this situation. And for those who are, please ask for help.

  3. Parenting: that life experience wherein everything you do is wrong, and you will without a doubt encounter someone who is delighted to tell you how you farked it up, in painfully elaborate detail, at their leisure. Of course, the narrator in question was nowhere to be found when the decision had to be made under your own limitations of information, resources and time.


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