Tough love parenting strategies Parents have to use at times



Say it with love, and you’re saying it right, they say. But does that always work? Maybe yes, because love doesn’t always mean cuddling your child, hugging her, kissing her, telling her stories. It could mean sitting down and having a talk when she disobeys you. Discipline, as you already know, is an essential part of parenting. Showing only unconditional love all the time could mean that you raise a spoilt, annoying child. No one wants that.

While quoting the strategies Nagamani here recollects – article which Mark Merrill’s (famous psychologist) article lists three tough love strategies that necessarily need to be used at times to make your child toe the line. He comes up with one disciplinary measure for each kind of misbehaviour.  Which Nagamani says she has worked very well with her child. Let’s also take a look at what to do with:

1. The forgetful child:

This is if your kid just can’t remember what she needs to do again and again. You might have tried remedying this problem by putting up a timetable for homework in her room, or a checklist for what to pack in her schoolbag at night. Even after she’s gone through the checklist, she forgets to pack her English workbook, which needs to be submitted the next day. Psychologists, a point here is that, don’t bail her out of the trouble she gets into for it. If she’s pulled up to the principal’s office, let her be. Unless her forgetfulness is the result of some kind of behavioral disorder, like ADHD, let her face the consequences, so that she won’t be as careless again.

2. The disobedient child:

You might have had enough talks with him/her about how she must start doing her homework at 7:00 pm. She’s still at the TV at 7:30, claiming that she’ll turn it off in just a minute. If this happens more than a couple of times, psychologist’s advice is to take away the object because of which she isn’t obeying you. In this case, this will mean you’re banning TV for the rest of the week. Even if she resents you for it, it’ll work as negative reinforcement and she’ll stick to the schedule you set for her.

3. The lazy child:

She/he remembers what they need to do and they aren’t disobedient by nature. They just don’t like doing certain chores because it means more work for her. Like if you ask her to bring you a packet of milk from the local store, she’s still sitting with her book 15 minutes later. What do you do? Do you treat this as disobedience and take away her book from her? No, says Experts. With every chore that she decides to skip, add an extra chore to the list of things she has to do and allow a certain time by which she should be done with each thing. If she doesn’t complete it by then, she’ll lose out on what she likes to do, like playing with her friends, reading or watching TV.

Some of these seem like harsher measures than you’d like to take with your kid. Not every transgression warrants punishment. Count on your instincts to tell you exactly when a disciplinary measure is necessary, and when you can let it go with perhaps a small talking-to. Chances are you’re already a great parent. This is just some advice to help you out a little more by understanding your kid better.


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