“This is going to hurt you more than it is going to hurt me” says the parent while discipling their child. The parent is demonstrating Tough love by acting in a harmful way but having good intentions. This type of love occurs when faced with a decision to act in a hurtful way toward another person for the purpose of their best interest. We are obligated to act in a way that may cause pain, simply because the bigger picture results in love.
Tough love is difficult to see from the child’s perspective because they are on the receiving end of the harm. They associate the painful experience with what love means.
When we show tough love we must always be aware of how it is being interpreted from the other persons point of view. Acknowledge the pain involved but also explain purpose for actions. Encourage positive behavior for the future and end with words of affirmation.
“This is going to hurt you more than it is going to hurt me . . . but this is the consequence for lying and lying is bad. Just know that I love you very much and this is for your best interest”
Today’s challenge is to think of a time where you played the role of a parent and/or the role of a child by demonstrating tough love. Evaluate the actions, thoughts and feeling associated with the experiences of the past, and how your reactions for the future have changed. Is this the type of Love you express? Do people receive your love well? Do you need to work on encouraging or words of affirmation? Take time and really think about what Tough Love is to you.