Tough love means taking a stand and holding fast. Setting limits and expectations is the most loving thing we can do for our children, even if it means that we cause them discomfort. It does not mean that we are solving the family problems by throwing our kids out on the street. Tough love means support and an end to isolation. It avoids the blame game and deals with the here and now, not the past. It is action oriented. It’s built on education support and end to shame and isolation. It is developed to give us the tools to succeed in media driven world that has produced sophisticated and entitled teen. It will show us how to change our actions to achieve successful outcomes. It offers a road map to our ideal home. A teenager excuses all of their behavior by blaming someone or something else. When we are in crisis we feel worried, crazy, anxious, angry, insecure overwhelmed and failed. We might have tried everything to change the situation; cleaned up messes, prayed silently, isolated yourself, blamed others, abused your teenager, enabled them. But this is not the solution and not going to change anything. We need to step out of denial. Don’t let painful feelings make us helpless, all we need is to go into effective action mode.
We need to assess our problem and stop behaviors that do not work, start new behaviors, and develop a supportive network. It is tough being a parent and admitting that you don’t know what to do, tough to give up shame, guilt and blame but tough love works. By changing our behavior we will regain control and achieve your goals. The main key to success and authority is enforcement. Without enforcement a family operates under rules that leave room for children to grab the authority. We need to stop saying yes and instead learn to create safe and enforceable limits by saying no with real love. Tough love parents learn to make small weekly changes using the stand, bottom lines, plans, and support program. Taking stands and setting bottom lines work. A stand is a long term goal you want to reach, one that can take some time to accomplish. Bottom lines are the small action steps you will take for one week as a means through which to reach your stands.
Value of Stands Most often, parents who seek professional help for the treatment of their addicted child assume that the professionals will fix the problem. After seeking the treatment patient has to go back to the family. There are chances that the patient’s interaction at home and the availability of drugs in the surroundings can ruin the efforts of the professional’s altogether. In order to maintain the recovery the family needs to follow certain stands.
These stands can be categorized in to three classes.
Red stands: Hold great importance for the parents and difficult to comply with for the patient. They can create crises if not implemented with therapeutic planning. There are 4 red stands:
- Not showing the rude behaviors
- No smoking/ drugging
- No slippery friends and places
- Not quitting the follow ups.
Yellow stands: These are relatively less important than red stands. Showing compliance to these stands is difficult for the patient but the crisis in result of it is not much intense for example, asking them to take their meals on time, assigning them small household responsibilities such as grocery shopping pick and drop etc
Green stands: These are lowest in intensity and these are the easiest to follow. For example, asking the patients to invite their friends for dinner, asking them to watch a particular show, asking them to get you a glass of water etc.
Implementation of Stands
Following the stands by the family is first and foremost therapeutic stance. If the family thinks that the patient will react on red stands and even on yellow stands then it needs to take a start from green stands which are very much easy to comply with. Establishing the writ of the family can be possible through following the stands. Following the stands sequentially is very important and enhances the compliance level of patient towards the family. Family needs to take a start from green stands which are the easiest to comply with and do not bring crises.