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Ask the Expert: Can “tough love” be too tough for kids?

Not necessarily. Tough love is frequently mistaken for authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parents take a “my way” attitude because they care more about getting their children to obey them than teaching them life lessons. Tough love parenting is distinct in that it may be both warm and compassionate.

Setting clear boundaries and restrictions is an important part of tough love parenting. Consequences are used to impart life lessons to teenagers.

Tough love may be used by parents to assist their children to become more accountable for their actions. Tough love is about making children feel the repercussions of their acts rather than rescuing them, giving them more opportunities, or shielding them from the consequences of their actions.


It might entail imposing restrictions and enforcing consequences that teach life lessons, or it could entail allowing children to experience the natural consequences of their actions.


When an adolescent breaches the rules, the tough love technique requires parents to love their child enough to constantly establish strong limits and follow through with appropriate punishments.


Another key component of tough love is that teenagers must take responsibility for their actions. This helps guarantee that a youngster is accountable for the decisions he or she makes. The following teen parenting techniques are considered to be tough love:


  • setting and enforcing realistic expectations, limitations, and boundaries on a regular basis
  • striking a balance between directing and allowing too much independence to your youngster
  • allowing yourself to let go of the need to overly control your child
  • allowing them to make their own decisions and live with the consequences
  • letting your teen see your love while also being firm when discipline is needed
  • respecting your kid as a unique person going through significant changes as he or she matures into an adult



Best regards,

Dr Mohamed Al Breiki,

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow

Sidra Medicine

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