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Tough Love Parenting - Research Paper Example

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Parenting is one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors for any parent especially when the parent has to deal with a child with discipline issues. The best methodology for parenting seems to vary with each individual. …
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Tough Love Parenting
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Tough Love Parenting

Tough parenting refers to the act of being aggressive and stern in acting towards behavioral problems with an aim of assisting children to be good people. Although the actions towards bad behavior may seem like an act of cruelty to the child, it is aimed at making the child realize the need to change a given behavioral attitude in preparation to be good people in the future. For example, a parent may decide to withhold all entertainment opportunities to a child until school grades are improved. In extreme cases, a parent may decide to withhold all the financial support to a drug-addicted child until the child sees the need to go to a rehabilitation or correctional facility. According to Zodkevitch, tough love parenting is indeed important and necessary. Zodkevitch argues, “Tough love action steps a take parents from chaos to functionality, but tough love requires a change from whish-washy parenting to parenting with purpose on a daily basis (Zodkevitch 102). This presents a very interesting point of argument. What is the exact cause of behavioral problems to children? Is it poor parenting or a more complex problem that lies within the family and the society? its seems logical to claim that if the problem stems from poor family or societal set up, then tough love parenting may not work at all since it does not address the specific problem. On the other hand, the children may be experiencing behavioral problems due to poor parenting. When the same parents exercise tough love, then the problem escalates rather than solving the issue. A research conducted by Demos based on parenting behavior found that “high levels of parental warmth and attachment until the age of 10, combined with strict discipline by the time they are 16, play a powerful role in reducing the likelihood that a child would go on to be a binge drinker” (Doward web). This raises a question on what is the best time to implement tough love parental approach. This is because there is still a possibility that the child may develop behavioral problems even at early age. Conversely, it is possible for a child to grow maturely without behavioral problems even without tough parental love. However, the research findings by Demos can be taken as a precursor to the most appropriate period to initiate or stop tough parental love. Based on these findings, it can be argued that continued tough parental love beyond the age of 16 may not work since other factors come into play. For instance, teens over the age of 16 may no longer see the need to be supported by the parents. However, Heineman and Pieper have a very different and perhaps a counter approach to the issue of parenting. They advocate for “smart parenting” as opposed to tough love parenting. They claim “you can enjoy a relationship that’s based on mutual respect. You don’t have to get tough-you can get smart” (Heineman and Pieper 2). However, this raises the question of what constitutes smart parenting. The two extremes may not work at all situations but it seems more logical to assume that any methodology would apply depending on the particular situation. Therefore, tough love finds profound use when cases of indiscipline have gone overboard. However, on a normal situation, smart parenting should surely prevail. The degree of behavioral problem that may warrant tough love ... Read More
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