In this unexpected parenting video on tough love in a parking lot, Terrell Crawford, shows us how he handles the temper tantrum of his 3 year-old daughter Ari. It’s encouraging to see this young father tackle his upset child’s attitude in such a matter-of-fact, relaxed and engaging manner. He doesn’t bargain with his child, demand or plead or yell. He talked to her calmly and led her with warmth and firmness.
It is the style of parenting, rather than income or social background, that determines strength of character.
[Note: I’m not a fan of crude language, no matter how mild, but this still holds great lessons.]
Love mixed with firm discipline is what produces functional, happy children. What this means is that parents need to be disciplined themselves. If a parent isn’t disciplined there is no chance of disciplining their children correctly. Discipline should come from natural consequences, or the law of cause and effect. It should not come from induced fear, humiliation, shame, yelling or any form of physical or emotional coercion.
It did not matter whether the parents were rich or poor – those that adopted the approach brought up children who:
- were more likely to be empathetic (p. 7)
- were more able to control their emotions
- bounced back quicker from disappointment
- were more able to concentrate and focus
- were more successful in completing tasks
- displayed greater academic success
- had higher sense of self-esteem (p. 10)
- had lower levels of depression and delinquincy
Other things the study showed:
- was successful with whoever employed it, but this style was most common with married parents
- breastfeeding until six months had a positive impact on developing character
- character strengths are becoming more vital as the culture increaingly more challenging ie. skills such as empathy and self-regulation were 33 times more important in determining income for those who turned 30 in 2000 than for those born just 12 years earlier
- failure comes from lack of consistency
Tough love with warmth was successful because it built up a child’s self-esteem but also taught them to be restrained and respectful and responsible because they witnessed it in the parent. The ‘tough’ part of the equation is about children realizing ‘we can’t have exactly what we want immediately when we want it’, and the recognition that there are other people in the world who you have to treat with a certain amount of respect. That is a crucial life skill, because no one wants to be married to or work with someone who is a self-centered. (source)
“Tough love teaches parents to face the crisis, take a stand, ask for cooperation and meet challenges. Tough love will help parents to develop new strengths so they can give a young person a sense of direction and support.” (source)
Tough love is about not giving in to a pestering or whining child. Parents knows that’s a super-hard thing to do consistently. A pestering child makes for an awful day, but parents consistently doing the right thing also makes for a better future. Kids live in the short-term. The day by day process of raising a child well is partly about raising children to look beyond the next minute, hour or week.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Tough Love
- Set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy! Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT.
- Teach them social skills like complimenting, compromising, using ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and turn-taking through roughhousing!
- Train them in delayed gratification. Make them wait!! It’s not dangerous for kids to be bored sometimes!
- Start early and teach your children to do monotonous work. it is the basis of future ‘work-ability’ for all of life.
Terrell Crawford in the video later summed up his parenting style as, “Work first, earn your play later, then deserve to be spoiled.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go; Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6
Thanks for reading!