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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snail View Post
    Thank you for posting this. I agree that love is never harmful or dismissive. Emotional neglect is a form of abuse.
    Yes, emotionally invalidating people is a form of abuse. On the other hand, there are some people (and I actually know a teenager right now) who thinks that every little thing that happens to them is about them. They don't even think about how what they're doing affects other people. There are people who think any time someone corrects them, negates their activity, or puts boundaries on them in any way, they are being invalidated. People like that are pretty much fucking narcissists. I think you can raise a narcissist by over-validating a child.

    Take my ex for example. Part of the reason why he is so troubled is because his mother always made excuses for his bad behavior, didn't force him to go to school when he didn't feel like it, blah blah blah, then suddenly when was sixteen or seventeen she had to physically sit on him to keep him from leaving the house to go get high.

    He carried a profound sense of entitlement and narcississm into his adult life, like "my needs" and "my pain" even when he was doing unacceptable things to other people.

    I've noticed some bullies are like this, too. They think it's fine to talk to or treat others any way they want, but as soon as someone either fights back or punishes them, they act like they're a victim. I feel this way about many men who are in this current "pro-men" movement. While some men really are abused, many of them are just complaining because they don't have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck they want any more by simple virtue of being men.

  2. #42
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    (Sorry in advance, I haven't read any replies.) My father raised me in a very common route.. I think he did to me what many fathers do with their sons. I speak his body language, and his tone.. I can tell what he's saying, and what he's not, and he never has to truly say a word one way or the other. I'm very in sync with him.. and he was very tough on me growing up.

    I think it takes all types.. and I feel that the way the OP described is a way many people can learn from.. because truly, not all parents are meant to be good parents. Some of them will stumble, and even fall, in their attempts to be one. They don't know how to put the child first 100% of the time, and so they struggle.

    I think it's important to remember that putting an absolute on how people should show their love excludes a lot of love. I definitely show my love toward people very differently than this, and I don't feel it is at all me acting out of frustration, or impatience.. I truly love people. I just don't express it the way the OP described.
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  3. #43
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    The '16 and pregnant' scenario popped out at me.

    I think the concept of tough love is more when the child has the cognitive abilities to understand right from wrong etc. and keeps doing something wrong, as in going down the wrong path and other things have not worked. That is the traditional use of 'tough love' I believe.

    I remember watching this docu thing about a woman who lost her leg when she was a girl and how when she first started walking with her prosthetic leg and fell down she felt so angry that that her mother did not come to help her up. But, she realized later that her mother was forcing her to learn to be independent and literally pick herself up and get used to life with a prosthetic leg. I think she sounded grateful as an adult. I think it probably killed her mom not to pick up her daughter but sometimes you have to short out gut instinct of what you think is helping or nuturing or caring and think about the longer term and bigger picture to what is truly best for your child. That woman is kinda a celebrity and goes around the world doing marathons and public speaking. She has blond hair. I forgot her name.

    As for the having a child get 16 and pregnant, for me my reaction would depend on my relationship with my child and how their life has been going. If they were already a troubled teen and had relations with guys 'in secret' or with someone I didn't approve of that would be different from if they were essentially a 'good kid' going to school, not getting in trouble, etc.

    The thing is for things like that, it's not just about the child's life, there is a lot more going on. Your life will change as the grandparent essentially caring for 2 children now etc. Teenagers in America, especially the ones who have unprotected consensual sex as minors are often too immature and self-centered to realize these things so as the adult in the situation, it's your job to act like an adult and do the right thing, not cave into a whiny, hormonal, unrealistic child. Parents too often want more than anything for their kids to like them, to be cool, and to be 'friends' with minors as opposed to being a good parent, it is bizarre and unhealthy in my opinion.

    The idea of not being a 'tough love' parent to me is too often a cry of parents wanting to be friends with their kids instead of their parents and sacrificing discipline and respect for a temporary smile, so it doesn't hold a lot of water to me.

    Sorry, but I watched some episodes of '16 and pregnant' and it is insane how little parenting parents seem to do and let their kids and the people their kids have sex with get away with.

    Anyhow, all things being equal if my underage child got pregnant 1) I would prosecute and sue the family of the guy who got my daughter pregnant if he is NOT a minor (statutory rape) for child support etc. and 2) whether or not the father is in the picture if my daughter and her baby's daddy did not do things the way my partner and I think are best, there would be no financial support. While I would wish the best for my child and future grandchild and really intensely try to get through this with my daughter, if she's a dysfunctional/troubled person I would not be above cutting ties with my child at least temporarily. Oh yeah, I would be PISSED.

    Also, Meek what you are describing is not 'tough love' it is clearly child abuse. Tough love is not about physically harming your child because they irritate you, it's about withholding certain benefits of family living (room and board, money, etc.) in order to create incentives for better behavior and teach *consequences* and better decision making.

    Sorry you had that kind of parenting. Again, it's not tough love or even strict parenting.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    (Sorry in advance, I haven't read any replies.) My father raised me in a very common route.. I think he did to me what many fathers do with their sons. I speak his body language, and his tone.. I can tell what he's saying, and what he's not, and he never has to truly say a word one way or the other. I'm very in sync with him.. and he was very tough on me growing up.
    i relate to this immensely. i'm also very in sync with my dad.
    and i think it's beyond me having an understanding of him, i
    just know him. he doesn't have to say anything and i
    know exactly what to do and what not to do. with me, he
    never has to ask.

    he was also very, very tough on me growing up. i know he
    was much more tougher on his daughters than his sons.
    i was brought up to be very, very independent and it was
    drilled in my head about how i had to be self-sufficient
    and to never depend on anybody else for my well-being.

    as tough as he was, he had a beautiful liberal side to him
    he gave me the space to make mistakes, and to fail without
    fear, and he was always there, never with a fluffy cushion,
    but his own way of caring. i always believe that it was my
    mother who taught me how to dream, and my dad that
    taught me how to keep my feet down on the ground.

    i don't know what makes a good parent actually. all i know
    is that my parents did their damn best and tried their hardest
    beyond anything i've undertaken myself. and i love growing up
    and realising that they're just human-- it's nice to be
    at an age where i can be friends with them too. very cool.
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    and begin slitting throats.
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  5. #45
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    There isn't much for me to say that haven't been said already. I'm all for "tough love" if that means raising your child to be independent, confident and respectful towards others. Of course, I agree that some ways are better than others, and if you, say, beat your child because of this so-called "tough love", it might do more harm than help. But parents need to be firm. Children need to learn certain things -- sometimes the hard way -- to be able to function well as adults. And, in the end, most people are grateful for it.
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  6. #46
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    I don't care much for 'tough love' as it is a term that is frequently abused and used to justify cruelty. All I know is the importance of teaching kids to appreciate the consequences of their actions. Getting 'tough' suggests you have lost control of the situation; it is unnecessary if you are clear and consistent in your disciplinary actions.
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  7. #47
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    I don't have time now to go through the whole thread, but here's something I thought might be a useful distinction. Separate love and action. Love is the spontaneous feeling that you have for someone. This doesn't require any action. You can love a drug addict without trying to help them. Of course love often (actually almost always) motivates action. But the action is motivated by other things as well. In a way the person who is hurting a child to teach him a lesson can be doing it out of love, and they will probably justify themselves doing it out of love, but it isn't only love that motivates them, and it often isn't even the biggest motivation. Love as a spontaneous feeling has very little to do with a mother punishing a child that is acting like an asshole in the grocery store. It is about the mother being embarrassed, wanting to be in control, and being annoyed. Actually, I don't know if there is much love at all at that point.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meek View Post
    I think that real love is easy and should not be earned nor worked for.

    It comes to you from kindness and never from a fair weathered person.
    Tough love is just an excuse to project anger and frustration on your child or
    someone who is on drugs because you refuse to show unconditional love,
    because you are impatient and you give up because nothing seems to work..

    Ultimately, what most very sensitive people need is the love they need that works for them, and not what works for everyone else.

    (etc)
    I guess if you define tough love that way, then it seems to me to be more of a control tactic than actual love.

    I think there is a place to challenge someone you truly love. Love thinks long-term benefit and end result. I think it is quite possible to 'enable' someone you claim to love so that they continue to do things that might seem convenient or pleasing to them in the moment but will destroy them. If I love someone and I am in a relationship with them where I have that access to their life, I would refuse to contribute to their self-destruction or make it easier for them to ruin themselves. That's the type of "tough love" I can acknowledge as useful.

    But in practical experience, I do feel like tough love is too simplistic a concept as applied, and that it is used more for the convenience of the "lover" than the person who is being "loved."



    How would a parent enable their daughter if she got pregnant at 16?
    Why can't they sit their daughter down and explain to her that they love her and she can choose what she wants. I think abortion exists for parents who decide not to take responsibility to support their children emotionally.
    The example came to mind of an episode of Glee, where Quinn (with Finn) told her conservative parents she was pregnant. Apparently her mom already had figured it out but was just hoping things would go away. Quinn's father ridiculed her to her face; and then, when she told him she knew she screwed up but just really needed her daddy right now to put his arms around her and tell her things would be okay, he told her she had thirty minutes to pack her things and then he left the room.

    That kind of crap is what often passes for "tough love" but it's actually just selfishness and self-righteousness on the parts of the parents because their expectations were not met and they were scared of losing social cred. It was very obvious that Quinn had gotten into a situation she did not want or plan to be in, she was trying to do the right thing, she felt very alone and was struggling because she had few people to care for her, and she really needed her parents to stick by her as her foundation.

    Finn's mom was far more understanding. It's not that she thought Quinn and her son had done the right thing (turns out it wasn't his baby anyway), but that it was done, Quinn was trying to be responsible, and she needed help.

    So in that sense I agree with you. However, I don't think abortion JUST exists for the reason you suggest. It is certainly one of those reasons, though.


    Children need support when they're growing up, because some of them grow up feeling unloved and bitter. When I would cry about something, my mother would slap my hand or my mouth or my face, or my dad would put his hand over my mouth and he would tell me to shut the fuck up because my crying was annoying.
    Yes, that's utter bullshit. I'm sorry that happened to you. I went the other direction; the way my mother tried to baby me and my father looked at me as if I had two heads when I would start to cry over something led me to not being able to cry for close to 25-30 years. Our parents all let us down.

    I was crying, for whatever reason it was happening for, I was still hurting and getting me to shut up just meant that it was "tough love" in his eyes, when it was abuse. I was a kid but I was still a human and deserved to express my emotions. Since, I've felt as though I've had to quiet my cries because they annoy people.
    Yes, you did deserve to express those emotions. I find that people don't know how to handle grief situations or emotional displays (aside from anger) and just want to "fix things" in order to shut the person up. I think it's important to learn to let people work through their emotions in real-time, so that they can process them and then move on.

    When I hear someone crying, I have this need and instinct to rush to them and hold them, their sobbing is felt through me like lightning striking. I can't ignore it. It's painful for me and they need someone, they don't need to be turned away
    I usually try to feel out whether they want that from me or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I don't want to assume something based on my past experiences and then end up giving them something they do not want, making matters worse. But I'm definitely clear to them about what I want to do, if they want it. Sometimes my own experiences growing up have led me to project those experiences on others, but I've had to check myself and make sure I'm giving people what they really want and need rather than just what I would have needed when I was young.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Yes, emotionally invalidating people is a form of abuse. On the other hand, there are some people (and I actually know a teenager right now) who thinks that every little thing that happens to them is about them. They don't even think about how what they're doing affects other people. There are people who think any time someone corrects them, negates their activity, or puts boundaries on them in any way, they are being invalidated. People like that are pretty much fucking narcissists. I think you can raise a narcissist by over-validating a child.
    True as well. It's quite the balance. Somehow parents have to let their children know that they are people like everyone else (AKA "You matter and are worthwhile!") ... but they are also only just people like everyone else and so don't get special treatment as if they were more than everyone else (AKA "Other people have feelings and needs just as valid as yours.") It's easy for parents to screw up by emphasizing one or the other, and the children end up either devaluing themselves or overvaluing themselves.
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  9. #49
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    I pretty much agree with everything Marm said, except to add - parents can't be your therapist. They usually don't have the skills to deal with severe emotional "traumas". That doesn't mean it's right for them to physically abuse you by slapping you (slapping a boyfriend is also physical abuse). At the same time, you can't expect them to comfort you for 30 minutes every time you skin your knee or someone calls you a bad name. They do have other responsibilities in their lives.

    (heh, I live in fear of having an INFP child)
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  10. #50
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    I think that real love is easy and should not be earned nor worked for.
    I disagree with this to some extent. It's a pipe dream to think that love is always easy and doesn't need to be worked at. I think this is the reason a lot of people get divorced... "It no longer feels as good as it did in the beginning, therefore we are out of love, therefore I am checking out, see ya." Love is easiest to handle when it comes easy and just flows. Love is not so easy when you are in a major argument with someone you love, or when you have been deeply hurt by someone.

    It comes to you from kindness and never from a fair weathered person.
    Tough love is just an excuse to project anger and frustration on your child or
    someone who is on drugs because you refuse to show unconditional love,
    because you are impatient and you give up because nothing seems to work..
    I am very sorry that you have had a bad experience growing up. The lessons you have learned aren't true, though, and that is what you should look at changing.

    Tough love is not just some excuse to project anger onto a child. My friends have an adorable 2 year old daughter. The mother is an ENFJ and she has been adamant about not coddling her daughter. Whenever Tawny falls down, Mindy says, "Ok, shake it off!" and they both do this little shaking dance. I know it kills her inside to not just run over and cuddle her daughter every time she falls, but she knows that down the road this will pay off. And it's paying off even now. When Tawny is out playing with her cousins, most of whom are much older, she gets pushed around a lot because she's small. But she doesn't sit down and start screaming/whining, she picks herself up and continues onward. In contrast, Mindy's SIL coddles her youngest child. Everytime that kid so much as sits down hard, she runs over yelling "Thomas are you ok?!?!?!?" It's absolutely obnoxious to observe.

    Ultimately, what most very sensitive people need is the love they need that works for them, and not what works for everyone else.
    I can agree on this to some extent. (And I agree on a later sentiment expressed at the end of the thread about dreading an INFP child, for I dread this as well.) Growing up I got picked on a lot and teased for a variety of factors. I was sobbing in my room one day and my INTP dad came in to see what was going on. I told him what had happened in school and how much I hated school and other people, etc. I was perhaps 8 or so. My dad listened patiently to me and then started explaining to me how life isn't fair. Now as an adult, and especially now after knowing far more about how INTPs tick, I can see that what he was doing was very loving. However, as an 8 year old it was like having an extra burden placed on me because I was even more alone in my sadness. I know that my dad had the best of intentions at heart and he was really trying to help me. And honestly I don't even know what would have been the happy medium for that moment.

    Why would the word tough even have a connection with love when love has such a kind meaning with no harm in it's intent?
    Tough love, as far as I understand, is love that is done out of the best intentions for someone... which isn't necessarily what the recipient wants. When I have someone I love that is crying and upset about something, I have to gauge what I think is best for them. Sometimes it IS best that I just listen, cry with them, hold them, whatever. And other times it's like "ok, this is the 5th guy you have dated who has left you after having sex one time because you keep sleeping with them on the first date.... So here is my advice: stop doing that." I don't love my friend any less but the last thing she needs to hear is me saying "Oh, it's not you!!! MEN SUCK!!!" because A: that isn't true on either count and B: it just says, keep doing what you're doing!

    I hear "Don't enable your child for his bad behavior"

    How would a parent enable their daughter if she got pregnant at 16?
    Why can't they sit their daughter down and explain to her that they love her
    and she can choose what she wants. I think abortion exists for parents who decide not to take responsibility to support their children emotionally.
    This is kind of a hot potato topic so I am not sure I even really want to go here. Yeah, if I do I will stir up a hornet's nest and I am not in the mood.

    Children need support when they're growing up, because some of them grow up feeling unloved and bitter. When I would cry about something, my mother would slap my hand or my mouth or my face, or my dad would put his hand over my mouth and he would tell me to shut the fuck up because my crying was annoying.
    This isn't tough love. This is abuse. This is "hi I should never have had a kid because I don't get the fact that once I have a kid, I need to hang out my selfish outfit in the closet."

    I was crying, for whatever reason it was happening for, I was still hurting and getting me to shut up just meant that it was "tough love" in his eyes, when it was abuse. I was a kid but I was still a human and deserved to express my emotions. Since, I've felt as though I've had to quiet my cries because they annoy people.
    This isn't tough love at all. This may be someone's messed up version of "tough love" but there is no love involved.

    When I hear someone crying, I have this need and instinct to rush to them and hold them, their sobbing is felt through me like lightning striking. I can't ignore it. It's painful for me and they need someone, they don't need to be turned away.
    Agreed. You can still do this and be reasonable about it though. It's a balance that everyone should attempt to strike on occasion.

    Neglecting your child because they stress you out with their ''problems" or tears and stress is not tough love- That is neglect and failing to be there for them. I don't care if you're in a wheel chair. If you can talk, if you can listen, then you can love. You don't have to hug or touch them.
    Yeah, that isn't tough love either. Selfish people aren't really the best ones to gauge what love is.

    Words can impact a person who is in pain, so be careful and it's never as easy as; "Get over it" or "It's not the end of the world" For some, it is the end of the world. People die because their feelings are invalidated and they're given tough love. Love is never tough.
    I get what you are saying at the heart of the matter. For me, love has been one of the toughest things I have ever had to learn. It starts out sounding so damn easy to do. (Disney movies have corrupted my INFP soul with too much idealism.) Love is easy when things are easy. But loving someone when it's the worst time of your life, or when it's the worst time of their life, or when the world is falling apart around you... is not always easy. Love is patient and kind and beautiful. Love is also cleaning up vomit, and washing someone who can't walk anymore, and letting your child stumble around. Love is letting go of anger (no matter how right you may be), love is letting go of past wrongs (no matter how much you may not want to), and love is just plain letting go someone who can't be caged. But most of all love is tough. It has the strength to endure past even death, but it is also fragile and you can't take it for granted.

    Time to end my ramble. Please know Meek I am not trying to attack you in any way - just offer a different perspective to you. I hope you can learn a different kind of love with other people in your life. I was fortunate enough to have two parents who loved me, even if they didn't always understand me. I find it sad that not everyone was so lucky as I was.

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