“Tough love” and words like “enabling,” “detaching” and “codependency” can be tossed around carelessly by well-meaning people. Sometimes their definition of tough love comes across as advice to throw your kid out, not to give them anything, to let them hit rock bottom — implying that you can’t help them. These words can be twisted so that any nice thing you do for your child is considered “enabling.” Parents often feel hopeless and powerless when, in reality, the opposite is true. Parents can help! Parents can be one of the most powerful influences in motivating their child to want to change and seek help.
Tough love can be making tough decisions to help our children learn from the consequences of their actions. The books Beyond Addiction and The Parent’s 20-Minute Guide can teach you how science and kindness can motivate a person to want to change.
Want to connect with another parent who's been there?
Paul is one of our volunteer Parent Coaches. Like all of our coaches, he knows first-hand the challenges of helping a child with addiction. In addition to their own experiences, all parent coaches receive extensive and on-going training.