How Much "Tough Love" is OK?

There's nothing easy about parenting. You never know what obstacles you're going to encounter and there's definitely no manual to teach you how to handle them correctly. No two kids are alike and there's no training or workshop we can take before becoming parents that will prepare us for what's to come. 

Oftentimes you base your parenting decisions on what your parents did with you, whether you think they did well or not, it's the closest example you have to go off of. One technique often used by parents is the concept of "tough love." It works when teaching your child to sleep in his or her own bed, to be less forgetful, and to be more obedient. But when is tough love too tough? How do you know? 

This is Gina Alexis. She's the mom of the Miami Gardens foster child who committed suicide on Facebook Live this past January. In this interview with WPLG she mentions that her comments on the Facebook feed while her daughter was hanging herself - which included calling her "a jit" and saying she was "crying wolf" - were tough love. 


Granted, this is definitely an extreme circumstance considering the daughter, Naika, had been in and out of 14 foster care homes and suffered from mental illness due to child sexual abuse and other negative experiences growing up. But we've experienced tough love from our parents and we've all practiced tough love on our loved ones. If you've been on either or both ends of this practice, how does one know when tough love is too tough?


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