Tough love is…well…tough

It’s easy to look at a family situation from the outside and wonder why the parents don’t use tough love…or when that decision has been made, to wonder what took so long. It’s a whole different story when you’re on the inside!

We all want our children and grandchildren to be the best they can be, and we will do almost anything to help them live up to their potential. We want to keep struggling and working with them as long as there is any slightest hope that the situation will improve. That’s what is seen on the inside. That love and hope will go just as far as they possibly can.

It’s so difficult to reach the point of saying that we’ve done all we can…and that the decision is now in the child’s hands.

Sometimes our kids can learn from the lessons of others. But for whatever reason, some of our kids have to learn things the hard way…and all we can do is hope that they learn before they make decisions that will have life-ruining consequences.

We can talk…encourage…lecture…pray…hope…love…but in some cases, there comes a point when for the good of everyone–including the child–tough love decisions have to be made.

What’s the best thing that can be done then? Not to judge about the length of time it took the family to get there…but to support everyone (including the child involved) in love and prayers. Don’t ask what went wrong…that’s not really anyone else’s business, and it often serves no purpose except to reopen wounds that need healing.

Be there with them. Love them. Hug them. Keep in touch with the child if possible. Pray for them–or send warm thoughts or energy, if that’s what you would prefer.

Because tough love is…well…tough…on everyone.