When people hear the words “Toughlove” they usually think of a group of tough punitive parents. That couldn’t be further than the truth! The parents who attend Toughlove meetings are parents who have come to a crisis situation and don’t know what to do. They are frightened, sick with worry, very depressed, and feel victimized by their children’s outrageous behavior. What they learn in Toughlove is that in order to do the right thing for their children, it is TOUGH ON THE PARENTS!
The reasons parents come to Toughlove are because their children:
Follow no rules or boundaries
– Lie, steal, and ignore curfews
– Threaten parents or family members
– Exhibit violent behavior
– Act in a rebellious manner
– Exhibit disrespectful behavior
– Have no respect for authority
– Have legal or school problems Display addictive behaviors
– Have behavior attributed to Attention Deficit Disorder
What Toughlove is all about is setting boundaries for our children and teaching them to make good decisions in life, or they will suffer the consequences of their actions.
What parents learn in Toughlove is:
– to act instead of react
– to set limits
– to work together to create unity between parents
– to establish appropriate consequences
– to change responses that are not working.
The most important thing that they learn is that things will not change unless they change!
Making these changes is very hard for the parents; they have to change the way they have been parenting and that is very difficult. However, after they master the “process” of Toughlove, and the way consequences are given (i.e., losing cell-phone privileges for 24 hours) they find that life becomes more in control and their children change because they are being treated to a new kind of parenting.
The Livingston Parent Self-Help Support group has been meeting for 26 years. It was started by Debbie Lindner, who is still involved, and Helene and Jerry Dreskin have been co-facilitators for that past 17 years. The group meets every Tuesday evening from 7:45PM – 10:00PM at the Recreation Center. Anyone in need of help may call 973-994-4034.