Guest Post from Dr. Angela Hargrow

Tough Love

Tough love is a term that is often used when parents treats their children in ways that some might call harsh, with the sole intent to help them in the long run. The use of tough love has been scrutinized by many as nothing more than reasons to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive towards kids who are already suffering. I believe we can use tough love with kids who have mental illnesses. This form of tough love means loving them enough to set tighter boundaries and allowing them to experience natural consequences. When our children are mean or act poorly with others who then reject them, we have to love them enough to not only let them feel the pain of that rejection but to talk with them about how their behaviors puts others off. When they don’t do their homework and we are stressed out by arguing with them, communicating with their teachers, and frustrated by keeping up with their assignments, then we have to be tough enough to let them live with the consequences of their actions, even if it’s a failing grade. Life’s experiences will begin to help us motivate them to understand their own illnesses and to work with us to help them not only manage their symptoms but also to manage their complete lives.

Tough love means not always avoiding the tantrums, tears, and rages. It means holding tight the boundaries that not only we have set but those set by society because our children will have to live by those boundaries someday without us. Tough love means we stop making so many adjustments to keep them happy because we feel bad that their friends didn’t call or they missed out on a school trip because of their behavior. And yes, it means letting them fail a grade or even letting them leave your house when they reach a certain age. Sure, it will be hard to watch them falter, fall, and sometimes fail.  With our guidance life can be a great teacher if we use its experiences to teach our children. It will be tough, but we have to love them enough to help them succeed by not holding their hands and feelings so afraid for them. We have to be tough enough and love them enough to let them go so they can stand on their own two feet.

http://ahargrow.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/tough-love/

Angela Hargrow is a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience. Not only does she have a child who has been diagnosed with a mood disorder but also she has worked extensively with parents of children who have a variety of mental illnesses. She has used her experiences as a parent and as a psychologist to help families understand their child/teen’s disorder and to cope with the stressful impact that the disorder has on not only the child but the entire family. Used with permission

Inner Peace Counseling Services, PLLC

1931 J. N. Pease Place, Suite 202
Charlotte, NC 28262

1-704-717-2800
Tue: 3-8pm
Thurs: 4pm – 8pm
Every Other Sat: 9am-2pm
Advertisements

Pretty AND Powerful

I was parking my Jeep on a short incline. Also, I wanted to be sure I was equidistant from each white strip on the pavement. Looking up and forward, my concentration was shattered. Off in the distance I saw a princess. Spotting princesses is almost as rare as mermaid sightings. I’ve seen a group of those too recently. However, it was just a picture so I didn’t get to talk to them. I threw my car into park and jumped out.

Now she was standing for others to see and comment on. Her dress was pale blue, flouncy. I could see the sparkles as I closed the distance between us. She had curly blonde hair, so cute. She didn’t have a wand or scepter or anything in her hands. Who was she? I can’t remember who wears blue.

Her mom was tucking her into the car, so I had to walk faster.” Hi there! Hi!”

Her mom turned toward me.

“I see you have a princess in your car”, I said.

“Oh, yes”, she said quietly. The princess poked her head out.

“Hi there!, I said to her. Which princess are you?”

She simply smiled.

I asked her mom, “Are you headed to a party?”

“No”, she said

“Oh, why so dressed up?”

“It’s ‘pick your fight day’. That’s all she was willing to wear.”

“Oh, how old is she?”

“3.”

“Ahh.”

I turned from mom and bent down to speak to the little one inside the car again. “Well, I’m so glad to have met a beautiful princess today. Bye sweetie.”

She smiled a wide grin for me. As I walked to my apartment, I knew there was a lesson in this scenario. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer and start to comb it out.

Ladies, do you have a dress or suit that when you put it on you feel pretty and powerful? When you wear it do folks take notice of your energy? Are they drawn near? Do they fall under your spell for a few minutes?

When I used to feel down or weak, I’d put on my old college sweatshirt. It is an XL, grey, frayed sleeves thing. It wasn’t pretty however, when I put it on I would gain temporary strength and boldness. But I was kinda hiding in it.

It’s ratty and way too big for me now. I think I need to exchange it for a “princess gown”. I need something that presents  the dreamer and optimist in me. (That’s what the princesses represented to me as a girl. Their stories ended happily, things worked out. I never really made the connection that a man was necessary for that to happen. Guess that’s because I was raised by a mom on her own.) I need something that allows my “magic” to sparkle. And it’s gotta fit properly!

Once we find our “gowns”, let’s wear them everyday. Let’s put up a fight when someone thinks we should take them off. Let’s recognize the sisterhood of those with “princess powers”.

Disney-Princess-Lineup-walt-disney-characters-20868733-729-214

What do you think?