“Son!” My dad’s voice rang out from across the yard. I knew he was calling for me to come. As I trotted toward where he was a few thoughts ran through my mind. The first was, “oh no, what did I do?”. The second was, “will I get in trouble?”. Finally, I thought maybe he needs help with something. As I rounded the corner of the house I immediately knew what he wanted. He was not pleased with the job I had done trimming the grass. My dad was holding me accountable. He was showing me some tough love.
I didn’t like the tough love at the time. I didn’t want to be held accountable. I wanted to get the job done quickly and go back to what I wanted to do. As an adult and a father to sons, I am glad my dad showed me some tough love. My sons need that from me. If I want my boys to grow into men who work hard, serve others, and love well then tough love will be a part of that equation. But tough love is not easy – for the child or the parent. It’s the second one I am working on now.
Tough love wasn’t easy or enjoyable as a kid. I am now realizing tough love is even harder as a parent. It’s easier to let my son slide with a “that’s good enough” and finish the job myself. It’s quicker to just do the hard work myself. It’s less trouble to overlook his anger or harsh words to siblings. Tough love is anything but easy, enjoyable, or quicker, but it’s necessary for me to give my sons. This is one reason I appreciated and was challenged by Andrew Linder’s article “5 Ways Your Son Needs Tough Love“. My tendency is to lean toward excusing my son’s actions, but this article reminded me that they need tough love from me as well.
I needed the tough love in ways #1 and #4 (and still do some days). I am trying my best to help my sons with #3 and #4 currently. In what ways did you need some tough love growing up? How are you finding ways to show your kids tough love now? As always I love to hear and interact with my readers, leave a comment below! Don’t forget to be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.
Until Next Time…