Monday, November 1, 2010

Time Out or Tough Love?

I have spent most of my career as a Psychiatric nurse studying a menagerie of diagnoses, disorders and addictions. I used to believe in these labels hung on individuals for justifying their behavior or poor choices. Recently however, I’m being challenged in these labels. I believe our culture is witnessing a generation of children growing to believe that their behavior can always be justified in one way or another. This country has lost the ability to raise our children with accountability, and in my opinion it started with the “time out” phenomena. Don’t get me wrong, plopping my kid into a chair to sit and think about their actions has worked on occasion, especially when they were at a young age. The problem is the complacency I see with parents as that child grows older, from the tween to teen years, something is missing.

Ok, here it goes. It’s the statement that proves I’ve become my mother: when I was growing up, you did what you were told or there would be serious consequences. I remember when the tough love theory worked on our youth. I should know, I grew up when that concept came about, along with President Regan, say no to drugs, and mothers against drunk driving. Just think about these concepts for a minute. They're still thriving, and have changed the way our culture thinks and feels about drugs or drinking & driving. Laws have even been implemented from these concepts, and thousands of lives have been saved due to their cause.

So where did the tough love go?

Let’s face it parents, life is tough. It’s only going to get tougher for our children.

I feel confident that when my kids turn 16 and gets their first job, their boss isn’t going to throw therapeutic comments at them when they’re not doing what’s expected. I can’t really hear the manager saying, “It appears your having a hard time right now keeping up, would you like to tell me what might be going on?”

I’m about all tapped out on therapeutic communication, and listening & reading from the “professionals”, the best methods for raising our children.

Now days if a child is defiant, he gets diagnoses of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. So wait, there’s a diagnoses for being defiant? Hell, I got the back of my mother’s hand if I was defiant! I never saw it as abuse. I knew I deserved it!

Our children have the right these days to file charges against their parents if a finger is laid on them. We have therapists telling parents to let our kids have a certain amount of control in their lives, but it has resulted in parents losing control of order in the home.

When are parents going to trust their abilities on raising their children based on tried & true values of the past? Respect, manners, honor, pride …

Tough love

It just may be the best therapy for our children!

Have an intimate day!