Tough Love is an approach designed to help parents struggling to deal with their addict child. The overall idea behind the tough love approach is for parents to love their troubled addict enough to consistently set firm limits and follow through on appropriate consequences when they are not followed. Another important tenet of tough love is that addicts in recovery need to be responsible for their behavior, making choices about what they do and being held accountable for the bad choices they make.


Tough love program is designed to help parents deal effectively with their difficult teenagers. Tough love is a loving resolution and a tool set for parents that are tormented by unacceptable behaviors, including drugs use and substance problems, verbal and/or physical abuse. It helps parents to discipline their teenagers with love and respect.  When parents are in crisis and don’t know how to deal with their children, tough love provides effective and practical support. Parents serve as a role model for their children so they need to set an example children can learn from.  Tough love teaches parents to deal their teens on the basis of merit.

Loving other people usually means showing affection and being nice to them, but this is not always the case. Sometimes loving somebody can mean treating them in a harsh or stern manner. When you are dealing with an addict in the family, regardless of the person’s age, it is sometimes difficult to know what to do. The 7th principle of tough love states when we stick to any stand it creates the crisis. This principle of tough love clues to propel an action. When dealing with those individuals who have become addicted to alcohol or drugs it may be necessary to act in a way that might be perceived as a bit cruel – but people may feel the need to this out of a desire to be kind.

To stick to stands means to love or show affection that is expressed in a stern or unsentimental manner. The usual motivation for acting in such a way is to promote good behavior. Family members may need to employ these stands when dealing with an addict. Sometimes family think that they are already in crisis and these stands will create further crisis in their lives. Now here family doesn’t understand that there is a difference between crisis created by an addict and crisis created by a family. Tough love suggests that if you are angry then it is better to stay quiet and give yourself time to cool down. While addressing a brat, think before you speak but once you have said something then stick to it and take a stand in that. This doesn’t mean that you need to scream abuse or use your aggressive body language. Keep it low key and be humble but adopt a solid behavior to stick to your stand.


Maryam Shah
Willing Ways, Islamabad