Tough love is often confused with authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parents use a “my way or the highway approach” because they’re more concerned with getting kids to comply, rather than teaching life lessons. Tough love parenting differs in that it can still be warm and empathetic.
Tough love parenting involves setting clear boundaries and limits. Consequences are enforced as a way to teach teens life lessons.
Parents may use tough love to help a child become more responsible for his behavior. Rather than rescuing him, offering extra chances, or preventing kids from consequences of their actions, tough love is about helping kids experience consequences for their behavior.
It may mean setting strict limits and creating consequences that teach life lessons or it might involve letting kids fact the natural consequences of their behavior. Either way, it’s meant to ensure that children understand that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to help them do better.