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BBC: Tough love ‘is good for children’

BBC Article from Sunday, November 8, 2009

Somewhat validating article from the BBC covering recent research that indicates a ‘tough love’ approach helps build important character traits in children.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a real hard-ass with my daughter, being that she’s only 22 months at the time of this article, but I do like to stand tough when she is crying about not getting her way.  I also try to ensure she doesn’t become overly dependent or accustomed to anything – pacifier, DVDs in the car, running around during dinner.

While I won’t comment on the socio-economic implications of the study (the article investigates those aspects), I will say that it’s probably harder for today’s parents to raise ‘tough’ kids compared to the baby-boomer generation or before.  Struggles were definitely in a different context in previous decades.  I’m sure a child in the 60s cried about not getting a lunch box, but it’s starkly different than complaining about a lack of X-box today.  There’s a remarkable difference in context for parental toughness today compared to our parents, and in some ways it makes our job as parents harder.  Good thing I was raised with some tough love as well.

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