As you people all know by now, I was mostly raised by my father. My birth mother, was much of a help and my step mother was not allowed to interfere in my affairs.
This blogpost is how my father’s lack of tough love caused me more harm than good.
Caveat - This is going to be a hurried blogpost so exuse typo’s, spelling mistake and stuff.
Let us define tough love.
Tough Love is basically saying harsh things to your kids (or any person) with completely good intentions.
It risks antoganising the person or in some case risking the relationship.
In this particular case, tough love examples are the following.
1. It is when a father physically fights with young kids and teaches them what is play and what is real aggression.
2. A father gives you a task and if you don’t complete, he can make you starve or skip a meal. He may do other forms of tough love like sniping your pocket money.
3. A father sending you out for some errand, which he knows is diificult or maybe even life threatening. (This is often known as the rite of passage for boys, many tribal cultures have this inbuilt in to their community in form of rituals)
So, this clears the meaning of tough love?
Number 1 Reason why dad didn’t show tough love
My father had me when he was 35, which means he was very matured. It is said that people who have kids in their 30’s are much softer on their kids then people who have kids in their 20’s.
This mean’s dad didn’t do the rough play with me when I was a toddler. It is said that most of the development occurs in the child by the age 4.
Side Note -
The millennials kids are an example of this trend. They have been raised with kids gloves. When I mention a cohort, I don’t mean it applies to everyone, but it is the majority, it is the trend.
Why younger parents are harsh, is another segaway. So coming back to me, cause I am the focial point of all my blogpost no?
Number 2 reason why dad didn’t show tough love.
Being a single parent, dad had to be a mother and a father. He has to be tender and caregiver and yet be tough. I was the youngest child so he became more of a mother than a father.
Number 3 reason why dad didn’t show tough love.
He was very particular that he is looked at as a HERO. It was too much of a risk for him to make a rebel out of me. A mother reteirates again and again to make the father look as a HERO. He didn’t have a wife or trust his wife to cover his back, if things don’t go as planned.
Number 4 reason why dad didn’t show tough love.
He was too busy. Those were the days when WFH was not an option. He left home at 8 am and returned at 10pm. I only saw him eating his dinner where few loving and encouraging words were said.
Tough love requires that you plan and strategise carefully. It is not something so callous that you throw at a growing up kid. It needs flawless execution. He had no time for this.
So the important question is how did it affect my adult hood.
Well, when I started working, I expected everyone to treat me nice. Well, most people did. But the people who didn’t i shut them off. This means I close the feedback loop. I lived inside my own secure palace and one day the palace shattered.
I still cannot handle tough love. I cannot distinguish between tough love and someone being malevolent to me.
It’s is dance trying to understand if it is tough love or agresssion which i need to fight. But as you see, I am learning.
If you are a father of a toddler it is your duty to play rough with you child. If you have a older kid, set up challenges, making it harder with every iteration. Prepare the child at the utmost of your capability to face the world. Fatherhood is a job too.