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Hi, Has any parent had to go with the "TOUGH LOVE" approach? 

With my just 20 year old daughter, iv'e had to do just that recently as there was no other choice. I am really struggling, and my heart is breaking. Im hoping for advice on how to cope and how to stay strong.


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Hey @ThatRedHeadChic 


Thank you for posting.  It sounds like 'tough love' was a last resort for you and not your natural style.  For this reason alone, you may be feeling bad as such an approach may not be 'you'. Smiley Sad


What's been going on that made you feel you had to take this approach?  Also, has this approach resulted in any changes in your daughter?


We are all here for you Heart





I can only imagine how frustrating and heartbreaking this experience is for you. I know first-hand how hard it can be to watch your child transform into someone you no longer connect with, and it seems to happen almost overnight sometimes. 


If I may, I'd like to share a technique I have put together based on a lot of research and life experience. I call it AIR3. It is an acronym that stands for Acknowledge, Inquire, Reflect, Respect, Repeat. Here's how it works. When you have a calmer moment, invite your daughter to sit with you for a cup of tea or coffee. She might resist, but let her know you want an opportunity to simply chat for a bit. Then, comes the A. For this part you should make an attempt at trying to figure out how she feels and tell her what you came up with without judgment or anger in your voice. Something like: "I know how frustrating it must be for you to still be bound by our house rules when you are an adult that wants to feel control and a certain level of freedom." The idea here is to get her to agree with your statement. After you get some agreement, Inquire. Ask her to share just how frustrated or mad she is. Let her vent about what she feels and why she feels it. Ask questions that invite more venting. This will be hard to sit through. But, try to not interject, defend yourself, or question her feelings. When there is a natural pause, in as neutral a tone as you can muster, Reflect, or repeat back to her what you have heard her say. "So, what I hear you say is that you are angry that you still have to follow the same rules as when you were younger." This will invite clarification, if your tone has been free from judgment. Finally, repeat the process. Do this until she seems to have softened and is more open to talking. You will see her posture shift and her gaze be more direct.


At his point, you can say something like: "Well, I am sorry that you are having such a hard time. Do you have any suggestions as to what we can do?"  This will, hopefully, invite another level of conversation in which you can work together to reach a compromise.


I hope this helps or at least sparks some ideas. I would love to know if you tried it and how it worked.


All the best to you!