Does tough love really work?

Sharon LeGore, Family Advocate, shares advice for parents on the effects of using tough love on troubled kids, and how it can work in some cases but also push a fragile child over the edge
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Does tough love really work?

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You know, people talk about tough love and my experience with tough love it was the very first support group that I went to and the night I showed up, they were talking about inhalants. And I went home that night and little light bulbs were going on and I realized, wow, inhalants, I need to really search my child's room. Getting tough search the room. What I found shocked me because under the bed were bottles of air freshener and rags and it hit me like a ton of bricks, my child was using inhalants. That was one of the beginning realizations of the different drugs that could be used. And you know parents say , and you'll hear from other experts, you need to use tough love and you need to let them hit rock bottom. For some parents, tough love may work, but for others it may push a fragile child over the edge because they feel they've lost hope, they have no one that really loves them, who cares about them. This is a stigmatizing disease not only for the family, but for the child and you really want to be able to help your child through this, not put them in a place where they feel worse for the disease that they have. So sometimes tough love works, but sometimes it doesn't. And I know for my own self, I had something deep inside of me that said this isn't right. Even though I had experts tell me, I know my child best and I knew she wouldn't repsond to that. So what I tell parents is most important when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you have to be able to live with the choices you make. So really think about that before using tough love.

Sharon LeGore, Family Advocate, shares advice for parents on the effects of using tough love on troubled kids, and how it can work in some cases but also push a fragile child over the edge

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Sharon LeGore

Family Advocate

Sharon is the founder and president of Momstell, a parent advocacy organization she created after the death of her daughter to a drug overdose.  She created the Momstell website in order to expand the mission to join concerned parents and families to work together towards improving drug treatment, education, legislation, and policy. Mrs. LeGore has worked on many drug and alcohol policy, state budget and legislative issues for Pennsylvania, including legislation to create the first statewide Parent Advisory Council for substance abuse issues in Pennsylvania. She serves on several policy tables and co-chairs the PA Children’s Advisory Committee.

Mrs. LeGore is a consultant on substance abuse family involvement issues for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and is also the co-director of the SAMHSA sponsored “National Family Dialogue”. Sharon co-authored the CSAT/SAMHSA report “Families of Youth with Substance Use Disorders: A National Dialogue”, an issue brief entitled “Family Involvement in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment” a journal piece for Reclaiming Futures entitled “Family Involvement in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Recovery: What do we know and what lies ahead”, co-authored the “Access to Substance Abuse Treatment: Results of a Family Survey” as well as several additional published articles. She is a national speaker and also serves on the Parent Advisory Board for the Partnership for a Drug Free America.

Sharon is the mother of four and resides in Mt Wolf, Pennsylvania with her husband Terry.

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