Hard love is a common term used to describe any behavior that is a firm, sometimes cold approach to dealing with a person’s actions. It’s somewhat controversial, especially when it comes to treating certain medical conditions like drug addiction or other addictive behaviors.
What is hard love
Hard love is an expression that author Bill Milliken first introduced to the public in his book. Hard love, published 1968.
While the term hard love has become very popular in a variety of contexts ranging from parenting to relationships, it cannot be used effectively in all situations, including addiction.
There are several ways that hard love is used in everyday speech. Most often it is used to describe any type of parenting in which the child experiences some negative emotions as part of a learning process. This can range from a healthy set of hard lines that are common in authoritative parenting styles to abusive parenting styles that use humiliation, degradation, or physical violence to control the child.
For example, a parent may use hard love against their adult child who has not got a job. The hard love parents would hold back paying bills and let the child deal with the consequences like late payments or bills rather than sneaking in and fixing the problem.
In a damaging example of tough love, a parent would belittle or physically harm a child for failing to get a good grade or for not doing their chores. Having consequences can change behavior, but this is an extreme example that can have long-lasting negative effects.
While hard love may seem effective in the short term, it can actually worsen the condition and lead to dangerous relapses later.
Hard love can refer to a positive approach to parenting in which the child learns valuable lessons in a way that is supportive and preserves the child’s dignity.
Does Hard Love Work?
While hard love can sometimes force people with substance and alcohol use disorders to seek treatment, research suggests that more empathetic, voluntary approaches are more effective. For example, studies have shown that a program known as Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) can help people encourage their loved ones to seek treatment. The program uses behavioral principles to reduce substance use, promote treatment, and reduce the level of stress felt by the individual’s loved ones...
Research also suggests that mandatory drug treatment may not improve outcomes.If youApproaches that encourage voluntary treatment may be more effective in getting people to initiate and maintain abstinence.
Hard love vs. setting limits
Hard love in particular has been ridiculed as a dangerous technique for dealing with teenagers or adults struggling with addiction problems, such as substance abuse. Some treatment centers use the term hard love to refer to a hard approach that destroys the person’s will.
Hard love can have its place in addiction treatment, but should not be used without advice from a doctor or therapist. If you have a child or loved one struggling with addiction, seek out an addiction therapist for advice on how to help your loved one. Your therapist can advise you on the best approaches and limits so that your child can recover sustainably.If you.
Instead of focusing on simply using a “hard love” approach to dealing with a loved one who is addicted, learning how to set healthy boundaries may be more effective.