Word #84. Tough-minded.
Being tough-minded means holding boundaries with consistency, letting natural consequences happen and embracing true accountability.
It’s a skill that comes naturally for some. But not for me. As a parent, I’d prefer to fix bad choices, soften consequences and let things slide rather than face conflict. Yet I know such wishy-washiness hurts a child’s sense of trust, self-worth and confidence.
With help from Jeff, who is naturally tough-minded, and requests from my children to stop intervening in their messes, I slowly grew my tough-minded muscle over time.
This inner work hit home poignantly yesterday. I found a letter Sam left for me to discover upon returning from taking him to college. It was a statement of his gratitude for the past 18 years.
Tucked within the two pages of memories and reflections, Sam wrote, “You’ve always given me the perfect balance of support and letting me fail, whether through Acton or at home. I can tell how hard it is for you to let me fail, but is was always the right call.”
I never did it perfectly. I share these two sentences in case you need a bit of courage to set a boundary, hold a line, or let the chips fall.
Time passes and stomping feet soften into grateful hearts.