Tough Love In Money And Finance

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My mother loves my brother so much. When he was still very young, he would normally ask my mother for 1.00 in order for him to buy his favourite snack in the nearby sari-sari store. As my brother grows up, the money that he is asking continued to increase. He would now be asking 5.00 and even 20.00. I guess my brother knows the concept of inflation; very smart kid. Sooner or later, I realize that the amount is getting bigger and bigger and this is outside the context of his allowance. Every time he wants something, he would be asking money from my parents. However, my brother is getting older. And I know that sooner or later, this could boomerang to my parents especially my mother. Hence, I told my mother to practice tough love.

So what is tough love?

According to The Free Dictionary, this is the use of strict disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern.

Looking back to my brother’s scenario, I know that if such act continues, he would then be dependent to my mother for money and for finances. I don’t want that to happen. Simply imagine that implication in the near future. My mind has been feeding me with various possibilities like he won’t be looking anymore for a job.

As what a Chinese Proverb says, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

Hence, it is our responsibility after all to look for our family members and provide them with the necessary aptitude and skill to be able to fend for them rather than us feeding them. And one good way to stress that point is to pursue tough love.

Allow me to present more scenario in which you can induce tough love.

For instance, if you are an OFW and your entire family and clan is dependent on you. If there are items that your kids need, they would be asking it directly from you. More so your relatives join in. Every time you come home, they would be joining the welcome, the food and the trips. Filipinos as we are, we are so generous not only to our family and extended family. They would be asking you to buy this and that. Then we say yes.

This also holds true for breadwinners who have family members that can work but chose not to. If a family member or two can work but are just dependent on your income or your salary, perhaps it would be time that you get to teach them tough love.

Hence, how can you be able to push through with tough love?

Talk With Them

The first thing you need to do would be talk it out. If you are the OFW, the breadwinner or the parent, it is important that you talk it out with your family members or relatives. Let them realize that money is no easy thing to have. And you yourself are working hard in order to have it.

Learn To Say No

Whenever a family member would ask for money, say NO. Remember the word, NO. If you have been all so giving to them before, perhaps it would be time to change it. Saying NO can indeed be harsh but refusing to their requests is one way to teach them.

Teach and Help Them

Remember the proverb earlier? Then we shall teach and help them to be able to fend for themselves. Perhaps we can introduce them to work opportunities. Or you can give them incentives in case they would be able to finish a chore or two. This is what my mother did to my brother. Every time he would finish a household task, she will give him money. No wonder my brother is motivated to do things around the house since he will be compensated. Teach them the value of hard work and earning money from it.

Tough love is no easy task. This is also a good way to break the cycle of dependency. In the end, this is not only for your own good but for them as well.

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