toughLove: Expert Advice on Raising Confident, Kind, Resilient, Successful Kids

By Lisa Stiepock, Amy Iorio, Lori Gottlieb, Lisa Stiepock, Amy Iorio, Lori Gottlieb

53 ratings - 4.26* vote

From toughLOVE, a unique online community: balanced, practical advice for parents of school-age children from child psychology experts on how to handle everything from picky eating to media consumption to the homework wars.The challenges of parenting evolve as the world becomes more complex. How do we set limits on what our children are exposed to without sheltering them t From toughLOVE, a unique online community: balanced, practical advice for parents of school-age children from child

... more

Book details

ebook, 256 pages
October 7th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
1476733279 (ISBN13: 9781476733272)

Community Reviews

Kaitlin Bevis

I'm a researcher. When I encounter something that scares me, I read about it. And what's more terrifying than parenting? But once my daughter turned six, I ran into a problem.

There were no more books. It's like children between six and twelve stop existing when it comes to parenting books unless you're looking for a very specific issue. What I liked best about toughLOVE was that it picked up where the other parenting books left off (kindergarten) and carried it all the way through the teens. It covers many topics, some of which are irrelevant to me (dealing with divorce), some I'd buy a whole book on (Jill Castle gives some fantastic nutrition and meal tips), and a bunch of different topics that I'm grateful to get a broad overview on.

All of the chapters cover different topics and are written by parenting experts with a long string of credentials after their names, all of whom are also parents. Very helpful.

Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Titling this toughLove is kind of a misnomer - what we have is a collection of essays on various subjects by experts (who are also parents) in the field and not a book just for troubled kids. Yes, it does often address the issue overparenting several times and how entitled American kids have become. But really, this is a primer on parenting all age kids in 2014. I found quite a few of the essays to be extremely relevant but also appreciated the width and breadth of the topics covered. At 10-20 pages each, this is easily digestible information with a common theme of participative parenting with open lines of communication.

The book is broken down into two parts: What is toughlove and putting everything into action. Essays in the first section range from parenting styles, family values, empathy, routines, setting limits, materialism, to engaging kids/family time. Topics in part two include: the new millennium teen, mealtime, managing academics, raising athletes, tv/movies/media influence, technology and digital citizens, sex ed, divorce, and the community.

Each essay writer has a very distinct voice and all provide examples of conditions they have encountered in their practices or in their own homes. I found the sex ed essay especially well written but had less interest in mealtime and the village/community. But all essays felt very up-to-date, friendly, and definitely not like a government pamphlet. The right tone, voice, and information make this a very useful, enlightening, and especially important resource for parents. Because the essays are topic specific, it makes it easy to go back and reference them when a parent encounters trouble in that area.

Even if I didn't find every essay useful (e.g., no divorce in my family so I skipped that chapter), there was still a lot of really great parenting tips in there. An underlying theme of communication and finding a balance were the keys to most. I also really appreciated that there were so many real world types of examples and then tips at the end of the chapters/essays for easy reference.

In all, a very good collection and well worth the time and investment to help be the best parents possible.

Reviewed from an ARC.

Meryl Maler

This book is well written in a style that helps guide you to think through the important decisions on child rearing in our hectic ever changing world. It explores how to create a loving atmosphere in your home with realistic limits and expectations so your children will be prepared to be successfully functioning children, then adolescents, and finally adults in their world. A very good read.

Laila Taji

Just skimmed it. I don’t love books that validate their points with a single case study but the advice was sound. I like that the topics were put into distinct so you could skip chapters that weren’t relevant without missing anything.


I particularly enjoyed the chapters on parenting teens.


I can see "toughLove" becoming a frequently referenced guide in my house. There's real breadth and depth here -- it covers the whole span of childhood, and includes experts from multiple disciplines and perspectives. The tone is collaborative and open-minded -- rather than being prescriptive, it offers options and trusts that parents know their kids best and there's no one-size-fits-all. As a mother of three, I see myself using the book as a cheat sheet to read expert perspectives, and then to try out the strategies on the latest challenge.


“Tough Love” is a book I will keep by my nightstand! I have 3 kids and they are all at different levels of development. This book covers them all and continues into the teen years. The authors have created clear guidelines to help navigate this thing called parenthood. It’s informative, practical and easy to read. Such a helpful tool!


one of the few parenting books I've enjoyed and it talks more about older children.