The Fruits of Tough Love

8594E5B8-98FE-4F67-9029-31133C22698D“Don’t you think your punishment is a little too harsh?” Betsy asked her husband.

“Absolutely not,” Hal said. “What the boy needs is some tough love, not the coddling you always bestow upon him, no matter what he does.”

“I don’t think you need to be so antagonistic toward him,” Betsy said.

“Oh, are you asking me to give him clemency, Betsy?” Hal asked, sarcastically. “That’s not going to happen. I’ve no doubt that my tough love approach will bear fruit.”

“You know what would really bear fruit in improving your relationship with your son?” Betsy said. “You should try harder to bond with him, to do something together, like go to the library.”

Hal broke out laughing. “I’ve garnered enough evidence of your parenting skills, Betsy, to know that your continued indulgence of the boy’s bad behavior has not worked and he’s just getting worse. I believe in that old adage that when you spare the rod, you spoil the child, and I will not have that.”


The headline in the newspaper the next day read:856416CD-7867-4238-A559-E5A07229F4B3

This fictional tale was written for these daily prompts from yesterday: Weekly Prompts (tough love), Word of the Day Challenge (antagonistic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (clemency), The Daily Spur (fruit), Ragtag Daily Prompt (library), Your Daily Word Prompt (garnered), and Daily Addictions (continued).

16 thoughts on “The Fruits of Tough Love

  1. Sadje September 19, 2019 / 6:03 am

    My my, this is a dark and depressing story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 19, 2019 / 8:54 am

      Sometimes you go high, sometimes up go low.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje September 19, 2019 / 8:59 am

        That’s true. Both your posts today were a bit different.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tien Skye September 19, 2019 / 6:40 am

    Sadly, your story cuts to the truth. We did have a case here, although the circumstances leading to the stabbing are different and thankfully, no one died. But still…*shivers*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 19, 2019 / 8:58 am

      I had some trepidation about posting this, but it is a sad reality these days…all too often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nkdwhtguy September 19, 2019 / 8:08 am

    Thanks for this warm, uplifting story (j/k). I wonder how many marriages break up because of conflicts in parenting styles. My ex-wife and mom to my two daughters was a tyrant, and I was the easy-going dad. We fought more about discipline than money,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stroke Survivor UK September 19, 2019 / 8:42 am

      We had a twist on this, in that my wife and I normally agreed with each other, but my daughter tried to drive a wedge in between us, to play us off against each other. Not so much of a problem when she was small, but increasingly as she got older.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fandango September 19, 2019 / 9:25 am

        It’s a challenge when the kids want to test the boundaries, which many are wont to do.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango September 19, 2019 / 9:18 am

      It happens a lot (the fighting over parenting styles). Fortunately, it doesn’t lead to the extreme outcomes in my story that often. But even once is too often, in my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. SueW September 19, 2019 / 2:23 pm

    The same old worldwide story. Mothers will defend their children in the way they always have, even if this goes against the father. In turn the father will always fight for his right to be in charge.

    Sadly the poor child stuck in the middle will eventually break!
    Shame on the boy for killing his mother the one person who would have always been kn his corner!

    Very clever story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 19, 2019 / 6:17 pm

      It was actually tough for me to write. I had a lot of second thoughts about posting it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SueW September 19, 2019 / 10:11 pm

        It was a clever piece and I’m glad you chose to share it.

        In an ideal world mother and son would have lived happily ever after, but life is seldom ideal!

        Liked by 3 people

  5. leigha66 September 20, 2019 / 4:43 pm

    Sadly sometimes the bullying kids face these days can sometime be at their own house. Good write Fandango!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gc September 22, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    If more abusive fathers were charged and sentenced then mothers would have less stress to deal with.

    Liked by 2 people

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