Permissive parenting is also referred to as indulgent parenting. Permissive parenting is a parenting style distinguished by low demands and high responsiveness. Permissive parents are typically very loving, but they provide few guidelines and rules. When parents are less bossy and punitive and more focused on shaping good behaviour through reasoning and positive emotions, children thrive. Permissive parents are friendly and responsive, which is a good thing. Secure attachment relationships are fostered by affectionate, responsive parenting. These parents do not expect mature behaviour from their children and frequently appear to be more of a friend than a parent. Permissive parents are extremely lax and rarely set or enforce rules or structure. Their catchphrase is frequently “kids will be kids.” While they are usually warm and loving, they make little or no effort to control or discipline their children. As a result of the lack of rules, expectations, and demands, children raised by permissive parents struggle with self-regulation and self-control.
Permissive parents do not regulate or control their children’s behaviour. As a result, their children are less aware of the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. They also have poorer impulse control and more behavioral issues.
Permissive parenting is also referred to as indulgent parenting. Parents with this parenting style place few demands on their children. Discipline is uncommon because these parents have low expectations for self-control and maturity. Permissive parents are more responsive than demanding parents. They are unconventional and lenient, do not require mature behaviour, allow for significant self-regulation, and avoid confrontation.
Parents who are permissive:
- They are usually very nurturing and loving to their children.
- When making major decisions, parents should consult with their children.
- Parents should emphasize their children’s freedom rather than their responsibility.
- Bribery, such as toys, gifts, and food, may be used to get a child to behave.
- Often appear more like a friend than a parent.
- Provide little in the way of structure or a schedule.
- Consequences are rarely enforced.
- Are aware of their children’s needs.
- Are lenient and excessively lax. They despise having power and authority over their children. They do not supervise or direct their children’s behaviour. They have few rules and expectations of their behaviour. There are rules, but they are not consistently followed.
- Allow children to make major decisions that are normally reserved for adult guardians without supervision.
Permissive parents’ overly relaxed approach to parenting can have a number of negative consequences. Children raised by permissive parents lack self-discipline, have poor social skills, may be self-involved and demanding, and may feel insecure as a result of a lack of boundaries and guidance.
The children of permissive parents:
- Permissive parents fail to monitor their children’s study habits. As a result, their children have less self-control. Permissive parents do not expect their children to perform or set goals for them to strive for. Academic achievement is lower in the children of permissive parents. Because their parents do not enforce any rules or guidelines, these children struggle to develop good problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Children of permissive parents are more likely to be associated with criminal activity, substance abuse, and alcohol-related issues because they have poor impulse control.
- Permissive parents do not control or regulate their children’s behaviour. They exhibit more aggression and less emotional understanding. As a result, their children are less aware of the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. They also have poorer impulse control and more behavioral issues, especially when they do not get what they want. When confronted with a stressful situation, they are more likely to resort to aggression.
- These children never learn limits because their homes lack structure and rules. This could result in excessive television viewing, computer gaming, and overeating. These children never learn to limit their screen time or eating habits, which can lead to obesity and unhealthy habits.
Because permissive parenting involves a lack of demands and expectations, children raised by this style of parenting tend to lack a strong sense of self-discipline. They may be more disruptive in school as a result of a lack of boundaries at home, and they may be less academically motivated than many of their peers.
Children may lack social skills if their parents have few expectations for mature behaviour. They may be good at interpersonal communication, but they lack important skills like sharing.
Switching Your Permissive Parenting Style.
If you tend to be a pushover or struggle to enforce rules, think about how you can develop more authoritative parenting habits. This can be difficult at times because it frequently entails becoming stricter, enforcing rules, and dealing with your child’s upset.
Consider the following strategies:
- Make a list of basic house rules. Your children must clearly understand your expectations in order to understand how they should behave.
- Carry it out. This can be the most difficult for permissive parents, but it is essential. Try to be firm and consistent while remaining loving. Provide adequate feedback and explanations to your children to help them understand why such rules are important, while still ensuring that consequences are in place.
- Make sure your children understand the consequences of breaking the rules. Guidelines are meaningless unless there is some sort of penalty for not following them. Time-outs and loss of privileges are logical consequences for breaking the rules of the household.
- Reward appropriate behaviour. Try to catch your children being good and give them special privileges when they do.
A Word from the Pros.
Permissive parenting can lead to a variety of issues, so it’s important to consciously try to use a more authoritative approach if you notice these signs in your own parenting.
If you are a more permissive parent, consider how you can help your children understand your expectations and guidelines while also being consistent in your enforcement of these rules. You can ensure that your children grow up with the skills they need to succeed in life by providing them with the right balance of structure and support.
What To Do If Your Parent Is Permissive.
Permissive indulgent parenting can result in a variety of negative outcomes in children.
Here are some strategies to help you get things back on track.
- Declare it. Inform your children (and spouse / co-parent) that you will begin using an authoritative parenting style. Assure them that you will continue to be warm and responsive to their needs, but that there will be rules and limits that you will enforce.
- Make rules with the children. Hold a family meeting to determine which rules are required. Inquire about their thoughts and weigh the pros and cons. However, you have the final say.
- Determine the ramifications of rule violations. There must be clear and reasonable consequences for children who break the rules. Remember to use natural consequences to discipline your children (not to punish).
- Carry it out. This is where many permissive parents fail when attempting to break their permissive habits. It can be difficult not only for your children, but also for you, if you are used to being the “nice” parent.
That is yet another reason why using natural consequences is critical. You don’t have to be cruel or the “bad” guy. You are simply modelling new behaviour for your children by allowing them to experience the natural consequence. The goal is to educate, not to punish.
Remember that one of the most important aspects of authoritative parenting that allows for the best outcomes in your children’s upbringing is consistency.
What Should You Do If Your Spouse / Co-Parent Is Permissive?
It is ideal to have two authoritative parents.
However, we cannot always rely on others to change.
If you’ve tried but failed to change your partner, the best thing you can do for your child is to maintain authoritative parenting habits yourself. Children fare better if at least one parent uses authoritative discipline rather than none.