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Authoritative Parenting

A source of Parenting Styles you can trust. Find more about Authoritative Parenting, Authoritarian Parenting, Permissive Parenting, and Neglectful Parenting

Home / Parenting / Permissive Parenting: Definition, Characteristics, and Effects

Permissive Parenting: Definition, Characteristics, and Effects

Permissive Parenting Definition

Permissive parenting is a parenting style with low demands and high responsiveness. It is a more like the opposite of Authoritarian Parenting. Parents show more loving expressions and provide few guidelines and rules. They tend to be more like a friend to their children rather than showing a figure of parent. They also do not much expecting mature behavior from their children. It seems like to be a “no-discipline” approach.

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Permissive parents are very lax and rarely make rules or structures enforcement. They never hover over their children’s move. This type of parents are warm and loving and only make a little attempt to control their children. They have motto that “Kids will always be kids“.

Experts sometimes call Permissive parenting as indulgent parenting. Demands over the children is relatively only few from this type of parents. They are also only have low expectations of self-control and maturity from their parents.

Permissive parents are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation.

Permissive Parenting Characteristics

Some of the typical traits of permissive parents including:

  1. Permissive parents only have few rules or standards of behavior. They are often inconsistent, if any.
  2. Parents are usually very nurturing and loving. They shows a figure of friend to their children rather than a parent.
  3. Toys, gifts and food are popular bribes for the parents to get children to behave
  4. Emphasize their children’s freedom rather than responsibility
  5. Children’s opinions is involved on making major decision
  6. If the children make mistakes, the parents rarely make consequences

The Effects of Permissive Parenting

Research suggests overly relaxed parenting approach can lead to many negative effects. Children may experiencing lack of self-discipline and having poor social skills. Furthermore, due to lack of boundaries and guidance from their parents, they also may feel insecure.

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Children raised by permissive parents may display low achievement in many aspects especially in academic aspect. They do not have anything to strive forward because their parents have little expectations of them.

Research also found that children raised by permissive parenting were more likely to increase level of aggression over time. This study involves 281 American children at the age of 9 years. (Underwood et al 2009). They also tend to make poor decisions since permissive parents seldom enforcing any type of rules or guidelines. These kids also have bad problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Lack of demands and expectations make negatives outcome that children with permissive parents may have only a little sense of self discipline. In the school, they may disobey some rules and have less motivation to study due to the lack of boundaries in the home.

Children raised by permissive parents may lack of social skills since these parents have few requirements for mature behavior. They may have good interpersonal communication, but lack of other important skills.

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Solutions for Permissive Parenting

Parents who use permissive parenting as their approach should consider looking for ways to develop your practice to be “more authoritative“. It is useful for them who is struggling to enforcing rules for their children. Parents can consider below suggestions:

  • Developing some household basic rules. Parents should let children know about their expectations and how they should behave.
  • Making some consequences if children breaking rules. It is useful when children know that they can get consequences if they breaking the rules. They might lose some privileges for the consequences.
  • Giving reward for having good behavior. This can motivate the children to always make good behavior. Parents can give some more privileges to them.

Bottom Line for Permissive Parenting

Permissive parenting is actually a good approach, although not the best. However, this approach can lead to a number of problems and permissive parents need to utilize a more “authoritative approach”. Parents should think of ways that you can help your children understand parents’ expectations and guidelines. Parents also should be consistent about rule enforcement. Children can learn skills they need in life in order to be success if parents could provide a good balance of structure and support.

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