Permissive Parenting

 
Contributed by : Mustafa Lokhandwala   
Permissive Parenting

Permissive parents usually take on more of a friend role than a parent role. They often encourage their children to talk with them about their problems, but they usually don't put much effort into discouraging poor choices or bad behavior.

Permissive parenting has very few rules and expectations of children. Most times, the parents are loving and express caring about their children, but they don’t see their children as mature or capable enough to carry out certain tasks or responsibilities that require self-control.


This style has also been linked to riskier behaviours in older children, like heavy drinking in adolescents and alcohol-related problems as young adults. These parents do not expect mature behaviour from their children and often seem more like a friend than a parental figure.


Ask their children's opinions on major decisions. Emphasize their children's freedom rather than responsibility. Have few rules or standards of behaviour, any rules they do have are inconsistent. May use bribery such as toys, gifts, and food as a means to get a child to behave.


Characteristics


Permissive parents are highly responsive to their children’s needs and nurture their talents and personality. But they are least demanding because they have low expectations on discipline and self-regulation from their children.


  1. Responsive and demanding – Permissive parents are warm and responsive, and that's a good thing. Parents show affectionate which create a secure attachment in relationships. It protects a child from stress and anxiety.
  2. Friendly behaviour - The parenting style is characterized by parents having a very friendly attitude towards their children. The parents behave more like friends with their kids.
  3. Loving and Nurturing – Parent often loves and adores their children. The parent will respond to the child’s emotional needs, whether truly necessary or not. They typically do not lack in this department. If a child is not being affectionate, a permissive mom or dad will often try to buy their child’s love and affection with gifts and bribery.
  4. Self-control – In this style parent behaviour towards their child leads to bad habits in terms of nutrition, screen time, poor sleep schedule and many other aspects of life. A child is not able to understand the long-term effects of these poor choices.
  5. Child freedom - Permissive parents allow their children to do as they please. These types of parents may even be afraid to set limits. With free roam, a child will over-indulge in unwanted things. In the parent’s eyes, this allows the child to be “true to their nature.” 
  6. Uses gifts and bribery - When a child acts up, permissive parents are often afraid to discipline their child. Instead, they will use bribes (candy, money, electronics, etc.) to persuade the child to do what they want.


Effects on Children


Children may love the permissive parenting style as it gives them the maximum freedom without any strings attached. But it could be problematic in the long-run.


  • Struggle to learn good problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Display low academic achievement.
  • They may be demanding and have difficulty sharing.
  • Lack of boundaries results in insecurity in a child(ren).
  • May not take responsibility for their behaviour.
  • Show more aggression and less emotional understanding.
  • Unable to manage their habits and behaviour.
  • More likely to be overweight.


Pros of Permissive Parenting


As this parenting style focuses on being a friend to a child rather than a parent, the parents understand their children better, and communication becomes easy as they grow old. Here are some more benefits of permissive parenting:


Self-assurance - When children are encouraged to express themselves freely, they will become more confident and willing to try new things, regardless of the consequences. Unconditional love is the key to raising a child who values him or herself.

Exploration - Permissive parenting allows children to have more freedom, thus inspiring them to undertake new adventures with a greater sense of confidence.

Creativity – Parents allow freedom and not limit their children; Hence they experiment with all sorts of passions and hobbies creative and imaginative play children can grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically.


Cons of Permissive Parenting


Giving excessive leniency may have significant negative consequences. Let’s see what the drawbacks of permissive parenting are:


A conflict between needs and wants - As children grow older, they might demand a lot of things and have unrealistic and unreasonable expectations. They need guidance and limit-setting from their parents. Since parents do not want to upset their children, they give their children everything they ask for. The child does not learn the difference between needs and wants.

Lack of time management - In the absence of rules and behaviour at home, these children may not learn the value of time. They might spend too much time watching television or playing online games.

Lack of parental control - In permissive parenting, the child may come to feel that they are in charge rather than their parents, and experience that can generate significant anxiety.

Emotional imbalance - Children who do not have limits set on their behaviour can have difficulty regulating their emotions, especially when their needs are not met.




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