Permissive parenting style
This is the parent who is afraid to set limits on children or believes a child has to be true to his or her own nature.
When a parent is permissive, they look at their child as equal rather than children of a parent. Gift-giving and bribery are their primary parenting tools versus boundaries and expectations. There are very few demands of a child in this situation and parents have a difficult time saying “no” as they avoid asserting authority and confrontation. They also avoid punishment at all times.
This parenting style involves:
- Being nurturing and warm, but reluctant to impose limits.
- Rejecting the notion of keeping their kids under control.
- Similar to the authoritative style, they are emotionally supportive and responsive to their children.
- Permissive parents are not demanding. Kids do not have many responsibilities and are allowed to regulate their behavior and the majority of their choices.
- Studies have found links between permissive parenting and increased alcohol use among teenagers as well as higher rates of school misconduct and lower levels of academic achievement.
- Screen time and snacks are not monitored in this type of family, which can lead to a risk of obesity and typically four hours of television per day.
The negative side effects to this parenting style include:
- Children are not required to have good manners or be responsible around the home.
- The child typically has a lot of freedom in regards to bedtimes, homework, mealtimes and television watching.
- Children make their own decisions without input from parents or caregivers.
- Children are impulsive, aggressive and lack independence as well as personal responsibility, mainly due to the huge lack of boundaries. They can have symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- While children from these homes tend to have high self-esteem and good social skills, they are also demanding and selfish.
Similar to kids raised under the overprotective parenting style, these kids are highly likely to look for praise and the value of their self-worth from peers and strangers (external) versus themselves (internally), which can be very dangerous.
Michigan State University Extension has the following recommendations:
- Establish a list of household rules and behavior expectations.
- Decide on what will happen if rules aren’t followed in advance. Working with your child to develop consequences will hold them accountable.
- Teach your child that for every good deed, they will be allowed to choose what leisure activity they would like to do. For example, 30 minutes of television time for doing laundry or putting dishes in dishwasher.
- Follow through. While it may be tough at first to set limits and rules, eventually they will learn you mean business and will feel secure in a family that cares enough to have boundaries to keep them safe.
For a better parenting option, learn more about the authoritative type parenting style that allows children to be independent thinkers, self-regulate their emotions and are successful and happy. For more information on each parenting style, click on one of the styles below:
- The authoritarian parent. This is the "because I told you so" parent who is likely to degrade a child and ignore the child’s point of view.
- The authoritative parent. This is a mom or dad who sets carefully defined limits for children, the one who is a good role model and praises children for their efforts.
- The permissive parent. This is the parent who is afraid to set limits on children or believes a child has to be true to his or her own nature.
- The overprotective parent. This is the parent who wants to protect their children from harm, hurt and pain, unhappiness, bad experiences and rejection, hurt feelings, failure and disappointments.
For more information about child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.