What is Permissive Parenting?
It is often said that there is no such thing as a perfect parent! But, mind you, if you aren’t aware of the way you interact with your child and discipline them, then it will weigh your child down in his future. For the healthy growth of a child, it is required that he or she is raised well with necessary involvement from parents. Every parent may raise their children differently. However, parenting styles can be categorized into 4 universal groups:
The parenting styles are categorized on the basis of expectations, communication, nurturing, and disciplining style. Nonetheless, you may not fit into just one parenting style, as quite often, parents identify themselves to be a little bit of each category! While the disciplinarian and authoritative styles establish certain rules on kids, uninvolved parenting has absolutely no ground rules set for them.
The Permissive style of parenting is different as it can be described as below:
- You see yourself more as a friend than as a parent.
- You set few rules but don’t look to establish them.
- You are very nurturing and caring towards the child.
- You use the method of bribery to get things done.
Is Permissive Parenting Good or Bad for the Child?
Permissive parenting has shown better results than the uninvolved parenting method (obviously!). However, permissive parenting outcomes are far less favorable than the other two methods, and hence, is considered not a very effective method, although it has some aspects of positivity that are worth mentioning.
Functional aspects of permissive parenting
- Very responsive to a child’s emotional needs.
- Being lenient, permissive parents do not impose strict rules and allow freedom to children.
- Being warm and nurturing, these parents feel more emotionally supportive and caring to the child.
Bad aspects of permissive parenting
- There are no rules in the house! Even if there are, parents do not consistently reinforce them.
- Children don’t see parents as authority figures and hence, rarely obey or listen to orders from them.
- Parents do not control children and do not guide or monitor their behaviour.
- Children make big decisions in the family, as they have more power than parents in the house.
- Bribing the child with food and toys is common, as that becomes the only way to get things done around them.
- Parents imply no responsibility for the child, such as in doing chores and homework.
- Parents have little expectations from children. Hence, children have no clear goals to work towards.
Now, having seen the good and bad aspects of permissive parenting, it should be easy for you to decide whether it is a good or bad parenting approach. Considering the fact that this parenting method has more obvious negatives, it is a no brainer that permissive parenting isn’t good for your child, after all!
What are the Effects of Permissive Parenting?
Being relaxed at being a parent is a good thing indeed. But researchers agree that the overly relaxed method of permissive parenting may lead to several adverse outcomes for children. Wondering how? Here are some of the effects seen in children as a result of permissive parenting.
Children raised by permissive parents tend to:
- Lack self-discipline and tend to struggle with self-control.
- Be more impulsive and aggressive, particularly in situations where they do not get what they want. Hence, when they have to face real-life emotional and stressful situations, they display behaviour of aggression and anger.
- Display low achievement in studies, career, and other areas. Kids had nothing to strive towards, as parents have little or no expectations.
- Make poor decisions. Permissive parenting rarely encourages the child to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Have worse social skills. Children have less empathy towards others and are considerably anti-social in behaviour.
- Be more prone to alcohol abuse, substance abuse, and delinquency. Children of permissive parents have worse impulse control and often land up in trouble.
- Lack of self-regulation. Children don’t know their limits and tend to eat too much, watch tv for long, so on and so forth. Hence, lead to unhealthy habits and obesity. Also, they find it very difficult to follow routines and rules as an adult.
How to Tell if You are a Permissive Parent?
You need to be strict where you got to be and be warm and caring where you ought to! Being warm and nurturing towards your child, simply doesn’t make you a permissive parent, so don’t worry too much if you are! There are other factors also that count. Here are some of the signs that you must watch out for to make sure that you are not a permissive parent.
We suggest that you ask yourself the following questions to identify if you are more of a permissive parent or not.
1. Do I Have a Fixed Bedtime Routine in the House?
Well, for the important part - the favorable answer to this question is a “yes”. If you don’t have a routine as yet, probably you fall under the permissive parenting category. In order for the child to get the appropriate sleep that he deserves, it is crucial that he/she goes to bed on time. Better sleep makes them feel physically better. The idea of fixing a routine doesn’t only apply to bedtime. You, as a parent, are supposed to have schedules too in order to make the child feel more organized and structured.
2. Do I Limit Screen Time for My Child?
So, your child has been sitting and watching tv shows for four hours straight. But you don’t want to stop him from doing so, fearing that he is going to throw a tantrum. Sound familiar? If so, then you better watch out! Permissive parents rarely set limits on anything related to the child, including eating their favourite food unlimitedly. If you don’t set limits now, your child will have issues with his self-esteem in the future. Let the child watch his favourite TV shows for limited hours. Although you can give an exception of an additional hour or so on weekends.
3. Do I Have to Bribe My Child to Get Homework Done?
Permissive parents often indulge in bribing their children to get anything done around them. If you are giving your way to bribing your child with a candy bar for doing his homework, then you better stop doing that now! Bribing may work for the time being, but it has destructive consequences on the child.
4. Are My Kids Aggressive And Adamant?
Kids of permissive parents do not generally appreciate authority and rules. They are seen to have low self-esteem and don’t know how to deal with their emotions. If you rather lenient and always succumb to kids’ demands, they always get what they want. Hence, when faced with a situation that is stressful and unexpected, these children struggle with dealing with their emotions and turn out to be aggressive and adamant.
5. Do I Have to Negotiate with My Child All The Time?
Since kids are not familiar with living by the rules of the house, they enjoy extreme freedom and flexibility. So, to get things done, you might have to struggle a lot to please them by negotiation to their capacities. As a result, you cave in to this manipulation and keep repeating this for every single thing and every single day!
What to do About Permissive Parenting?
While being a caring and over supporting parent, you may be providing enough care and nurture that is more than what is needed by your child. Nevertheless, this may not result in the best of results, ‘as kids being kids’, try to utilize this affection of yours more often. What is needed now is for you to make some changes in your parenting style, all the while being supportive and caring as you are. But how to do this? Take a look at these suggestions for you to work on.
- Establish rules and reinforce them often: In order for the kids to know how they need to behave in the house, they need to be clearly guided with the instructions that meet your expectations. Also, it is not acceptable to fix rules and then forget about it. You need to remind kids time and again what the rules of the house are and how important it is for them to stick to it.
- Make the child aware of the consequences: Rules and restrictions are useless if some sort of consequence isn’t associated with them. Always make sure to explain to the kids the penalty of breaking the rules of the house and how far-stretching the consequences may turn out to be. Simple time outs or cutting down privileges could be some of the consequences that the child faces when he fails to abide by the house rules.
- Fix routines: Kids who grow up with routines are seen to be more disciplined and emotionally stable. Following routines may not be an easy task for the kids at first, but with continuous support and reinforcement, they can surely gain momentum in the right direction. It becomes easy for you as well, as you will see negotiating less with the child, as the kids are more aware of the limits allowed to them.
- Reward good behaviour: Rather than caving way into their demands all the time and giving them all privileges for no reason, you can hold yourself back. Whenever you see the child being good or following rules, make sure to reward them with special privileges or their favourite food/toy. This way, they will also associate more value with the privileges offered and consider doing good more often.
- Be persistent: It is not easy to change your parenting behaviour overnight and turn out to be a different person altogether. What is needed is for you is to be consistent in your actions and stick to your strategies. Setting rules may be difficult at first, but eventually, you will find this effective as now kids understand that you mean business and are less nagging about it. Always explain to them why rules are important by providing adequate feedback and explanations.
Sometimes, it is seen that parents don’t fall into one precise category. You, as a parent, may have characteristics of the four different parenting types.
The four different parenting types are:
- Authoritarian - These are parents who don’t take the kids’ feelings into consideration and are only interested in getting things done their way. They use punishments as a form of reinforcing discipline.
- Authoritative -These parents create a positive environment for the child’s upbringing by nurturing them but also enforcing rules and regulations in the house.
- Permissive - The characteristics of permissive parents have been discussed earlier in this article!
- Uninvolved - They rarely get involved in the child’s upbringing and don’t devote much time to meeting the child’s rational, materialistic or emotional demands.
So, if you oversee yourself, you might notice that you have a bit of all the parenting styles, and it is ok to be so! However, researchers claim that one parenting style is the most favorable for a kid’s upbringing. And that is the authoritative style. So, it is advisable that you follow more aspects of this particular parenting style and try to inculcate more attributes from it.
Learn to Recognise the Signs of Permissiveness
Recognise the signs of permissiveness in your own parenting and try to evolve into the better version of a parent by making changes. This way, you can provide the right balance of support and structure to your kids, thereby allowing them to grow up with the necessary skills to ride through the journey of life. So, sometimes you need to be a tough parent. After all, it is for the good of your child. Happy parenting!