What is permissive parenting? Know all about it here.

There are different sets of parents and different styles of parenting available. Some are permissive, some are authoritative, some are uninvolved, and so on. So, one such technique that we have picked for today is permissive parenting or indulgent parenting. In this article, we will define permissive parenting style.

Broadly permissive parenting include two key points - First one is being warm and loving towards the child, which certainly is a good thing while the other thing is being reluctant to impose limits, which is certainly a problematic thing.

Permissive parenting meaning can be defined as a parenting style that has high responsiveness yet low demands. This is the basic characteristic of this parenting style, where a parent is loving and caring yet does not believe in putting any limits or guidelines on their child.

These permissive or indulgent parents and sometimes also known as lenient parents. They run away from the idea of keeping their children under control. They believe in being more of a friend to their children instead of a parent. They do not expect out of their children to be mature and let them do whatever they want. Instead of watching each and every action of their offspring just like helicopter parents, they rarely structure any rules or watch the moves of their child. They do not present themselves as role models and instead of showing authority, they believe in reasoning and explaining to get things done.

Research on Permissive Parenting Style

Diana Baumrind, a psychologist, did extensive research on preschool-age children, came across different parenting styles, and categorized them in three different types. After researching, even more, Baumrind added the fourth parenting style and one from these styles is the permissive parenting style. These types of parents do not demand much from their children and are very responsive. Thus, they are also known as indulgent parents. They don't believe in self-control and stay away from the expectations of their children being mature. They also rarely believe in discipline. They are very different from traditional parents and they are quite lenient towards their children. They do not allow or mostly avoid regulation while they permit self-regulation.

Few Prominent Characteristics of Permissive Parenting Style

Every parenting style shows different types of styles and characteristics. Same goes for permissive parent styles. Permissive parents are as follows:

  • Have low demands from kids

  • Are highly responsive towards the child’s emotional needs

  • Are very caring, loving, and warm towards their children

  • They involve their children while taking major decisions

  • Give more attention to children’s freedom than to responsibility

  • Do not believe in imposing rules and structures

  • Use basic bribery such as offering rewards in terms of toys, gifts to get their work done.

  • Believes in reasoning in order to make their child do what they want.

  • Believed in being a friendly figure than a parenting role model.

  • Avoid or rarely provide structure or schedule.

  • Does not impose repercussions or consequences.

  • Does not believe in controlling their children.

  • Does not believe in confrontations.

  • Allows self-regulations and self-moderation.

The pros and cons are the part and parcel of every parenting style. There might be advantages of permissive parenting style as well. The same way, here are the detailed negative and positive effects of permissive parenting styles on children.

Positive Effects of Permissive Parenting

Can have strong bonds with their parents. As permissive parents believe in being friendly, they can create a nurturing bond with their children.

There will be a higher chance of not having a conflict. There can be struggles over power, but as the bond is more friendly and permissive parents allow the voice of their children in major decisions, there are slightly lower chances of conflicts.

As the children grow with less restrictions and are open or free-spirited, they tend to show more creative skills. They have more creative and innovative ideas as their creative side of the brain is more developed.

Negative Effects of Permissive Parenting

The child can face power struggle problems with their parents as they have seen their parents offering them or giving them whatever they demand as to not upset them. This becomes a behavioral problem and tends to create struggles of problems between the permissive parent and their children.

As permissive parents show less demands and expectations from their children, this laid back attitude can become a problem of low motivation. They might grow up thinking that there is no one to care about their successes and failures and thus feel less motivated.

There can be a tremendous clash between wants and needs. Permissive parents tend to offer their children whatever they want, no matter how lavish or small it is. This can become a problem when they group up as they tend to neglect the skills of differentiating between need and want.

Consequences of Permissive Parenting Styles on Children

As the parents do not hover behind or ask about their performances, successes or failures, children tend to lack the motivation and competitive spirit in them and instead fall prey to aggressions, substance use and other behavioral problems. Some of the effects of permissive parenting on children are as follows:

  • They show poor academic performance.

  • They show behavioral problems.

  • They tend to internalize problems even more.

  • Heavy drinking problems in adolescence.

  • Alcohol-drinking problems in young adults.

  • Reported less intimacy with their parents.

  • They have low emotional understanding.

  • They are highly aggressive.

  • They show rebellion nature.

  • Cannot manage multiple things at a time.

  • Cannot manage time or habits.

  • Possess poor decision making skills.

How Can Permissive Parenting Style be Changed?

If you read about the style and characteristics of permissive parenting and you feel that you fall under this category and wish to change it, then it is surely possible. You cannot change it completely but you can improve the traits of other parenting styles to inculcate a perfect balance. It is very important to develop a parenting style to raise your children in the best way possible for their growth and development. So, changing from permissive to authoritative or any other style of parenting will be difficult as it might demand enforcing rules or limits, it might demand to take more control of your child. It also demands to cope up with their child being upset as you might be habitual of providing your child with whatever they want in order to keep them happy. There are some of the basic steps that you can follow to become less of a permissive parent.

Start from making rules in the house. You can make a list of basic rules that your child has to follow in the household such as timing of the TV or completing homework before a certain time. You should keep your expectations in front of them and let them know that you are expecting something out of them.

Take feedback and keep a track of the rules. Follow through as you might need it to become less of a lenient parent. This can be a problem for a permissive parent as they do not believe in being strict. So, following through does not mean that you will have to stop being loving and nurturing. You need to be just slightly firm and you need to make them understand why following these rules are important.

As you put rewards and use bribery such as toys and gifts, you learn to keep penalties when they break a rule. Showing little authority and consequences are a good way to move away from permissive parenting.

If your child still shows good behavior and follows the rules, then you can reward them.

Permissive parenting can be very bad and create problems in the behaviors of their children. If you are more permissive, then you should try refraining from it and turn to become more authoritative. You can go through the entire article and decide what kind of approach you follow.

If you analyze that you have a permissive parenting approach, then try to inculcate more rules and structure to your daily routine and enforce it on your children. Make them believe that you expect from them and they should work towards that expectation.