Permissive Parenting: Characteristics, Effects and more

Permissive Parenting Style – Characteristics, Effects & more

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Dr. Rashmi Prakash (Psychologist/Psychotherapist)
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If your parenting style is categorized by high responsiveness and low demands, then you may be practicing permissive parenting style. Know everything you need to understand about permissive parenting style and how you can effectively manage your parenting style for the benefit of your child.

What Is Indulgent Parenting?

Permissive parenting is also known as indulgent parenting. Parents adopt a very friendly parenting approach in this kind of parenting style, and they often do not expect their children to act or behave in a mature manner. The parents love to nurture the personality, talents, and needs of their kids without being demanding and exercising extremely low self-regulation and discipline. Such parents are very relaxed and lenient with their children, and do not keep a tab on their every action or move.

Why Some Parents Follow Permissive Parenting Style

Some parents who have been raised by very controlling or authoritative parents, or by parents who adopted helicopter parenting style may adopt or practice exactly the opposite. They may adopt a parenting style that is very relaxed and easy on kids.

There are some parents who adopt permissive parenting because they want to be friends with their children instead of being a parent figure. They may feel that exercising control and discipline may harm their relationship with their children.

On the other hand, some parents may adopt indulgent parenting style just because they are themselves too relaxed in life. They may not be paying heed to any structured or disciplined kind of parenting and usually adopt a haphazard way of parenting. They may not like imposing any kind of rules or restrictions on their kids, as it may hamper their laid back attitude, and thus let their kids behave the way they want to.

What Are the Characteristics of Indulgent Parenting Style?

If you are wondering that how you will be able to understand if you are practicing indulgent parenting style, the following characteristics may help you understand better:

1. Lacks Structure

This kind of parenting style lacks structure, and the parents usually do not follow any order or schedule.

2. More of a Friend Than a Parent

The indulgent parenting style is characterized by parents having a very friendly attitude towards their children. The parents do not behave like parents; on the contrary, they behave more like friends with their kids.

3. No Control

The permissive parenting style involves minimal or no parental control over the children.

A girl watching TV

4. Avoids Conflict

The parents have low or no confrontations or conflicts with their children. They have a laid-back attitude towards parenting.

5. Excess Freedom

This parenting style involves giving too much freedom to the children and not holding the children responsible for their action.

6. Parents Want to Be Liked

The parents want to be liked and adored by their kids in this kind of parenting style, and thus they agree to whatever their kids say or demands. They despise upsetting their children.

What Are the Effects of Lenient Style of Parenting on Children?

If you have been adopting a lenient style of parenting with your children, you may notice following effects of permissive parenting on your children:

1. Behavioural Problems

Kids who are brought up with this kind of parenting style usually develop behavioural problems. They may grow up with an irresponsible and casual attitude towards life. They may also find it extremely difficult to deal with their faults.

2. Impulsive Attitude

You may notice your kid is very impulsive, and he may do things in haste. He may also not take any responsibility for his actions.

3. Bullying Nature

If you are a lenient parent then you may notice your kid not adhering to rules and regulation. You may find that he is not scared of the consequences of his bad actions or even punishment. He may even bully other kids in school.

4. Poor Academic Performance

The permissive parenting style involves very low or no expectations from their children. The children with this attitude may exhibit poor or below average academic performance at school. Such kids usually do not set any goals in life.

A boy not interested in doing his homework

5. Emotional Inadequacy

In the lenient parenting style, the parents make all possible efforts for not upsetting their kids. They make efforts to meet all the demands and requirements of their kids and thus all they try and create is a happy atmosphere. This kind of practice hampers a kid’s emotions, and they might find it difficult to deal with their emotions.

6. Poor Decision-Making Capabilities

As parents do not impose discipline and any kind of rules for their children, the children become dull and lack the apt decision making and problem-solving capabilities.

7. More Prone to Substance Use

Children who are raised under permissive parenting style are more likely to engage in acts of misconduct. They may even become alcoholics and drug addicts.

8. Lack the Ability to Manage Time and Other Habits

This parenting style lacks any kind of structure and rules, and thus the kids find it difficult to understand and learn their limits. They may do things excessively, such as watching too much T.V., eating too much junk food, playing for long hours on the computer, etc. They tend to develop unhealthy habits that may lead to health complications such as obesity.

These were some of the outcomes of adopting permissive parenting style, but there are many other problems that may arise because of permissive parenting style.

Some Permissive Parenting Examples

We will discuss some permissive parenting examples for you to understand this parenting style in a better way:

  1. You do not follow or have a specific schedule for your kid’s playing, studying, eating or sleeping. You just go with the flow and do whatever your child desires to do. If he wishes to be up till late at night even when he has to wake up early the next day for school, you do not tell him to go to bed. This is because you do not wish to upset your kid.
  2. You are at a supermarket, and your kid insists on having a candy bar. You allow him to have it in spite of the fact that he already had three candy bars during the day. But you buy him one more candy bar and let him have it.
  3. You ask your kid to do something but at his own convenience. For example, you asked him to wind up his toys after playing but only if he is not feeling tired after playing.
  4. Your teenage kid has his exams around the corner, but he has to attend three parties in a row. You not only allow him to go but you also tell him to have a gala time at the party by not worrying about the upcoming exams. Your kid’s leisure becomes more important than his studies.
  5. You want your son to have a phone so that you can get in touch when he’s away. But your son insists on buying the new and expensive play station. Although you strongly feel that your kid needs phone rather than splurging on the play station, you succumb to your kid’s unreasonable demands and buy him a play station.

Guidelines to Follow in Permissive Parenting

Improving or adopting better parenting skills will assist you in dealing with your children in the right way and they will become a better person. You may adopt the following measures or guidelines in your permissive parenting style to avail optimum benefits out of it:

1. Try to Be Consistent and Firm

Though you may find it challenging to be firm and consistent with your kid, adopt this approach gradually and in a loving manner with your child. You can tell your child the importance and value of adhering to rules and regulations and also about the consequences or ill-effects of not following the rules. The proper reasoning for simple things will go a long way and help your parenting style.

2. Explain Family and Ground Rules

It is very important that you inculcate the importance of following rules in your kid. Your kid has to know that there is no easy way to get things; he has to follow the rules and stick to them. It is also important that you let your kid know that you expect him to follow all the family rules. Refrain from exercising any kind of leverage to the rules. Children learn by example, and thus the best way to teach them is by doing it yourself.

3. Explain the Consequences

Not only kids, but we also find it difficult to keep up with the rules and regulations. But it is important for your kid to understand that in the absence of rules the life would be nothing but a haphazard mess. You have to explain to your kid the repercussions of not following rules. It is important that in order to have your rules in place you tell your kid the consequences he may have to bear in case he breaks the rules. You may set some simple consequences or punishments for breaking small rules and at the same time serious consequences for serious faults.

4. Reward When Required

We all like a pat on the back whenever we do something remarkable. Therefore, it is important that you encourage, praise and, reward your child as and when it is required instead of rewarding or spoiling your kid all the time. Unnecessary rewards not only go unnoticed but they are also not valued by your kid. Rewarding your kid at the right time for the right thing not only makes your kid happier but it also helps in boosting his motivation level and morale.

Make your children responsible, and let them understand the importance of following rules in life, so they are better prepared to face bigger challenges in life, and turn out to be responsible citizens.

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