Permissive parents believe that showing their child love and feeling loved, in return, is the ultimate goal in parenting. Permissive parents tend to avoid conflict at any cost. Discipline and limits are often missing from the permissive household.
Permissive parents do love their children and are highly bonded to their children. They believe the key to their child’s heart is to relate to their child as a peer instead of as a parent. Rules, if they exist at all, are inconsistent at best. If a permissive parent needs a child to act on a rule or expectation, often times the parent will use any means necessary including bribery, gifts, food and other motivators to gain their child’s compliance.
One of the problems with permissive parenting is that children do need healthy limits and expectations not only to learn appropriate behavior for functioning as a member of society but also to feel valued and cared for. Often, over time, children of permissive parents suffer a loss in self esteem because there is no one to ask about their grades in school or help them with homework. Likewise, children feel like an important part of a functional unit – the family unit – when they are held to a higher standard and are required to be part of that functional family unit whether it be through chores or routine bedtimes or other structured family activities. Permissive parents, in their desire to be everything to their children, often times miss the boat entirely and have very little to offer that a peer at school can’t also fulfill.
When a permissive parent does try to discipline, children quickly learn how to manipulate these parents to get what they want. Permissive parents, wanting to please at any cost, cave to this manipulation time and time again. In the end, permissive parents often end up feeling resentful and taken for granted. But these parents simply have not learned to “just say no”.
Permissive parents raise children who grow into adults that have no strong inner sense of discipline, no sense of connectedness or family and essentially have to re-parent themselves, which puts them at a disadvantage in all areas of life as adults. It is not unusual for adult children of permissive parents to feel resentful or angry toward their parents as they realize the many lessons they were not taught as children because their parents were so desperate to not make waves at any cost.
We know through experience that permissive parenting does not work. Permissive parents are better off trying for a more balanced approach. Having love and affection is a healthy part of parenting but it becomes unhealthy if there isn’t also a balance of guidance and discipline.
Are you a permissive parent?
Here's my full answer to the question below.
Some parents buy their children whatever they ask for, and allow their children to do whatever they want. Is this a good way to raise children? What consequences could this style of parenting have for children as they get older?
It is true that some parents are overly permissive and tend to spoil their children. In my opinion, this is not a good parenting style, and it can have a range of negative long-term consequences.
If parents want to raise respectful and well-behaved children, I believe that a certain amount of discipline is necessary. Having worked with children myself, I have learnt that clear expectations and boundaries are necessary, and it is important to be able to say ‘no’ to children when they misbehave or try to push against these boundaries. This is the only way to help young people to regulate their desires and develop self-control. In my view, parents who do the opposite and constantly give in to their children’s demands, are actually doing more harm than good. They are failing their children rather than being kind to them.
The children of indulgent or lenient parents are likely to grow up with several negative personality traits. The first and most obvious danger is that these children will become self-centred adults who show little consideration for the feelings or needs of others. One consequence of such an attitude could be that these adults are unable to work successfully in teams with other colleagues. A second negative trait in such people could be impulsiveness. A person who has never lived with any boundaries is likely to lack the patience to carefully consider options before making decisions. This may lead, for example, to compulsive shopping, unwise financial decisions, or even criminal activity.
In conclusion, parents should help their children to develop self-control and respect for others, and I do not believe that the permissive parenting style supports this objective.
(283 words, band 9)