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What is Permissive Parenting?

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Permissive Parenting Child Children

Permissive parenting is at the other end of the spectrum from the authoritarian parenting style, and basically allows children to grow up in an environment of extreme freedom and flexibility.

Permissive Parenting

While authoritarian parents rule their children with a rod of iron, permissive parenting styles allow children to have a huge amount of input into how the family home and environment develops, and they are seldom called upon to help or get involved with any chores or domestic responsibilities, leaving any jobs or duties firmly in the hands of the parents.

This is the parents’ choice and they feel comfortable and secure in the knowledge that they are providing a firm foundation on which their children can grow and develop. They do not feel that being involved in such mundane activities, or having any level of responsibility is important to the way that children are raised.

No Boundaries Is Not Necessarily Good...

A childhood without any boundaries or responsibility can be as damaging as one with too many, and permissive parenting can result in children who struggle with environments where boundaries have to exist, such as school and the workplace.

Children who have been raised in a permissive parenting style are often creative and successful academically, and can be sociable but can also find that problems will exit within their social circles as they do not always understand or respond well to mainstream behaviour-something that everyone else is used to. Permissive parenting allows children to have their own way over almost anything and it is for this reason that children may struggle at school.

A House With Few Rules

Permissive parents want to and tend to give up most control of the home and family life to their children. Parents make very few rules, and even when they do decide to make a rule, the rules that they make are usually not enforced all the time or properly. Parents who adopt this style of parenting do not like or respond well to routines. They want their children to feel as if they can be free to do or say as they wish and have as much freedom as they need to live their lives the way they want to.

Behaviour Is Accepted

Permissive parents rarely have high expectations or proper boundaries and guidelines for the way they want their children to behave, whether at home, in social circumstances or at school, and they are always inclined to accept their children and their behaviour- whether it is good or bad. Basically-there are very few rules with permissive parenting.

Choices Are Given

Permissive parents give children as many choices as they possibly can, even when they know in their heart that their child is not even capable of making choices-be they good or bad. Behaviour patterns and the way that children react to any given circumstances are nearly always accepted, and permissive parents are unlikely to ever make a comment about whether they consider their child’s behaviour to be an action that will have desirable or undesirable outcomes.

Rather than discipline their child, permissive parents tend to keep a safe distance from any kind of confrontation, situation requiring a firm hand or other situations that require intervention. The reason for this is twofold-firstly they choose not to believe that children require a high level of supervision or help with their behaviour or decision making, and secondly because they often have an inability to be able to interject.

Progressive Education

Permissive parents would welcome the idea of progressive education, where children attend schools that they have control of. They believe that children should be free to learn, grow and develop at their own pace without the restrictions and boundaries that our modern day culture and society has placed on them.

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