Permissive Parenting Style: Benefits and Drawbacks

Permissive parenting, also known as indulgent parenting, is one of the most practiced parenting styles. This style is often characterized by abundant love addressed to the child and a low level of expectation for maturity from parents. Despite it is widely practiced, the permissive parenting style is considered bad for children. Why?

Indulgent parents are more responsive to their children’s needs. They are also less demanding and don’t set a limit to encourage the children. Here’s a closer look at permissive parenting and why it shouldn’t be practiced to your junior.

What Is Permissive Parenting Style?

Permissive parenting can be defined as a parenting style in which the parents are highly responsive and set a low demand for the child. According to experts, this style is among the worst parenting styles as it may cause several bad effects to the children.

Permissive parents tend to shower their children with love and provide only a few rules and guidelines at home. Also, these parents treat their juniors more like friends instead of children.

This parenting style may sound cool and perfect for children but it lets the kids grow with minimum control and discipline. As a consequence, children become impulsive and lack self-control. 

Signs of Indulgent Parents

Many parents don’t realize that they have become indulgent. This is because these parents think the best way to raise children is by avoiding confrontation and allow self-regulation.

It seems a good thing but it’s actually not. Here are 5 common characteristics of permissive parents.

  • Highly responsive

Different than neglectful parenting style, permissive parents are very responsive to anything their children need. They assume that fulfilling their needs is a shortcut to kids’ happiness.

  • Treat children like friends

The most common characteristic of permissive parents is they treat the kids like friends. Positioning themselves as a friend allows these parents to get closer to the children. But in many cases, it makes parents lose their authority figure.

  • Overly lax

Indulgent parents are typically lax and lenient. They don’t like either to control or monitor children’s behavior.

These parents also set very few rules, allowing the children to do almost anything they want as long as they’re happy and comfortable. Even if they have rules, they tend to be inconsistent and overly flexible.

  • Give little responsibility

Unlike the authoritative parenting style, the majority of parents who practice the permissive style of parenting give little responsibility like homework or daily chores to the children. They emphasize children’s freedom instead of placing responsibility for their own tasks.

  • Let children make major decisions

Indulgent parents let their children make decisions, even the major ones. These parents will also ask children’s opinion and take it into consideration.

Benefits of Permissive Parenting

Although permissive parenting is considered one of the worst styles, some experts believe that it has a few benefits. The benefits, however, depends on the level of permissiveness of the parents.

Since indulgent parents are typically warm and responsive, children can find comfort around their parents. It helps strengthen the relationship between parents and children.

Here are 4 benefits of permissive parenting:

  • Promote child’s psychological development
  • Protect children from stress
  • Provide emotional support to the children
  • Children have higher self-esteem

A few benefits above aren’t justification to permissive parenting. Many experts suggest permissive parents to pull back and change into better parenting style.

Drawbacks of Permissive Parenting

The disadvantages of permissive parenting outweigh its benefits. Applying this parenting style can cause more damaging effects to the children since it lacks control over the children.

Researchers found that indulgent parents who exhibit excessive permissiveness may lead to negative outcomes. Not only do the children lack self-discipline, but they also have poor social skills.

Here are more other bad effects of permissive parenting:

  • Low achievement

Permissive parents have very little expectations of the children so they are less likely to struggle in many areas. As a consequence, children have lower achievement either in academic or other fields.

  • Prone to delinquency

According to studies, permissive parents have a greater risk to raise children with delinquency. They set a few rules and guidelines and emphasize freedom over responsibility. When the children grow older, they are more prone to substance use and misconduct.

  • More aggressive and impulsive

Another bad effect of permissive parenting style is more aggressive and impulsive children.

The parents are overly lax and they don’t control children’s behavior. As a result, the children show worse impulse control and they tend to have behavioral problems. When they encounter stressful situations, they become more aggressive.

  • Worse social skills

Researchers found that permissive parents may raise children with worse social skills. This is because they are unable to show sympathy and emotional understanding. In some cases, these children also become anti-social.

  • Prone to overweight

One of the most common effects of indulgent parenting is overweight. These parents don’t control their children’s diet and eating behavior. This results in a higher risk to be overweight.

How to Pull Back

Do you have one or more signs of permissive parenting style? It’s never too late to pull back and change your parenting style. This can be difficult at the first time and the children will be upset. But if you are consistent, you can reverse the back effect.

Here are 4 strategies to change permissive parenting:

  • Develop a set of basic rules

Children need to know what they are supposed to do at home. To help them out, parents can develop a set of basic rules and explain what you expect from them.

  • Give a penalty

Guidelines and rules should be reinforced with some consequences. Let your children know that you have prepared penalty once they break the rules.

  • Give reward

Giving reward for any good behavior and achievement can help motivate your children. Once they exhibit good actions, they have special privileges to the reward.

  • Be consistent

Being consistent may be the hardest part. Don’t be overly lax and make sure the children follow the guidelines and rules you have set before.

In a nut shell, permissive parenting style causes a number of bad effects to the children. Indulgent parents tend to raise children who are impulsive and lack social skills. Thankfully, parents can do some strategies above to change their parenting style and prevent the bad effects.

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