Permissive parenting is a parenting style that has been around for as long as parenting has been a thing.
Yet it is in modern days that, just like with most other things, we have given it a name and have started to seriously study the effects this parenting style has on both children and parents.
Even though there’s plenty of studying done on permissive parenting, there is still a lot of unknowns regarding it.
This is mostly due to people forming an opinion about it and refusing to change it, or refusing to take in new information completely.
Ideally, people would base their opinions and beliefs in hard logic and proof. But the real world isn’t like that, people aren’t like that.
In order for us to have a full understanding of permissive parenting, we have to start at the very beginning, and answer the simple question; what is permissive parenting?
Permissive parenting is a parenting style characterized by non-demanding parents, who are lenient and put little to no responsibilities upon their children.
Permissive parenting is one of the four main parenting styles. Usually, but not always, permissive parents tend to slide toward bulldozer parenting, and such parenting styles.
The Good Of Permissive Parenting
With an understanding of what Permissive Parenting actually is, we can now begin and look at the good of permissive parenting.
First and foremost we need to understand that permissive parenting is a style that on it’s own is neither good nor bad.
For it to end up on either side of the spectrum you as a parent have to push it in one way, especially pushing it too far.
Permissive parents most of the time are parents who can be really warm, loving and compassionate toward their children.
This is, of course, a very good thing and something that benefits children tremendously. Not only that, but permissive parenting can be great for parents too.
Parents who practice this style of parenting can be more pleased with their children. This is due to the fact that they set low expectations and have very little rules that can be broken.
It can also be argued though that parents find happiness in the fact that they’re children are pretty pleased with them and that they rarely have to say ‘no’ to their kids.
Studies done around the world have also shown that permissive parenting styles can have good effects on children and teenagers.
The Bad Of Permissive Parenting
The above mentioned sides of permissive parenting are all fine and dandy, but the line is very thin. The line here refers to parents taking things too far in this direction.
For every study that shows positive things about permissive parenting, you can find a few others that show the negative side of this parenting style.
One of the main issues that comes from that is the fact that a lot of the time, children who never have had to deal with boundaries and rules, won’t be ready for the real world.
Emotionally maturity is a very important virtue that everyone should do their best to achieve. Trying to give that to their children is also a duty that falls upon every parent too.
Most of the time, children who were raised in a permissive household have a hard time reaching emotional maturity.
Some other bad things that stem from permissive parenting can include bad academic performance, increased risk of obesity, impulsive and aggressive behavior.
Children who are never pushed to do better, will most likely never do so. This is very true in a school setting.
Meanwhile, the increased risk of obesity comes from the fact that most of the time permissive parents don’t really regulate the diet of their children.
Then you have the impulsive tendencies of children who were always allowed to do whatever they wanted. It is very clear that they will find it hard to accept otherwise.
So much so that, as studies show, most of the time these children tend to be not only impulsive but also down right aggressive when faced with difficult situations.
This all also ties to the aforementioned inability to attain emotional maturity. The ability to control emotions is something that we train ourselves to do, throughout our lives.
However, if you’ve never had to deal with situations where your ability to control your emotions has been tested, you’ve also been robbed of the opportunity to train doing so.
The Ugly Of Permissive Parenting
Last but not least we have to talk about, what we consider to be, the ugly of permissive parenting. Some of the more destructive things that this parenting style can cause.
Some studies have linked permissive parenting with very destructive and bad behavior in older children and teens.
Such risky and destructive behaviors may include consumption of intoxicating substances such as alcohol and other drugs.
There are also studies which show that once these children grow up, they report less intimacy in their relationships and intimate life.
Without wanting to drag conclusions of our own from said studies, we could say that these latter effects are due to the inability to create deep intimate and emotional connections.
That is definitely something that no parent would want for their child in the future. So is permissive parenting only bad and ugly?
Most parents might get terrified of these effects, rightfully so, and try and avoid this style of parenting all together.
Well, as you saw there is some good to be found. The key here is moderation. You really want to come off as compassionate and loving to your children. You just need to find the perfect way to do so.
At this point it is clear to all child psychologists, pediatricians and parents that never saying no to your children is not a good thing, and should be avoided.
The main takeaway should be to take the good and avoid the bad as much as you can. To reiterate, it is never a bad idea to break some rules!