Permissive parenting refers to the style with which parents are highly attentive and responsive to their children while setting very few limits and low standards with them. It’s the opposite of the dictatorial parenting style, where parents are excessively authoritative. Parents who follow a permissive parenting style and giving the kids the freedom just to be themselves mostly do so to minimize friction at home. However, recent studies have found that giving children free reign may actually be depriving them of important life skills that could result in harmful effects in the years ahead.
What’s Wrong With Permissive Parenting?
1. Lack of Self-Discipline
Of course, nobody enjoys punishing their children. However, enforcing rules is crucial in teaching children about consequences. A lack of self-discipline results in children who have difficulty controlling their moods and impulses. These children are more likely to binge-watch television and sleep later at night. Unfortunately, these forgivable habits may evolve into graver problems like substance or alcohol abuse in later years.
2. Limited Self-Worth
In a household with a lenient parenting style, children are taught that negative feelings are not to be tolerated. When children meet challenging situations, parents swoop in to remove whatever is causing them stress. As a result, children perceive that their parents only love and accept them when they are happy. Just like their parents, they reject the parts of themselves that feel negative emotions, resulting in a thwarted sense of self-worth.
3. Sub-par Standards
Permissive parents don’t set high standards for their children, in terms of behavior as well as output. They do not encourage children to set goals for themselves and work hard towards them. Unsurprisingly, these children have lower academic performance in school. As adults, they are not motivated to aim high and work toward their dreams.
4. Emotional Immaturity
Emotional immaturity is one of the disadvantages of permissive parenting. If their parents don’t teach them how to deal with difficult feelings, children are unable to process stressful situations. They have a higher tendency to internalize problems; they struggle when they feel frustration and disappointment. When they enter the real world, they lack the problem-solving and decision-making skills they will need in their professional and personal lives.
5. Behavioral Issues
— Parents&KidsMag (@ParentsKidsMag) January 12, 2015
When children are constantly coddled by overly permissive parents, they grow up believing that they are the most important person in the room. They have little respect for the opinions of those around them—even their parents’. Thus, these children grow up bossy and selfish. In the absence of limitations, they insist on getting their own way.
Here’s a video on the different forms of parenting styles. Check it out here:
Though children may moan and whine, these little ones are simply looking for limits. Rules and standards give them the necessary skills that enable them to become healthy, successful adults. As primary caregivers, it is their parents’ responsibility to instill lifelong lessons from an early age. Though it may take some kicking and screaming along the way, the children will surely look back one day and be grateful that their parents gave them the tough love they needed.
What are your thoughts on the permissive parenting style? We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments section below.