Permissive Parenting Or How to Get a Rebellious Child
Why did I choose this picture to illustrate permissive parenting? Because this is the parenting style that results in more aggressive children! Parents using this style probably think that they are making their children happier by being permissive, but it's quite the opposite. You are probably wondering how this can be? Surely, children must be happier having fewer or no rules...
Read on to find out why this is not the case.
What is Permissive Parenting?
This parenting style is also referred to as nondirective parenting. Permissive parents tend to set very few - if any - rules or limitations for their children. The children are free to do whatever they please and therefore tend to find it hard to get along with other people. These parents are similar to neglectful parents in that they do not set limitations but the difference is that they care for their children, physically and emotionally.
These parents try to behave in a nonpunitive, affirmative and acceptant manner towards their children's impulses, actions and desires. They make few demands such as household chores/responsibilities or orderly behavior. They are usually seen by the child more as a resource for him to use as he pleases, rather than an ideal to emulate or an active agent responsible for altering or shaping his current and future behavior. The child is allowed to regulate his own activities and is not encouraged to obey externally defined standards or rules.
These parents are more responsive than demanding. They usually avoid confrontation. Why do they do this? They often feel that their child is going to face enough limits in the real world as an adult so they give him freedom in the home. They try to protect him from any sort of adversity. Some are permissive because they fear rejection or negative feelings from their child. Unfortunately, this is not without consequences for the child.
Why is Permissive Parenting Not a Good Choice?
Children who are raised by parents using this style often tend to feel insecure and very dependent. Why? Because they are not given the necessary direction, model and routine that all children require to learn confidence. These children tend to be more dependent on others and have a weaker sense of responsibility. They often become uncertain and anxious about whether they are doing the right thing. They are more likely to do drugs and get into legal troubles once they are teenagers and adults.
This style allows children freedom without limits and it can have serious consequences. The children can get so used to having their own way that they become frustrated when they can't have their way outside the home. They often fail to learn self-control and remain immature in their thinking process. They often become aggressive. They are more likely to get into trouble and perform badly in school. Typically, these children will engage in attention seeking behavior or "act out".
Permissive parents usually think they are doing their children a favor. But, by always protecting them from adversity, they are robbing them of the chance to learn coping skills. By not setting appropriate limits, they undermine their character development. Basically, these children will not learn to follow rules or limits. But, they WILL have to follow rules once they are in school, at work or in any kind of social setting. How are they going to cope then?
If you are an authoritative parent for instance, your child might bring up to you from time to time that one of his friend is allowed to do this or that while he is not. Your child is probably envious of his friend, thinking his friend has it better than him... But, luckily, you know that it is not the case and your child needs the limits. Of course, getting our children to understand it too is another story! ;)
So, What is the Best Parenting Style?
Child behavior research looking into the outcomes associated with different parenting styles shows great benefit from authoritative parenting over the other styles. Why? Children raised by authoritative parents have more emotional self-control, more self-discipline, are more popular with their peers and do better at school.