The Permissive Parenting Style: Everything You Need to Know

Permissive Parenting Style

What is permissive parenting?

Permissive parenting definition: A permissive parenting style is where parents keep their demands low and responsiveness high. Permissive parents reject the idea that children should be controlled or constrained in any way. This parenting style is considered more warm, intimate, and loving because parents rarely discipline their children.

In this parenting style, parents let children figure things out on their own instead of trying to protect them from everything. Parents practising the permissive parenting style promotes psychological development and protects children from toxic stress. These parents often seem more like a friend to their child than a parental figure as they do not expect mature behaviour.

Now the question arises – Is permissive parenting style an optimal style of parenting?

The answer would be NO.

Research has suggested that kids raised with permissive parenting styles display various negative outcomes, such as lack of self-discipline, poor social skills, insecurity due to the lack of rules and guidance, and maybe self-obsessed and demanding.


How would you know if you are a permissive parent? Following are some questions, and if your answer to each of them is yes, then consider yourself a permissive parent.

  • Do you try to limit creating rules?
  • Do you try to avoid confrontation with your child?
  • Do you trust your child to make their own mistakes?
  • Do you often use bribes to get your child to do something he doesn’t want to do?
  • Are you and your child equals and friends?
  • Does your child make their own decisions?
  • Does your child differentiate between adults and kids?


All of us want our kids to feel Empowered, be Organised, Innovative, Emphatic, Decision makers, and Loving human beings. Some parents adopt this parenting style because very controlling or strict parents have raised them, and they do not want to do that, so they adopt or practice exactly the opposite of it. They may go for a parenting style that is not harsh; instead, it is relaxed and easy on kids.


Some parents adopt permissive parenting because they would like to be friends with their children. They may feel that exercising control may damage their relationship with their children.


Some parents may adopt an indulgent parenting style just because they are too relaxed in life. They may not like imposing any rules or restrictions on their kids, as it may hamper their laid-back attitude and thus let their kids behave the way they want to.


Permissive parenting and child behaviour

You all must be thinking- Is permissive parenting style all bad? Aren’t there any pros of adopting such a style of parenting? No, it’s not all bad. But this parenting style could prove to be disastrous if not done right.


To find out if adopting a permissive parenting style was a mistake. Look for the following permissive parenting effects in your kid-

  • Your child does not feel the need to follow the rules.
  • Your child does not learn the concept of consequences.
  • Your child learns that they can only be happy if they get what they want.
  • Your child’s emotional intelligence is negatively impacted, especially during teamwork and group activities.
  • Your child makes disastrous decisions that have severe negative impacts on their health and well-being.
  • Your child is trained to only react to bribes which is a common case in permissive parenting. Your child learns to become externally motivated instead of internally motivated.
  • Your child is at risk of becoming a low achiever.


Often, children raised in a permissive way have not been corrected enough, so they don’t have good boundaries. They don’t know how to control themselves. Often they have bad social skills because parents are letting them run loose with their friends.


After all, they feel like that’s what will make their child happy. But parents should train their children to be social. Another thing that children raised with a permissive parenting style experience is a higher level of anxiety, depression, feeling like they’re not enough. They know that they are not conquering many things in their life as they should, so things get down and darker for them a little quicker.


Examples of permissive parenting:

Here are some specific permissive parenting examples:

  • You can’t say no because you can’t upset your child.
  • You will always put the wants of your children before yours.
  • You will not set a specific time for studying, playing, and sleeping.
  • You will ask your child to do a task but at their own convenience.


Permissive indulgent parenting style

Permissive parenting indulges the child; then everything becomes about the self. When someone is obsessed with what they want and how they feel because they normally get what they want, that child becomes selfish. One of the permissive parenting child outcomes is entitlement. A child feels that he’s entitled to a certain type of treatment. This means that they’re going to have a general lack of respect for people.


Another effect that people might not realise is that people raised with a permissive parenting style often feel alone and isolated. Children also lack respect for authority because they haven’t had a good authority figure.


No one has been presenting themselves as parental authority, so they start to think that they’re the authority. Another effect of permissive parenting is that children often have bad bonds with their family members. Children that have been raised in a permissive style lack foresight. That’s because they weren’t allowed to expand their foresight to create a vision for their future.


The final question is how to do permissive parenting, right?

First of all, learn from the mistakes your parents made with you. If your parents were overly strict or demanding with you, the answer is not to go to the extremes of becoming a permissive parent; find the balance. You can customise expectations and set boundaries for your child while being loving, caring and colourful.

Second, establish some rules. Ideally, you can explain the reason behind the rules to your child. Don’t allow any negotiations around the rules.

Third follow-through; once the rules are made, they need to be followed. If you’re not consistent, then don’t expect them to be. Lastly, recognise good behaviour.

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