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ParenTalk - The Problem With Permissive Parenting

ParenTalk - The Problem With Permissive Parenting

This edition of ParenTalk has been contributed by Ekdali, explore the collection now!

Permissive parenting is one of the three major parenting types as defined by Diana Baumrind in her 1960s groundbreaking study

Diana Baumrind in her course of research found out that there was a close relationship between parenting styles and child’s Behaviour and child development are closely related.

According to Baumrind there are three Parenting styles. A fourth style was subsequently added by Maccoby and Martin The four parenting styles include

  • Authoritarian (or Disciplinarian)
  • Authoritative
  • Permissive (or Indulgent)
  • Neglectful (or Uninvolved)

Parenting styles have a profound influence on what kind of environment the child grows up in and this play an important role later in life

Authoritarian Parenting style : In this style the parent sets very strict rules, has very high expectations from the child and expects that the child should obey the parent no matter what.  The child often finds the parent very unrelenting and unbending.  The effect of this style is that the child has lower self confidence and he is often self critical and may not be able to develop a coherent sense of self

Authoritative Parenting Style: In this style the parent sets rules, has high expectations from the child but the parent is also responsive to the child’s need and situational demands. The rules are clear but not  strict and water tight.  Kids who experience this style of parenting often have a  very high self esteem and confidence. 

Here are some Pros of this Parenting Style:

  • Better Social Skills: Kids who experience this form of parenting learn about boundaries better. This enables them to say no easily and also not to disrespect others in social contexts. They end up with far better social skills than peers
  • Better Performance: Because there are clear rules, kids are often aware that they need to spend X amount of time studying and Y amount of time in extra curricular. This disciplined approach helps them perform better academically

This style does have a disadvantage. Kids often stay within limits and boundaries and so their creativity is often curtailed. 

Permissive Parenting Style: In a Permissive parenting style, the parent is warm and responsive. There are fewer rules. It is a lenient form of parenting. In the initial years, permissive parenting was viewed negatively because it was believed that lack of boundaries can lead to unruly kids.  Over the years though there is a resurgence in this form of parenting because it is very similar to “Free Range Parenting”. This style of parenting believes in natural consequences, learned independence and resourcefulness.

Here are some advantages of Permissive parenting:

  • Creativity: When there are fewer rules, kids can experiment with  different things and they end up being very creative individuals
  • Self Esteem:  when children are encouraged to express themselves freely they often end up being very self assured individuals with a lot of confidence. They will be open to try out new things without fearing the consequences. In the world that we live in currently this quality will help them in exceling

Here are some cons of permissive Parenting:

  • Risk Prone Behaviour:  Kids are often more open and because they are left to fend for themselves, they take more risks . This can sometimes lead to negative risky behavior in adolescence
  • Lesser Social Skills:  Because kids are permitted to manage themselves at home, they often think they can continue this outside the home.  This can be seen as rebellious behavior

Neglectful Parenting: There are no rules and the parent is absorbed in his or her own world. The parent is sometimes indifferent and uninvolved. This type of parenting can lead to delinquent children

It is very obvious from the above that there are two styles one can choose from Authoritative or Permissive. It is also not very water tight and often can be situational.  Being in the spectrum between Authoritative and Permissive helps in overall better developed children

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