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Permissive Parenting – Is It Good For Children?

Permissive Parenting - Is It Good For Children?

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Everyone has different ideals about how they’d like their parenting style to pan out and permissive parenting is just one. But is it good for children?

What is permissive parenting?

If your own parents were particularly strict then you may be drawn to permissive parenting, which allows kids plenty in the way of freedom and flexibility. Children are given an equal say in how the household is run and are involved in making their own rules. Permissive parents rarely discipline their children and don’t expect them to take much responsibility. These parents do tend to be very loving and caring towards their children and often appear more like a friend than a parent. Permissive parenting is also referred to as indulgent parenting.

How does it differ from other styles of parenting?

Children of permissive parents do tend to feel just as loved and nurtured as other kids. There is no doubt that mums and dads adopting this style of parenting care deeply for their children. Where the difference does come in, is in expectations. Permissive parents don’t encourage their kids to take on much responsibility, including for chores and homework. Nor do they expect their children to conform to adult ideas of good behaviour, preferring to let their children regulate themselves and learn from their own mistakes.

How is this good for children?

There is no doubt that a child who comes from a warm and loving home will feel secure. Children raised by permissive parents often have high levels of self-esteem and are likely to be pretty resourceful.

Negative effects

Permissive Parenting - Is It Good For Children?However, permissive parenting can have its problems. Children who are brought up in a house with few rules and plenty of freedom may struggle to settle into environments, such as school, where boundaries are much more prevalent. There is also the issue of emotional wellbeing. While most children of permissive parents will be perfectly able to cope with day-to-day life, when it comes to dealing with disappointment or sadness they may not do well. A child who is used to having everything go their own way in a relationship may find it difficult to manage when a situation is out of their control. Children who have never had limits imposed on them may find it hard to develop self-control, making life tougher for them in the long run.


Teenagers can have a particularly hard time as a consequence of permissive parenting. Studies have shown that kids with permissive parents are more likely to take part in risky behaviours such as underage drinking or drug taking. Teenagers need boundaries and need to understand that those rules are in place for the very good reason of keeping them safe. Teens may keep pushing to find an eventual limit and in doing so may come to harm.

Of course, there are also many pitfalls to a super-strict parenting style. The trick is to find a balance between the two, where your child is free to explore the world at their own pace yet is aware of where the boundaries lie. A child with loving parents and a sense of how far they can push things will grow into a far healthier adult than one who feels loved but hasn’t had any limits imposed during their formative years.






About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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