According to My Child Health, “The permissive style of parenting involves compromise. The parents trust the children and expect them to be well behaved as a result of training, and they do not need to be punished.” It doesn’t sound so bad when you look at it like that, does it? Nevertheless, many people feel permissive parents are simply too lazy to do their job. I don’t consider myself a permissive parent. Still, I can see the logic. I also don’t believe permissive parents are lazy. In fact, I think they’re quite tough and very brave.
Permissive parents can really take the heat. They have a lot of patience, something most of us are short on. While some parents respond to their kids misbehavior with a quick smack for immediate results, permissive parents know instilling lasting lessons will serve their kids better in the long run. Hence, they go through many moments of embarrassment and bad behavior before those lessons sink in.
Somewhere between permissive and authoritative stands a good parent. Parents shouldn’t tell kids exactly what to do every time they’re faced with a dilemma. Neither should they let kids discover every lesson for themselves. Parents should take an active role in helping kids discover what life is all about, minus the dictatorship.
A parent should be a guide. It might seem that permissive parents practice that theory. Problem is, by definition, they don’t really guide their kids toward anything. They simply let them stumble around until they get it right. That could take a very long time. It will probably happen eventually. Unfortunately, by the time it does, their kids could have made some horrible life changing mistakes. Would it really hurt to point them down the right path by putting up a road sign or two?
It’s all well and good to pull the rug out when need be. There are lessons kids can only learn through experience. Still, as a parent, you want those to be relatively safe experiences. Permissive parents have a little too much faith in their kids sometimes. Sure, they have the capability to reason. They simply don’t have our experience yet. That’s why kids need parents. It’s to keep them safe while they learn those life lessons.
Who ever said parenting was easy or cut and dried? Permissive parents aren’t all bad. They want the same things for their kids as you and I. I won’t say they go about it wrong. Parenting methods are a personal choice as long as the child is in no danger. In fact, they have one thing very right. You don’t want your kids behaving because they have to. On the other hand, you also don’t want them making vital decisions without the necessary tools. In parenting and in life, the best choice is often somewhere between the two extremes.
More from Jaipi:
Parents: Let Your Kids Play Freely for Optimum Learning
Teaching Kids to Form Active Habits Early and Easily
Parenting: Why Some Things Are Non-negotiable