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Permissive Parenting Style and Its Effects On Children 


Parents train their children in different ways and each one is unique to them. Parenting styles represent the ways parents respond to the demands of their children as well as how to make demands of them. They also refer to the patterns that parents follow in bringing up their kids. The permissive parenting style is one of the four types of parenting styles and it is characterized by high responsiveness and low demand. 

As kids go through several stages of their lives, parents tend to combine the factors that contribute to the personality development of their children to form their parenting style. This article will explore the definition of permissive parenting style, its characteristics, examples, the differences and similarities between permissive parenting style and other parenting styles. We would also explore the pros and cons of permissive parenting style, the negative effects of permissive parenting style on children, and what you can do if you are a permissive parent. 

Table Of Content

What is Permissive Parenting Style?

Permissive parenting is also known as indulgent parenting. It is characterized by high attentiveness or responsiveness and low demand. Permissive parents are loving to a fault and most times do not want anything from their children. They just want to care for them. They are more like friends to their children and allow their children to do whatever they like. 

Permissive parents do not hover over their children’s every move. They are entirely relaxed and rarely make rules or enforce them on their kids. They believe that kids will be kids and should be allowed to act like kids while they are still kids. They are usually warm, loving, and receptive to their children. And they make little or no attempt to discipline their children. This is because their expectations of discipline and self-control from their children are low and rare. 

Permissive parenting involves granting your child a warm and friendly environment and unlimited access to fun. They avoid saying no to their kids; they avoid correcting them because they want to stay in the BFF’s status. They stand back and watch their kids decide how they want to experience life.  

Characteristics of Permissive Parents

The following are the characteristics of permissive parents: 

Loving and Nurturing 

permissive parenting style and loving and nurturing a child

Permissive parents at default are loving and nurturing. They care for their children a lot and want to do anything humanly possible to please them. 

Not Authoritative

They are not authoritative. They seek the opinion of their children on major decisions before taking any step. 

Freedom Rather Than Responsibility

They value their children’s freedom rather than saddle them with responsibilities.

Inconsistent or No Rules 

They rarely have rules and whatever rule they have is always inconsistent. Their love for their children overshadows any rule. They also do not have standards of behavior. 

Bribery as a Means to an End

They don’t always want to be upfront or frank with their kids. They prefer to use items such as toys, gifts, and food to get their children to do what they want them to do in a certain manner. 

Friends Rather Than Parents 

It is very good to be your child’s friend. However, permissive parents do not act as parental figures to their kids. They allow them to do whatever they want to do. 

No Punishment for Wrongdoings

Permissive parents do not enforce any form of punishment on their kids when they do wrong. Instead, they pamper them and provide no structure or schedule for them. In other words, they rarely enforce any type of consequences. 

Examples of Permissive Parenting Style

In this section, we will discuss a few scenarios of how permissive parents handle situations with their kids every day. 

Play Dates

Since there are little or no rules guiding their actions, kids of permissive parents get to go on playdates even without ensuring their room is clean as they have been told. They believe their parents won’t punish or do anything to them if they abandon cleaning their rooms to play with friends. 

Screen Time

Even when they have not attempted homework, children of permissive parents can enjoy unlimited screen time rather than having limits to it. 

Food and Treats

Permissive parents do not withdraw anything from their kids so they have access to the kitchen at any time of the day and eat anything they like. Rather than controlling their eating habits, permissive parents are not firm about the rules they set for their kids concerning foods. 

Differences and Similarities Between Permissive Parenting Style and Other Parenting Styles

Parenting has no right way to it and no wrong way either. You most likely would have to draw from all four parenting styles to form your parenting style. This is due to the strengths and weaknesses of each. In this section, we will explore the differences and similarities of permissive parenting with other parenting styles. 

Permissive Parenting Style and Authoritative Parenting Style

Just like permissive parents, authoritative parents are highly responsive to their children. They nurture their children and are involved in every part of their lives. They love their children and act as such. However, authoritative parents are highly demanding, unlike permissive parents. They expect a lot from their children and want to see them grow and mature. Also, they want them to achieve a lot and push them to do so as well. They don’t let their children get away with behaviors as they instill discipline in them. 

Permissive Parenting Style and Disciplinarian Parenting Style

permissive parenting style and disciplining a child

Unlike permissive parents, disciplinarians do not explain their rules to their children. They expect to see results and failure to do so means punishment. They are strict with discipline and allow for little or no negotiation. 

Also, they are not as nurturing as permissible parents are, because they believe they can only bring the good out in their children by instilling discipline in every way possible. 

Permissive Parenting Style and Neglectful Parenting Style

The neglectful parents are not in any way bothered about how their children live or survive. Permissive parents are loving and nurturing but neglectful parents pay no attention to their children. They do not bother to instill discipline in them and neither do they bother to show them, love. Neglectful parents are in so many ways uninvolved in their children’s lives. 

The Pros and Cons of Permissive Parenting Style

In this section, we will be considering the pros and cons of the permissive parenting style. While the permissive parenting style might not be the best type of parenting style existing, there are some pros related to it.  

Pros of Permissive Parenting Style


Encouraging your child to express himself or herself freely will build in him or her, great confidence. Your child will also want to try new things notwithstanding the consequences he or she will have to endure, thereby making your child a great risk-taker. 


With the freedom that comes with training your child permissively, your child will want to have more freedom as well as undertake new adventures with confidence. 

Better Communication

Permissive Parenting Style and Better Communication
Children of permissive parents are better friends and playmates with their parents

Children of permissive parents find it easy to communicate with their parents and tell them things other children are afraid of informing their parents. They also do not feel nervous speaking their minds to their parents. This helps to build a better and close relationship between the parent and child. 


Your child has few or no limits and as a result, is open to experimenting with his or her hobbies and passion. A rigid environment is not suitable for bringing your innate abilities to life. A flexible environment is more suitable. 

Cons of Permissive Parenting Style

Trying to stay BFFs with your kid comes with a price. No matter how your child fights against it, you must make certain rules to guide and build their personality into better people. They must know that they can’t always have what they want. They must have boundaries to what they can do and not do so that they can know right from wrong. 

Below are some of the Cons of the Permissive Parenting Style: 

Risk Prone Temperament

As great as your child may be in taking risks, they need to find a balance in knowing what risk to take and what not to take. When you leave your child to fend and build themselves as they like, then they are prone to engaging in risky behaviors that could negatively affect them. 

Behavioral Inhibition

Children raised by permissive parents are liable to fall victim to anxiety and depression. This is because you have raised them to keep their problems to themselves and find solutions to them independently. This might cause them to withdraw from people who could offer them help when they need it and thereby, fall under depression. 


Since they get whatever they want at home, they would also want to do so outside. This is in such a way that they go to extreme lengths to satisfy their needs or wants outside at the expense of others. They then inculcate a rebellious and challenging attitude towards others outside. 

Negative Effects of Permissive Parenting Style on Children

Certain negative behaviors are expected of children of permissive parents. In this section, we will explore the negative effects of permissive parenting style on children. 

Children of Permissive Parents Are Often Disrespectful

Since their parents have accommodated their excesses without any form of correction right from birth, they tend to grow into individuals who have no reverence for anyone. Respecting teachers in schools and other social settings becomes a huge problem for them since they have always had whatever they wanted without having to show any reverence for anyone. 

Children of Permissive Parents Are Often Deviant 

permissive parenting style and a deviant child

Since they are not used to hearing no, children of permissive parents are always deviant and uncontrollable when they hear “no” from an outsider in school or social gatherings. They tend to lash out or throw tantrums just so they can have what they want. 

Children of Permissive Parents Are Often Impulsive 

Since they have been brought up that way, children of permissive parents tend to do things without thinking them through. Also, they don’t always want to take responsibility for their actions when they’re wrong. 

Children of Permissive Parents Tend to Lack Social Skills

Since you have not taught them to put others before themselves, they will always want to be on the lookout for themselves alone. They would lack social skills such as showing empathy, caring, and sharing. 

Children of Permissive Parents Have Difficulties Making Crucial Decisions 

Since they have not been made to face many hardships before, children of permissive parents tend to have difficulty in making decisions when they are faced with crucial situations. 

Children of Permissive Parents Tend to Have Emotional Inadequacies 

Permissive parents are always scared of upsetting their children. Thus, they want to do everything to satisfy them. When they are faced with emotions such as anger or regret in the future, they might find it hard to accommodate such emotions in them. 

What Can I Do If I Am A Permissive Parent?

As a permissive parent aiming to be a better parent, the following are things you can do: 

  • Set rules and enforce them. 
  • Set consequences of their failure to abide by the rules and enforce them. 
  • Be firm and consistent with your rules, while still being loving. 
  • Praise them when they do well. 
  • Pay attention to your child’s behavior and handle them while being mindful of them. 


Nothing is wrong with meeting the needs of your child or fulfilling their desires. However, there should be a limit. Let your child know what they should do at every point in time and let them know there are rules and why they must obey those rules. Be a friend to them and at the same time, don’t let the parental attribute in you disappear. You can contact us at Perfect Angels Learning Center for more information about the Permissive Parenting Style.