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Essay On Permissive Parenting

Permissive and Neglectful Parenting: Guaranteeing Your Child’s Identity Crisis

MLA Documentation Style
Topic: Explaining the effects on identity of children from permissive and neglectful parenting
Audience: Expecting parents who feel they need guidance on their parenting strategies
Forum: parentingforums.com is a place for parents to discuss the difficulties and joys of parenting while finding advice on their parenting strategies
Purpose: To sway expecting parents from neglectful or permissive parenting styles by informing them of the difficulties they will create for their child’s identity quest
Ethos: credible articles discussing the relation between parenting, adolescent psychosocial maturity and psychological performance. Lecture notes from my Human Development course taught by Laura Duvall and standards governed by the American Psychological Association
This is an essay analyzing the sociocultural practices within a certain group regarding identity.    
2,177 words

Permissive and Neglectful Parenting: Guaranteeing Your Child’s Identity Crisis
There are many variables that affect a child’s search for identity. Peers, media, and people they idolize and wish to emulate are a few of many, but the most significant, impacting variable is a child’s parents. Every style of parenting has its own outcome and residual effect. There are always special cases that may defy what is expected, but typically it is the parent’s parenting style and attitude towards life in general that will reign supreme of everything else affecting their child’s identity quest. Every honorable parent wants what is best for their child, however sometimes they unintentionally teach just the opposite. Unfortunately, this is exactly the outcome of permissive and neglectful parenting.
When contemplating the concept of parenting you might think of it as an endeavor beginning when the child is able to communicate. On the contrary, successful parenting begins the first second the baby...

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Permissive parenting:

An evidence-based guide

© 2010-14 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved

Permissive parenting seems to be the "no discipline" approach to discipline.

Does it damage kids?

Threaten to destroy civilization?

The research suggests that permissiveness isn't the best approach to parenting--at least not in places like the United States.

But much as we might get annoyed by parents who let their kids disrupt other people's lives, it's not clear that everyone labeled as "permissive" is doing their children--or their neighbors--a disservice.

As you might expect, it depends on how you define "permissive."

Being warm and emotionally responsive to children doesn't make you "permissive," and it certainly doesn't make you a bad parent.

On the contrary, studies link sensitive, responsive parenting with secure attachments and fewer behavior problems.

The official, psychological definition of permissiveness concerns parental control. Are permissive parents too lax? What criteria must parents meet to be labeled "permissive?"

Here is an overview of permissive parenting: How researchers define it, how researchers screen for it, and what studies really say about the effects of an indulgent parenting style. As I'll argue below, we need to be wary of painting all forms of permissiveness with a broad brush. It's likely that some permissive environments don't cause any substantial harm, and might benefit children in a big way.

The textbook definition

Permissive parenting is a style of child-rearing that features two key traits:

  • being nurturing and warm (which is good for kids), and
  • being reluctant to impose limits (which is usually not good).

This definition derives from the work of Diane Baumrind, Eleanor Maccoby, and John Martin, researchers who developed a system for classifying parents according to the way they attempt to control their children’s behavior. According to these researchers,

  • Authoritative parents demand mature, responsible behavior from their kids, but they also encourage family discussion and critical thinking
  • Permissive parents—also called “indulgent" parents—reject the whole notion of keeping their kids under control
As Baumrind notes, permissive parents share some similarities with authoritative parents. Both types of parent are emotionally supportive and responsive to their children’s needs and wishes—which is a good thing. Both types consult kids about policy decisions, which can be a good thing, too.

But unlike authoritative parents, permissive parents aren’t demanding. They don’t assign their kids many responsibilities and they don’t encourage kids to meet adult-imposed behavior standards. Instead, they allow—as much as possible—kids to regulate themselves.

Permissive parents don’t present themselves as authority figures or role models. They might use reason or manipulation to get what they want. But they avoid exercising overt power (Baumrind 1966).

A fourth parenting style—“uninvolved" parenting—is a bit like permissive parenting in that parents don’t enforce standards of conduct. But the resemblance ends there. Permissive parents are warm and nurturing.

Uninvolved parents are detached and emotionally disengaged (Maccoby and Martin 1983).

The consequences of permissiveness

Does parenting style matter? It seems that way. Certainly, studies have reported strong links between specific parenting styles and child outcomes.

For instance, kids raised by permissive parents are better off than kids who have uninvolved parents. They also tend to have high self esteem, and they may be more resourceful than are kids raised by uninvolved or authoritarian parents (e.g., Turkel and Tezer 2008; Rothrauff et al 2009; Lamborn et al 1991).

There is also a lot of research supporting the idea that indulged kids are less self-disciplined and less responsible than are kids from authoritative families.

For instance, when Jessica Piotrowski and her colleagues (2013) studied a nationally representative sample of more than 1000 young American kids, (ages 2-8), they evaluated children for deficits in self-regulation, that package of abilities that permits kids to control their impulses, stay focused, manage their moods, and execute plans.