Those who choose the permissive approach believe that they are in all actuality focusing on love instead of limitations. People who turn out to be permissive parents are often driven by the need for their children’s approval, or to be their children’rathers friends. They place few restrictions or demands on their children. Instead, they respond to their children’s desires whenever they arise. Permissive parents often “give in” to their children’s wishes, hesitating on boundaries as soon as their child protests, gets angry, throws a tantrum, or expresses disapproval in some way.
Permissive parents have good intentions. They believe that by giving in to their child’s desires, they are showing them love. Their goal is often to avoid conflict with their children, and their manner with their children is often warm, nurturing and supportive. Despite the good intentions, problems occur when permissive parents fail to set appropriate boundaries for their children.
Characteristics of Permissive Parents
Parents engaging in the permissive parenting style are characterized by certain behaviors. Permissive parents might display the following behaviors:
Lack clear, firm boundaries; instead, boundaries are fluid and enforced only in the face of no opposition Express unwillingness to curb their child's creativity or autonomy, even when a behavior is detrimental "Give in" to their child in the face of a temper tantrum or other expression of disapproval Often identify their children as their best friends Have an "anything goes" type of attitude Often seem overwhelmed by their children State desired behaviors as requests, rather than as expectations Ignore misconduct Not express expectations or help a child expect anything of him or herself Not apply discipline or logical consequences, or apply them inconsistently Use any means necessary to obtain compliance, such as bribery Allow children to manipulate them to get what they want, or allow children to play one parent against the other Feel that their children take them for granted Not require their children to do chores Have a peer relationship with their offspring rather than a parent-child relationship