Understanding Permissive Parenting: The Pros And Cons

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Are you someone who doesn’t want to say “no” as an answer every time your kid asks you for something? Do you want to be more of a friend with them and less of a parent? Do you want them to decide what they want in life while you take the back seat?

If your answer to all these questions is a big “yes,” then the chances are that you are practicing permissive parenting.

Were your parents strict with you when you were a kid?

I’m asking you this because most parents who follow permissive parenting had very strict parents in their childhood. And as they know how it feels to have authoritative parents, they don’t want their kids to go through the same.

That’s why they want to have a friendly relationship with their kids. And that leads us to permissive parenting.

What Is Permissive Parenting?

What Is Permissive Parenting

In the 1960s, Diana Baumrind made a groundbreaking study about parenting. According to her, there are three main parenting types, one of which is permissive.

In this kind of parenting, there is a lack of consistent routines and rules for the child to follow. Also, there are no limits when it comes to discipline. The parent doesn’t like to interfere in the life of the kid.

The parents who practice this type of parenting are mostly loving and kind towards their little ones, which I like.

But there can be consequences that you may not like.

According to Jeff Nalin, the founder of Paradigm Treatment Centers and an award-winning licensed clinical psychologist, “Rules and respect are intimately connected; one cannot exist without the other.”

He added, “Parents who fail to implement certain restrictions also fail to teach their children to respect themselves and others, which can negatively impact how they interact with teachers, peers, and authoritative figures.”

Traits of a Permissive Parent

Traits of a Permissive Parent

Are you a permissive parent?

The following are some characteristics of a permissive parent. Check if you follow any of these:

  • You are extremely loving towards your kids and haven’t imposed any rules and limits
  • You are less of a parent and more of a fellow friend
  • You provide no consequences even if your kid does something wrong
  • You want your kids to love you, so you don’t do or say anything that can upset them
  • You are highly responsive to kids
  • You offer complete emotional support and demand less
  • You avoid confrontation of any kind with your kid
  • You have not set any routine for your kids. And even if there are, you are not at all consistent with them and break them often to fulfill your kid’s demands
  • You make use of gifts and toys to make them behave well.

Permissive Parenting: The Pros

Permissive Parenting The Pros

Permissive parenting does come with some pros. What are they?

Read on to know!

1. Gives Wings to Your Kid’s Creativity

It’s one of the best things that I like about permissive parenting. When you set no boundaries, your kid can experiment with all their hobbies and passions. It allows them to understand what they want to be when they grow up and do things that they are most passionate about.

2. Loving Parent-Child Relationship

Loving Parent-Child Relationship

If you practice permissive parenting, you consider your kid’s happiness your first priority. You love and nurture them and keep them close to your heart. And you go all the extent to keep them happy, always.

3. Minimal To No Conflict With Your Kid

You always give in to your kid’s wants and demands, as you don’t want to upset them. It’s why there is little to no conflict between the two of you. You have a peaceful life.

4. More Confident Kid

In permissive parenting, you let your kid express themselves freely. It makes them confident about trying new things without worrying about failing.

Permissive Parenting: The Cons

Permissive Parenting The Cons

Permissive parenting has more cons than pros.

According to Nalin, “Without a set of precise boundaries, children have no real sense of what is right or wrong. As a result, they will often test the waters to gauge how their parents will react, sometimes seeking attention from them.”

Want to know about the downsides to following this parenting style?

Scroll down.

1. Your Kid Doesn’t Understand The Difference Between Wants And Needs

If you follow permissive parenting, you don’t want to make your kid unhappy at any cost. And so, you give them whatever they want right from childhood.

It can be an issue when they grow up. They won’t understand the difference between needs and wants. They will have unreasonable and unrealistic expectations not only from you but also from others. And that is not a good thing.

2. Absence of Parental Control

Absence of Parental Control

Yes, I understand that you don’t want to upset your kid and want to give them complete freedom in whatever they do.

But, honey, you have to understand that they are your kid, and you are their parent. You have to impose rules in at least some situations. It’s for the betterment of your kid’s future.

After all, you don’t want your kid to feel that they are superior to you, and you are bound to listen to whatever they say and fulfill all your demands.

3. Your Kid Doesn’t Understand The Value of Time

We should all learn to value time. But if you follow permissive parenting, your kid won’t understand the importance of time and how it will affect their future.  


Since you haven’t set any rules at home, your kid watches television most of the day. Does things that don’t offer any value in the end and expects unreasonable things from you.

You don’t want all these, right?

4. Your Kid May Suffer From Emotional Imbalance

Your Kid May Suffer From Emotional Imbalance

When you continue to give in to your kid’s demands, they know that all their wishes will be fulfilled no matter what they demand.

There may be times when they ask for something too difficult for you to fulfill. And then, when you say “no” to them, they may be unable to take it.

They may find it hard to regulate their emotions or become aggressive.

5. They May Have Behavioral Issues

According to some studies, if you follow permissive parenting, the chances are that your kid will be more prone to depression and anxiety.

Many permissive parents teach their kids to solve their issues themselves without sharing them with anyone.

 It causes the kids to withdraw whenever they face a problem.

6. They May Have a Risk-Prone Temperament

They May Have a Risk-Prone Temperament

When you set no proper rules, your kid doesn’t think twice before involving in something as risky and harmful as substance abuse.

They don’t know what fear is, as you have always encouraged them to do things their way. But this can harm your child since your child won’t distinguish the wrong from the right.

So, it’s best to set some boundaries or rules that your kid needs to follow.

7. They Become a Rebellion

When you follow permissive parenting, you tend to give your kid all the freedom in the world. It makes your kid believe they are meant to get everything they want.

Things become hard when they interact with people outside your home. Your kid may behave as if they’re superior to everyone and want everyone to “obey” them.

Examples of Permissive Parenting

Examples of Permissive Parenting

I have come up with some scenarios and how a permissive parent would react to them. It will help you understand permissive parenting better.

  • You are at a kids’ store, and your little one asks for a soft toy. They already have many soft toys at home and don’t need one. But you don’t want to upset your kid, so you buy it for them.
  • Your kid wants to watch one more show on the television. But they have been watching television for the past few hours. But as you have not set any rules regarding screen time, you give in to your kid’s wish.
  • Your college-going girl has exams after two days. You have asked her to study well. But her friends have asked her to attend a late-night party, and she wants to go, leaving study behind. You don’t stop her and let her attend the party.

The Results of Permissive Parenting

The Results of Permissive Parenting

It is good to give your kid freedom. But when you don’t set any boundaries, they misuse it.

The following are some issues your kids can have if you practice permissive parenting.

Bully Others

You haven’t taught your kid about the consequences if they don’t follow certain rules. So, now they expect others in the school to listen to what they say. And when they don’t, your kid bullies them.


As you have never stopped your kid from doing anything they want, they now do things without even thinking twice, impulsively. Moreover, they want to avoid taking responsibility for what they have done.

Poor in Studies

According to several studies, poor academic performance in students is related to permissive parenting. When you follow this kind of parenting, you have little to no expectations from your kid. Hence, you never motivate them to study hard and perform better.

Things You Can Do If You Are a Permissive Parent

Things You Can Do If You Are a Permissive Parent

If you want nothing but the best for your child, you should remember the following aspects and add them to your parenting style.

  • If your kid does something good or behaves well, appreciate them. It will motivate them to be a good kid.
  • Set some firm family rules. Your kid should know their limits and what you expect from them.
  • Tell your kid about the consequences of not following the set rules. And be consistent. And do it while you are still loving towards them.
  • Be thoughtful. Listen to your kid’s life issues and provide emotional support.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it is your child, and you know what is best for them. You don’t want your kid to grow up having behavioral and emotional imbalances, right?

As parents, we indeed want to see our kids happy. But that doesn’t mean we will do things that can make our kids’ lives harder in the long run, right?

Now that you know what permissive parenting is and its pros and cons, you can decide whether you want to go for it or not.

Happy parenting!

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