Permissive Parenting Style and Associated outcomes

Brat.250w.tnBaumrind (1966; 1968; 1991) and Lee et al. (2006) described permissive parenting as being responsive to the child, but failing to set proper disciplinary boundaries.  According to Baumrind (1968), permissive parents react to a child’s impulses, desires, and actions, in a non-punitive acceptant manner.  The child is consulted about policies and decisions. Explanations are given for family rules.  There are few demands for household responsibilities and orderly behavior.  The parent/s is presented to the child as a resource for him/her to use, and not as an active agent responsible for molding his ongoing or future behavior.  The child is allowed to regulate his own activities as much as possible.  Parental control is kept to a minimum, and the child is encouraged to not obey externally defined standards.  Parenting involves the use of reason, but not the overt use of power.  In all, they place low demands on a child.

The result of which were children who have a lack of self-discipline, sometimes poor social skills, feel insecure due to a lack of boundaries and guidance, as well as being self-involved and demanding (Baumrind, 1966; 1968; 1991; Lee et al., 2006).  Some other literatures have suggested that children of permissive parents tend to be very immature, have difficulties controlling their impulses, and were reluctant to accept responsibility.  They could also be disobedient, rebellious, and show less persistence at tasks in preschool than children who experienced more parental control (Berk 2000, Darling 1999, Dinwiddie 1995, Gurian,  1999).  Adolescents who were the product of permissive parenting style learn that there were few boundaries and rules; and that consequences were not expected to be very serious.  Hence, they have a difficulty with self-control and show egocentric tendencies that could interfere with the proper development of peer relationships (Kopko, 2007).


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