Pros And Cons Of Permissive Parenting

father and daughter writing together

Mia’s going through the terrible two’s at the moment.

For Sasha and I, it just feels like tantrum after tantrum, followed by acts of kindness and genuine empathy.

She’s like a mini Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 🙂

I didn’t read up on parenting styles at all when Sasha was pregnant.

I just figured we’d both be the best parents we could be.

Acting firm and fair, while raising her in a positive environment and giving her freedom to develop and become her own person.

Not so easy it? Especially when you are tired.

I can lose my patience sometimes when I haven’t slept enough. I feel so guilty afterwards.

It’s only as Mia’s got older that I’ve started to hear terms such as helicopter parenting, permissive parenting etc.

I thought for this blog post I would look at the pros and cons of permissive parenting.

If you have heard of this term before but aren’t sure what it entails, then read on to learn more about it.

What is the definition of permissive parenting?

Permissive parenting, by definition, has very few rules or expectations for children.

While the parents who raise their children in this way are generally very loving and expressive, they don’t think that their children need as much discipline since they are unable to control themselves.

Parents who employ permissive parenting with their children do not make many demands on their kids and usually don’t exert a lot of control over their behaviors and actions.

While these parents are very warm and loving and often feel as though they are making the right choice for their children by using this parenting style, they do not set boundaries for their children and usually don’t set limits or provide the structure that children crave.

This can have major consequences for the children in the future.

mum and daughter walking on the beach

History of permissive parenting

Psychologist Diana Baumrind was the first person to coin this phrase when she discovered that most parents have one of three parenting styles. A fourth parenting style was later added to this list.

Permissive parenting was very common in the 1950s as parents grew to trust their children more and this extended over into a new parenting style.

Parents wanted their children to be self-sufficient and, thanks to a common patriarchal family structure, this type of parenting thrived during this decade.

What are the pros and cons of permissive parenting?

Understanding the pros and cons of permissive parenting will allow you to decide whether or not this is the right parenting style for you.

It will also make it possible for you to identify if this is your parenting style at the moment.


  • It allows parents to make their relationship with their children a priority.
  • It decreases the amount of conflict between parents and children.
  • It provides a space where children can be creative.
  • It allows children autonomy and control over the decisions that they make.


  • As children age,it can be difficult for parents to remain in control.
  • Children won’t grow up understanding the difference between wants and needs.
  • Children will suffer from a lack of motivation.
  • There is usually a lack of self-discipline as children age.
  • Parents will be put in a position of having to regularly compromise what is important to them.
  • There can be blurred lines before the children and parents, which means that children won’t have the role models that they need.


How does it affect children?

The main question that parents have about this style of parenting is how it will affect their kids and if it is a good idea. In fact, there have been many studies showing that children who are parented with this style often internalize their problems more than other children do.

Additionally, older children tend to exhibit risky behaviors as well as decreased intimacy with their parents.

Are there different levels of permissive parenting?

There are different levels of how permissive parents may be with their children. Some parents are permissive in all areas of their children’s lives while others are only permissive about certain things.

Is it too late to change from a permissive parenting style?

Even if you feel overwhelmed by the parenting choices that you have made, you can still make changes to your parenting style and positively affect your children’s future and your relationship with them. As long as parents are committed to changing and working together, then they can generally see positive impacts.

Of course, older children are going to be more reluctant to have a different parenting style in their lives and changing to a different parenting style may require outside help.

What is a sign of permissive parenting?

It can be fairly easy to tell if someone employs a permissive parenting style if he or she does not set rules, establish boundaries, or make consequences for their children. If you think that you or someone else is a permissive parent, then look for:

– The inability to manage a child’s behavior
– More aggression on the part of the child
– Low achievement due to no expectations
– Poor decision making


Even before writing this blog post, the idea of adopting one parenting style never really appealed to me.

Surely a balanced approach is the way to go?

At the moment, we aren’t that strict with Mia as she’s only 2 and a half, and we try our best to distract her if she starts misbehaving.

It doesn’t always work though, as she has tantrums most days.

We do put her in the corner if she does something really bad though, like hitting, but that is quite rare.

What parenting style do you use?

What are the pros and cons of permissive parenting? In this article you'll learn the advantages and disadvantages of this parenting style

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Author: Dad Racket

Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a "little noise" about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.

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