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What are some of the different parenting styles?


Permissive Parenting

The style of permissive parenting (also recognized by Baumrind) is essentially the polar opposite of authoritarian parenting. Instead of laying down the law to a child, a permissive parent tends to respond positively to the demands of the child. Wishes are fulfilled, toys are purchased, and "wants" generally are handled like "needs." In many cases, kids get to live the carefree childhood that their parents may not have had in their youth.

Using this style (whether consciously or by default), permissive parents strive to create a warm, supportive environment that fosters individuality. Kids don't receive the same degree of direct supervision as with other parenting styles, in the hope that the child will develop self-discipline. When discipline problems do arise, permissive parents aren't as responsive, and set low expectations for advancement in the child's maturity and level of responsibility.

A permissive parent usually tries to be friends with the child, instead of assuming the role of authority figure. Parents may pacify their children with gifts, games and distractions (especially if they feel they don't have enough time to spend with their kids).

One problem with permissive parenting is that it doesn't really integrate the child into the family/household structure. While given space to be a kid, the child isn't expected to help out with "adult" chores or even cleaning up their own messes. Using the permissive parenting style, you may raise a child to have a strong sense of individuality and mental flexibility. However, you may also raise a spoiled brat.

Doesn't it seem like there should be a style that is a perfect blend of the authoritarian parenting style and the permissive parenting style? Keep reading to see if such a parenting style exists.


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