When you're a parent, your choices and behavior will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on your children. In my case, it was my mother's constant warnings about the dangers of germs that make me want to sterilize practically everything as an adult. But while some parents can go overboard with their involvement, others choose to take a more laid back approach. If you think your partner has a tendency to be a little too laissez-faire, you need to look out for the signs you have a passive parenting partner.
Not following a routine, using bribes to get a desired outcome, and making excuses for bad behavior are just a few of the signs that your partner is trying not to be seen as the bad guy in the relationship. And if you are the one who's trying to lay down the law, this behavior can make your job even tougher.
Being warm and nurturing is a wonderful way to establish a bond with your children, but not enforcing rules and imposing limits can be harmful to your child in the long run — particularly when you are indulging them in unhealthy behavior. As Aha Parenting mentioned, a toddler's wants are often the exact opposite of their needs or what is reasonable. Ice cream isn't exactly the most nutritious breakfast, you know.
You don't have to make your home a dictatorship, but you and your partner should work together to find a way to strike a healthy balance between nurturing and no nonsense. But in order to do that, you need to know if you have a passive partner. Here are just a few signs that you might.
1. They Don't Follow A Routine
According to WebMD, kids need rules and routines to thrive. It isn't fun to have to enforce bed time, but as the parent, you know it's necessary. If kids don't get used to routine now, it could spell trouble down the road when that adorable baby turns into a rebellious teenager.
2. They Have Low Expectations
You can expect that your kids will attempt to cross the line at times. But when they do, it's important that they be prepared to accept age-appropriate consequences. According to VeryWell, a passive parent tends to explain bad behavior away as letting kids be kids.
3. They Use Bribes To Get Results
There's nothing wrong with giving your child a treat for a job well done. However, it's important to draw the line and let them know that following the rules and completing household responsibilities are expected. And it's never too early to start. According to the Developmental Psychology department at Vanderbilt University, passive parents tend to bribe their children with rewards to get things done.
4. They Let The Kids Weigh In
You may allow your child to choose her pajamas or what cup she'd like to drink from, but you don't want to allow the choices to get out of hand. Very Well added that passive parents tend to get the child's input on practically everything.
5. They Don't Want To Be The Bad Guy
No one really wants to be the bad guy all of the time. But your passive parenting partner will try to avoid the job at all costs, leaving you with the not-so-fun job of enforcing the rules. Often, a passive parent would rather be viewed as a friend than a disciplinarian, according to Vanderbilt University's Developmental Psychology department.