6 Signs You're A Permissive Parent & Don't Even Know It

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Permissive parents love their kids. They are typically nurturing, affectionate, warm, and relaxed. In permissive parenting, there are fewer rules and the family dynamic is very child-led. While there are several different types of parenting styles, one is not better than the other. Identifying your style though can sometimes be helpful in understanding why you and your partner make certain decisions as a parent. So if you are wondering if your parenting style falls under a specific category, here are some signs that you are a permissive parent, which you may not have noticed.

In general, signs that your parenting style is permissive include that you don't set up a ton of rules for your kids as you allow them to have a good amount of freedom, and when it comes time to setting boundaries and saying "no", the process involves a lot of negotiating between parent and child, more so than if you are a parent who's more authoritative. Like many topics when it comes to parenting, the definition of what kind of parent you are can be very gray. In the 1960's, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study that identified different parenting styles — authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive; later, Eleanor Maccoby and Peter Martin expanded that list of styles to include uninvolved.

In addition to permissive parenting, a couple other overarching styles of parenting include authoritarian parenting (in which there are strict rules and punishments set in place), uninvolved (where parents have little interaction with their kids and few demands of them).

Ad failed to load

Though there are clearly defined labels, this doesn't mean that a parent must be, or necessarily even can be, described as one singular type of parent because many parents might use different styles at different times and different styles with different children. "Just like how some children require a strict teacher to thrive and others need a more nurturing one who does more creative activities, different children might require different parenting styles," says social worker Jill Kaiser, and parents will oftentimes recognize this and adjust how they handle certain situations and personalities accordingly.

Kaiser said that it's good to reflect on why parents choose a particular parenting style. Is it a reflection of their own parents' style? Some people who grow up in an authoritarian household swear they will do the opposite and become permissive parents themselves. Some who like their parents' style will adopt the same philosophy in their own home. Either way, Kaiser believes that it's important for parents to look at their motivations when selecting this style of parenting. Some parents make the choice with the child in mind, feeling that a looser atmosphere is more in line with their philosophy in life. Others do it for their own benefit, because they don't like confrontation, may be insecure about their parenting choices, and want to be liked by their children.

Ultimately, you should determine the parenting style that fits your family's needs. If you are wondering if you fall under the permissive parent category, here are some signs that you may be one.

Ad failed to load

1There's No Bedtime

Giphy

If it's midnight and your eight year old is still wandering the house, it's possible this is because you are a permissive parent. many families have different rules for things like bedtime, says Parenting Science, and each needs to do what feels right and works for them. However, in the case of no bedtime, you may want to be conscious of whether or not your child is getting enough sleep. They may actually appreciate the limit set on their waking hours and feel better physically with a routine bedtime. Laura Kastner, Ph.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine, said that for many busy parents, they don't want family time to become an argument, so they don't set a strict bedtime. However, she feels you can introduce a bedtime if you are "calm, absolutely resolute and not cave."

2Your Kids Have Trouble With Self-Control

Giphy

Families who have too many or too few rules can wind up having kids who have trouble with self-regulation, according to a 2013 study. Dutch researchers studied English-speaking American children who lived in The Netherlands and found that those in authoritarian and permissive households had more trouble controlling their emotions and had "difficulty connecting with peers, generating relationships with teachers, negotiating their social world, and succeeding academically."

3Your Day Is One Giant Negotiation

Giphy

Children of permissive parents often learn that any rules that do exist are flexible. This can lead to ongoing negotiations. In an effort to please, Families explained that permissive parents cave to this manipulation and allow the cycle to repeat itself all day, every day.

Ad failed to load

4Your Kids Lash Out Physically

Giphy

Physically aggressive children cause trouble for themselves and others. A study at the University of Texas showed showed that kids from permissive parenting households predicted a higher chance of social aggression over several years, reported The Natural Family. From this they deduced that " parents setting fewer limits on children’s behaviors may have lasting consequences for their peer relations.”

5You Don't Set Limits

Giphy

If your child is on their fourth cupcake or has been playing Xbox for seven hours straight, it sounds like there are no, or few, limits for them. Research has shown that children who don't have limits struggle with self-esteem when they get to college and have a higher incidence of alcohol use as teens.

6You Are Often Bribing Them

Giphy

Are you are constantly bribing your kids to do something? For example, are you always negotiating them completing their homework with candy bars? It is one way to get a child to do something, and used sparingly, bribing works. However, if you use this tactic for almost every action you want your child to do, it could be a sign that you're a permissive parent, explains Parenting Science.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack