"‘…His father…had never disciplined him at any time…’ "- 1 Kings 1:6 NLT
The permissive style: This parent has few rigid rules, and explains to the child their rules, standards and decisions. The child’s opinions and ideas are heard and included in decision-making. Reason is used rather than force. These parents talk and discuss perspectives rather than using threats. Unfortunately, few household responsibilities are demanded of the child, denying them the opportunity to contribute and learn to function co-operatively. The parent is a ‘facilitator’ and ‘resource person’. In such homes children ‘self-regulate’ in areas such as bedtime, dating, the car, friends, dress, the Internet, music, and curfew. What are the pluses of this parenting style? Kids usually adore permissive parents, feel close to and safe with them. These parents never belittle kids, their ideas and perspectives, nor shame and embarrass or make them feel like failures. Rather, they encourage their thinking, innovation, initiative, social and communication skills. They model forgiveness, patience, and flexibility. But let’s look at the minuses of this style. Parental guidance is missing, and low demand for household responsibilities leaves kids unprepared for life in the real world. They lack the structure and boundaries needed for relationships and the workplace, and have difficulty in accepting the word, ‘No!’. The absence of a parental role model for leadership and decision-making leads to motivational deficit, requiring someone to ‘jump-start’ them to get them going. This style provides many healthy, positive characteristics, producing kids who may be happy, but suffer losses productively and relationally.