When it comes to parenting, there are three basic styles: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. While the authoritarian is demanding for compliance, the permissive parent is more willing to let the child make their own decisions and let natural consequences for those choices make up the majority of the discipline structure within the home.
In a 1991 study, children who were raised in a permissive environment reported the lowest levels of academic success and psychosocial development.
In multiple studies, the primary benefit of using the permissive model for children was to increase their levels of self-reliance and social competence. Children raised in permissive homes have been identified as having the highest risks of antisocial personality development, which typically leads to problematic behavior that gets the child in trouble later on in life.
What Causes Children To Go Astray?
1. Children who experience a lack of emotional support, no supervision, and no discipline are at the highest risk of experiencing at least one encounter with a police officer because of a crime.
2. Children who have parents who are genuinely interested in their daily activities show higher grade proficiency.
3. Children raised in a permissive environment will typically follow their parent’s queues in regards to problematic behavior.
Takeaway: Drug use is more common in permissive parenting households, which means kids coming from these homes have even more risks that they must overcome. They are more prone to be tempted to indulge in a gateway drug and already run the risk of having lower grades than their peers because their parents have little or no involvement with their schooling. Although a lack of emotional support is typically a characteristic of more authoritarian styles of parenting in the risk factors, the remainder of the issues all come from permissive households. It might not seem like a problem, but there is a definite shift in problematic behavioral responses in today’s students – just look at school shooting statistics for proof of this.
What Does Permissive Parenting Cause?
1. Children who come from a permissive parenting situation are more likely to be aggressive, impulsive, and lack personal responsibility.
2. Parents who use a permissive style are more likely to raise children who are demanding and selfish than the other two parenting styles.
3. Parents who utilize the permissive model for parenting are more likely to use manipulation or logical reasoning to get the outcome they want.
4. Multiple studies have found a direct link between permissive parenting and increased alcohol use by teenagers within a household.
5. A 2011 study has linked permissive parenting to lower activity levels in children and higher overall BMI ratings.
6. Children in permissive households have typically more television viewing and other screen-time activities than households with other parenting styles, with 5 times the risk of watching more than 4 hours of TV per day.
7. Children in permissive households are more likely to develop anxiety and depression.
Takeaway: These are all of the bad outcomes of permissive parenting and the truth is that no one parenting style can eliminate all of the developmental risks of the modern child. Authoritarian styles of parenting typically limit the social strengths while permissive parenting increases them. Rather than just limit oneself to a specific parenting style, what appears to be a need is that today’s children need a mixture of parenting styles in the home to be successful. Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach to every child and every situation, parents today need to approach every situation and encounter with their child in a unique way and be willing to adapt any of the parenting approaches – not just one.
What is Making the Difference Today?
1. Caucasian, Black, and Asian parents view “Thinking for Oneself” as the most important quality their children can possess, while Hispanic parents view ‘Obedience’ as the most important childhood quality.
2. 98% of mothers and 90% of fathers hugged their children aged 0-2 years daily, compared to only 74% of mothers and just 1 of every 2 fathers who hugged their children ages 10 to 12 years of age daily.
3. 67% of children ages 0–17 lived with two married parents in 2008, which was down from 77% in 1980.
4. 18% of all children under the age of 17 lived in poverty.
5. Single parent families only interact with their children for 50 minutes per day on average, while two-parent families spend an average of 2 hours interacting with their children.
6. 1 in every 58 children in the United States has suffered from some form of abuse.
7. Children with fathers involved are 70% less likely to drop out of school, but over 1 million fathers are currently imprisoned in the US alone.
Takeaway: Sometimes life experiences dictate what parenting style must be used. In other times, parents are making conscious decisions about how to react. The one clear statistic out of all the permissive parenting information is this: the role of the father in particular is clearly defined. What the father does, the child is likely to do as well. If the father is imprisoned, then the child has a higher risk of imprisonment as well. If a father is fully engaged, however, and is willing to show his children affection daily – even teenagers – then they are more likely to experience academic and social success with lower risks of engaging in potentially harmful behaviors.
Here’s Something to Think About
1. 40% of children that are born today are born to unmarried women.
2. 9% of single mothers admit to having abused their children at least once.
3. Children from single parent households are 11 times more likely to commit violent behaviors.
4. 70% of single mothers live in poverty and many earn less than $13k per year.
Takeaway: Because 84% of custodial mothers have primary or sole custody of their children, they have the greatest needs for societal support than any other group. Some demographics look down on single mothers and judge them, but all that does is increase the risks of that family to see success. A helping hand can create a hand up out of poverty, lower risks, and ultimately create an environment where permissive parenting isn’t required for survival.