Parenting Style- Permissive Parents

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Permissive-By-Default:
A Case of a Parenting Style

Nick Jones
Fresno Pacific University
ECD 420

Deven’s mother witnesses Deven hitting Carrie because he wants the toy that she has. Rather than stopping Deven from stealing Carrie’s toy and telling him, “NO! That is not the right way to ask for a toy because you will hurt her,” Deven’s mom sits idly by, watching as a shoving match ensues. When Carrie’s mom tries to intervene in the shoving match, Deven’s mom finally speaks up and responds by simply stating, “Deven, you shouldn’t do that.” However, she fails to set any limits, reasons or consequences for why Deven should not push and hit. This parenting style is known as permissive-by-default. It is an apathetic form of parenting that is low-to-non demanding and low in responsiveness. Its effects on children can be easily seen in a child’s behavior and can affect them all the way into adulthood.

Deven’s mom is permissive-by-default. She does not set limits for Deven. A parent who is permissive-by-default is a parent who is not responsive to their child’s behavior or needs and is also disengaged from the process of setting any demands upon their children. They fail to set these demands, not because of a philosophical belief in child rearing but, because they are, or have grown, apathetic to the process of dealing with their children’s issues the way that they should. Often times, parents like this have tried to set limits on their children in the past but have found it difficult to enforce or maintain these limits and have therefore given up trying (Marion, 2007, p.18). Others like Deven’s mom are inconsistent in their discipline. They may not say anything about a certain behavior in many circumstances and then one-day they may speak up about it, as Deven’s mom does once Carrie’s mom intervenes. This style of parenting can have detrimental effects upon children. When limits are not enforced, let alone set at...
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