Permissive parents: advantages and disadvantages

Permissive parents bet on freedom and are close to falls to lift and encourage people to continue learning from life. Know the good and the unwanted of this parenting style.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on October 31, 2021.

Last update: October 31, 2021

How to handle parenting is a decision to make and being permissive, authoritarian or democratic parents are styles to choose. The task of parents is very complex. It is true that experience is being gained, but what to do in certain cases and how to carry out the day to day are present with their load of doubts.

In the subject that we will address in this article, the rules and controls are not obvious or preponderant. Let’s look at the fundamental characteristics of being permissive parents, its advantages and disadvantages.

How are permissive parents?

In essence, permissive parents they allow their children to explore their own limits. This entails a very dynamic and hectic domestic rhythm, without established schedules, which an external look could qualify as disorder.

It is a risk these parents take by disregarding the security of concrete boundaries and preferring the adventure of open and random systems. They are parents who give free rein and trust their children about the somewhat philosophical idea that life is unpredictable.

Parents who choose permissiveness They seek to support, understand, encourage, accompany and, above all, not harm. They understand that it is inherent to children to run, jump and do what provokes them, moving with dizzying speed from one subject to another. They think that keeping up with them and limiting them is not only suffocating, but counterproductive.

One trait of the parents that we analyze is that they are not first timers, which will manifest itself in two things. One, that they do not have the anguish of certain basic doubts about childcare. Two that have less time to raise and more need for financial compensation.

Children live in a dizzying way, changing from action to action. That is something permissive parents understand and accept.

Characteristics of permissive parenting

In the house of permissive parents there is an atmosphere of freedom in which limits and borders are flexible. The patterns of action and behavior are fickle and changeable.

Self-regulation will be the mechanism that parents activate to build harmonious relationships. Of course, there will always be the suspicion of whether the little ones are ripe to receive a lax upbringing.

In the bosom of permissive parents, the children act and interact at ease until the natural dynamics leads them to confrontations. That is when the word, the advice and the recommendation appear as mediators.

It is in this relationship scheme that we speak of a permissive-democratic parenting style, in which agreements and consensuses set the tone. In a home of this type, the clauses of family coexistence are predetermined. And its fulfillment or contempt will be challenged by the parents, who will call to order on the provisions or pre-established.

It is important to note that parents who are at odds with the rules do not do so out of detachment from their children or disinterest. They start from the fact that trust and responsibility are trained and learned in the exercise of living.

And in the same way that they don’t like rules, they refuse punishments as forms of correction. The amendment would come from reflection and awareness. In the face of mistakes, permissive parents are often willing to help and face difficulties.

Advantages of being permissive parents

Freedom is a school that teaches opening paths, loosening moorings. In this area there is adventure, risk and uncertainty; elements that emerge at the base of an education based on broad respect for the person and their potential.


Permissive parents advocate for children who make decisions, at the same time that they are refining their criteria. They let them do and solve. And even though they are close, they decline to interfere unless the child demands help.


It is the temper of security that is sought with the rigor that detachment supposes. That children learn to face the open sea is a treasure for the parents who trained them and prepared to watch them set sail.


Creation materializes and makes freedom visible. Permissive parents understand that giving children a personal use of time leaves them free to find your own language. It is not about cultivating dissolution or drift, but about having a material docile to impulses, dreams and desires.

Disadvantages of being permissive parents

Breeding without ties, which is synonymous with flight and horizon, would collide in a closed environment. Without proper preparation, the children would not have the mechanisms to deal with unfamiliar situations.

Outside is not like home

A risk stalks children who grow up with permissive parents: society has rules. In some places, even in an iron way. This disagreement would cause non-compliance with varying degrees of danger.

For the rest, a boy or a girl who has not felt the pressure of the rules at home may rebel in the street. And hope or pretend that the world condescends to their whims. The reality can be very harsh.

Problems at school

A place where the normative is typical of its constitution is the school. Children of permissive parents may find it boring, stern, and strange to how they have gotten used to understanding things.

It is up to parents to create transitional spaces and convey that each institution has its own rules. And therefore, one thing is home and another is society.

An ingredient adds to this difficulty. In the time they spend free in front of the screens, they receive a stimulation that, in terms of rhythm, intensity in colors, shapes and movements, differs from the nature of school learning.

School can be a difficult space for children of permissive parents, as the rules are different.

Insecurity and low self-esteem

In the event that parents do not assimilate and transmit the differences between the inside of the home and the outside world, low self-esteem is a possibility. An inappropriate reading of the scenarios will make children experience strong stresses that will affect a feeling of insecurity.

Being permissive parents does not imply being unscrupulous

Permissiveness should be concerned if this border on abandonment, disdain or, if due to lack of time or irresponsibility, parenting is delegated to third parties. In these cases, children may lack stability and a defined authority figure.

Therefore, it is necessary to point out that permissive parenting does not include detachment. On the contrary, it demands discipline in adults to avoid being lax or authoritarian according to mood swings.

Finally, between black and white are the nuances. That is how the permissive home must tend towards democratic upbringing more than unrestricted freedom.

Children should not grow up to their own devices. They need with courage to face the unexpected and have their parents and elders close to step together and move forward.

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