Problem

Parental permissiveness

Other Names:
Lax parental responses
Parental toleration of drug addiction in children
Parental toleration of alcoholism in children
Parental toleration of sexual activity of children
Lax parental discipline
Inadequate childhood discipline
Lack of constructive family discipline for young people
Permissive child-rearing
Progressive parenting
Rearing self-absorbed children
Nature:
When parents do not apply systematic discipline to the rearing of their children, the children will fail to develop the social and personal skills - such as consideration for others and self-control - that are necessary for a normal adult life. Children who are not held accountable at home for their behaviour do not learn the difference between socially acceptable and socially unacceptable behaviour, and they do not learn that there are consequences to the latter. They remain in the self-absorbed state of infancy. Without a framework of obedience to the total family there can be no free participation of every individual within that family. The family can thus not develop a corporate wisdom, which is the basis of family policy and actions. When a lack of family discipline is combined with a lack of parental willingness to allow the children to be significantly engaged in society, young people are left with excessive amounts of time and energy to expend on activities of their own improvisation.

Some parents not only refrain from disciplining their children, they go out of their way to give praise, regardless of the child's behaviour. They fear making the child unhappy, and so compensate failures and the inevitable logical consequences of misbehaviour with praise or gifts. Thus children learn that they should be rewarded for any work, no matter how mediocre, and they refuse to accept responsibility for their mistakes.

Counter Claim:
The parenting style peculiar to a culture may seem excessively permissive to others, and yet result in socially productive adults. In the Roma culture, for example, the child has a special place in the family, adored and cherished by his or her parents. Everyone in the family helps raise the child, allowing children to learn by imitation and active participation rather than through theoretical lessons.
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.05.2000 – 00:00 CEST