The laissez-faire parent is the parent who believes in leaving children to their own devices so to speak. They do not believe in being overly intrusive in their children's lives.
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You and I may consider such parenting thus. However, there are some people who portend that such parenting is better for children than the intrusive parenting methodology in postmodern society.
Well, I've seen many people middle-age+ who were products of that type of parenting- they're all very messed-up. And it doesn't take a lot to guess what their own kids are like.
I see what you mean. Some children of such parents felt unloved and quite insignificant. While other counter this by being quite overprotective of their children.