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Permissive/Indulgent Parenting

Updated on August 4, 2020
Joyette  Fabien profile image

As mother and teacher, Joyette has learned a lot about parenting through the actual experience of nurturing children entrusted to her care.

Love Her But Don't Spoil Her!

Permissiveness Does Not Help Children

Parents do not help their children by being too permissive. Overindulgence on the part of parents often produces young persons who are self-centered, undisciplined and irresponsible. In fact, the development of positive character in children can be seriously hampered by over indulgent parenting.

Some Negative Effects of Permissive Parenting

  • Often parents seek to gain their children’s love by hastening to satisfy their demands. However, children gradually lose respect for parents who pander to their every whim . When parents bestow expensive gifts and vacations abroad upon undeserving children as a demonstration of their love, the consequence is that, at school, these children expect to be similarly rewarded with good marks for their poor effort. Indeed, students from such backgrounds often lack the motivation to achieve through their own efforts and application.
  • The habit of having their wants readily satisfied creates in young persons a lack of appreciation for possessions and lack of application towards duties. Consequently, they develop into self-centered adults who believe that society owes them everything while they, in turn owe nothing.
  • Another aspect of indulgent parenting is allowing children the freedom to do whatever they please at home. Sadly, when used to having their own way in the home, children grow to become young adults who have difficulty conforming to rules and regulations in the work environment .There is also the likelihood of dual personality; that is, such children tend to be one type of person in the home and a different person at school or, later in life, on the job. This can be dangerous in the sense that these persons have difficulty in understanding and affirming who they really are.
  • Some parents, in order to please their children, may go as far as to compromise their long held values and principles; the very principles by which they have hitherto guided the children . While the children might be pleased to have their wishes granted, this might be a source of confusion in the sense that they become uncertain as to the soundness of the principles which they have, hitherto, been made to internalize.
  • Because of the values by which they have been brought up, children usually understand quite well what can be expected from their parents . They are perceptive enough to know which buttons can or can't be pushed. They are quick to discern moments of weakness in their parents which will indicate whether they can, with a little pressure or an extra display of love/goodness, succeed in getting liberties.

Generally, children respect parents in whom they can discern strength, firmness, and consistency as long as all of these are dispensed with an attitude of empathy, wisdom and love. Children derive their strength, discipline and soundness of character from having it modeled by their parents or other positive parental figures.

Indulgent Mom

Parents May be Permissive or Indulgent for Various Reasons:

  1. Lack of knowledge/skills - It is possible that they do not know a better way. They would, therefore, benefit from parenting lessons and support and advice from more experienced parents.
  2. Careers - They may be too busy with careers or other things to spend quality time with their children so they seek to make up for this deficiency with material things. Thus, if they have the means they give their children expensive gifts such as the latest electronic gadgets - iPods, iPads, iPhones etc. Of course, this spells disaster, for children soon become unappreciative of gifts when they perceive that they are not really given as an expression of love. Eventually, this tendency to be unappreciative spills into other areas of their lives as well.
  3. Broken homes – After a separation/divorce parents sometimes compete for their children’s love by pampering them and giving them whatever they ask for. This is bad practice because the children soon discern the rivalry and might use it to their advantage.
  4. Poor communication skills – This is a very common problem in families. Parents who recognize their lack of effective communication skills may experience feelings of inadequacy. Indulging their children might, thus, be their method of making up to the children as well as feeling better about themselves. However; children soon tire of this pampering and seek what is lacking in the home elsewhere. It might be from parents of their peers, the peers themselves or through relationships. Ultimately, the rift between them and their parents widens.

The onus is therefore, upon parents to empower themselves so as to effectively carry out the noble responsibility which they accept on becoming parents.

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© 2012 Joyette Helen Fabien


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    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      6 years ago from Dominica

      I agree. Right now with all these changes and more and more teenage parents, parenting is becoming a major social challenge

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Joyette Fabien thank you for following me. I found your hubs to informative and very interesting on the various topics. Raising children has changed over time and has become more stressful for many parents.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      6 years ago from Dominica

      Yes, this seems to be the trend these days. Thanks for reading

    • ologsinquito profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      It is difficult raising children nowadays. I've seen some over-indulged children, and I hope they can overcome this form of bad parenting.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      6 years ago from Dominica

      I agree with you 100%. Parenting is a most rewarding experience where you learn and grow as you go. My kids are now grown and as I look back I am thankful for every minute that I invested in them.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Balance is important, and I often don't see enough of it in parental guidance these days. People are either so focused on themselves and their own lives that they don't notice terrible signs their kids are displaying (like cutting themselves, stealing, cheating) or they overparent, trying to control and monitor every move. It is tough to know where to draw the line, but kids are worth the investment of time, energy and love. They also forgive honest mistakes.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      9 years ago from Dominica

      Thanks for your insight, Kellyward. We have to continually strive to achieve this balance

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the hub. I think balance is important in most aspects of life but sometimes hard to achieve. voted useful

    • Joyette  Fabien profile imageAUTHOR

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      9 years ago from Dominica

      Thebookmom -Thank you. I appreciate your comment

    • thebookmom profile image


      9 years ago from Nebraska

      Really thorough hub. I agree with all your reasons. It is a hard trap not to fall in, but one well worth avoiding. Thanks for writing.


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