Posted by: coachingparents | April 15, 2009

Why Permissiveness Doesn’t Work

In his book Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, Dr. Kevin Leman writes: “The permissive parent essentially says, ‘Oh, do your own thing. Whatever you want is OK.’ My years of counseling parents and children have shown me that in a permissive environment, kids rebel. They rebel because they feel anger and hatred toward their parents for a lack of guidelines and limit setting. In one study involving elementary grades, the children were allowed to eat anything they wanted in the cafeteria over a period of thirty days. The study showed that although children predictably would ‘pig out on sweets’ and other junk food first, after a few weeks they tended to go back to a quite balanced diet.” A tangible lesson that children do indeed want rules and boundaries. Permissiveness is wimpyness, and your kids will end up hating you for it.

Be firm with your boundaries and guidelines, but be gentle as well — it’s the formula for happy, well-adjusted kids. Do it now — they deserve it, and so do you!


Mark Brandenburg
Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC


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