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The Great PRO³ - Parenting Series: PART III

This series is designed (but not necessary) to be read chronologically; if you need to catch up or skip ahead, the links below will take you to where you need to go!


This 6-part series began in detail the last post with what it meant to be a neglectful parent. Today we will dive into what it means to parent via the permissive parenting style. blogs | Parenting Series | Kids Chasing Each Other, Mom Giving Up

Again, as in the previous articles, there is no right or wrong way to parent. Every family is unique on its own, and every family comes from a different origin, making it one of a kind. Never should any family fit such a strict formula originating from psychologists and professors; let this guide what you as a parent want to be or don't want to be. Nevertheless, let's take a quick review of the characteristics of permissive parenting (the first of the four permissive "PROper characteristics") before turning the nuts and bolts:

  • Parent/child relationship is primarily child-driven

  • (Over)indulges their child with rewards to dodge conflicts

  • There are very few rules; they are very inconstantly enforced or not enforced at all

  • Parents are very nourishing to their children but find it challenging to impose limitations and boundaries


Jump to a section:


The Great PRO³

As stated, professionals worldwide have come up with four primary classifications for parenting styles. This post will concentrate on the one called permissive parenting. Upon research and to better understand what it means to be a permissive parent, I have broken it into three subcategories that make up The Great PRO³.

PROcreate & PROtect

The only type of parenting that works with infants and babies is permissive parenting because we, as parents, do not know what our children are trying to tell us unless we can pick up on the cues. As a parent, in this instance, we must ensure the spotlight is brightly centered on them and tend to their every want and need because there is no established 2-way communication yet. New parents that want to PROcreate also have the instinct to want to PROtect their "mini-mes" at all costs. The fact that they want to do this while they cannot understand them (infants or babies who cannot speak yet) is exceptional parenting. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom Overwhelmed by 2 Needy Children

As they become toddlers and young children, they learn speech vocabulary and other forms of formal communication skills that allow us parents to know what is wrong or what they want. Once that begins to happen, parents need to understand that the spotlight should start coming off of the child and become a "shared spotlight" between both parent and child since they can communicate now.

The issue with the PROcreate & PROtect type parenting begins when a parent continues to "baby" a child when they are old enough to talk, understand, comprehend, and hold a conversation. The parent still sees them as their "baby"; however, this behavior hinders the child from growing emotionally. What will happen is that the child will expect particular (usually more complex) obstacles completed for them, or if they want to avoid doing a specific duty, the parent tends to allow it to slide. Generally speaking, to an outsider looking in, the child appears spoiled or lacks responsibility. As you continue to do for the child, it could lead to outbursts in a social setting, difficulties making friends, and expecting to be pampered by others, especially authority figures (i.e., teachers in school).

PROmise & PROmote

Permissive parenting starts with PROcreate & PROtect, as all parenting should; however, if overnourished and parenting becomes "overdone" as they get older whereas the parent is still doing or helping the child in ways they should learn to do or deal with on their own, it can lead to dependency issues. Dependence issues can become more prominent when they become teenagers, whereas parents continue to nurture their wants and needs. Parents will PROmise the road ahead with techniques such as the "lawn mower" parent (also known as "snow plow parenting" or "bulldozer parenting"), and parents will PROmote the child's desires with the Helicopter Parenting technique. blogs | Parenting Series | Parents Bowing to Little Girl with Crown on her Head
  • Helicopter Parenting: As the name suggests, the parent is overly involved in the child or teen's life with a bird's eye view to navigate them around obstacles to ensure their success.

  • Lawn Mower / Snow Plow / Bulldozer Parenting: The modern-day upgrade from Helicopter Parenting. Rather than watching and navigating, the child is the driver of the lawn mower (snow plow or bulldozer). Wherever they want to go in life, the parent actively mows or plows anything in its way to ensure no interfering, micromanaging, or arranging. Doing this protects the child or teen from adversity, disappointment, discomfort, and failure.

Both the Helicopter and Lawn Mower parenting styles found in PROmise & PROmote are hazardous to the growth of a young teen. It can lead to dependency, as described already, and the inability to manage failures or conflicts as an adult. Depending on their self-esteem, this could lead to emotional stress, depression, or other mental problems. Furthermore, social cues and relationships could also be affected due to their possible narcissism from always being correct as a child and teen because the parents made sure of it.

PROcrastinate, PROlong, & PROtest

The final subtype of permissive parenting is the most common of the three. In this situation, the parent (or parents) love and adore their children with all their hearts; however, their tolerance for childish behaviors or attitudes is very little. The parent sets rules and chores and raises the child on a good set of morals- everything they can do to be the best parent they can be; the problem is the child disapproves of the rules, chores, and morals in place. Yes, in some instances, there are medical issues with the child (or even the parent), making it difficult for the child to maintain a certain level of calmness (or the parent dealing with stress, etc.). Still, in most cases, it is everyday family stress. blogs | Parenting Series | Mom Trying to Please Upset Child

After fighting and reasoning with their child, the parent finally PROtests and gives in to the child's demands or wants/needs. Even after that, it doesn't seem to change for the better, so after PROlonging and PROcrastinating, hoping for the best, the parent gives up, not wanting to deal with the child or teen's behavior. From that point on, the parent lets it go, and the child/teen gets what they want when they want.

Because the parent does love the child very much and is just struggling with their behavior, they will occasionally (if not frequently) attempt to instill the rules, chores, or morals. Unfortunately, when the child or teen gets punished for not doing something or disobeying, the punishment goes without being enforced to avoid more conflict.

PROper Characteristics

Now that we looked into permissive parenting a little bit more, here are the final four PROper characteristics of permissive parenting that can help identify a parent raising a child in this manner:

  • The child is always right: The child is always right if there is a difference between them and another person (regardless of trustworthiness or authority figure) unless there is proof, regardless of how ridiculous it may sound (in the case of "PROcrastinate, PROlong, & PROtest" models it is usually to avoid conflict with the child/teen)

  • Excessive Pampering: What the child wants the child gets, whether it be for simple comforts, to further boost their self-esteem/self-worth, to get their way, or to get them to stop their temper tantrum

  • Equals: When looking from the outside inward, it would almost appear as though the parent and child are equal instead of the parent parenting and the child being the child

  • Sense of Arrogance: In the "PROcreate & PROtect" and "PROmise & PROmote" models, there is a sense of both parent and child having some arrogance or conceited (child: gets what they want / parent: paving the way, overly proud of their child and that they were able to pave the way for them) / in the "PROcrastinate, PROlong, & PROtest" model the child has the sense of arrogance or being conceited. In contrast, the parent feels defeated and disrespected.


In Conclusion

If you find yourself parenting in The Great PRO³ realm, nothing is wrong with that! It shows compassion for the young mind, including the ability to think for oneself, have imagination, and believe they can do whatever they want. However, this has some definite downfalls that need to be addressed, specifically concerning the child or teen becoming dependent on others. The trick is to take the precious pieces from this and mold them with your unique style ensuring you keep the unwanted pitfalls out!


Continue Reading: blogs | Parenting Series | What THE?

Catch up on the series: blogs | Parenting Series | What Kind R U? blogs | Parenting Series | The Big UNcubed

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