PERMISSIVE Permissive parents take a hands-off approach. They: • Do not set expectations. Instead, they believe their son or daughter should be independent. • Permit kids to explore the world without “interfering.” • Feel kids should be free to make mistakes and learn from them accordingly (For example, some permissive parents believe wrongly that getting drunk teaches kids lessons about drinking. This is not true. Kids who get drunk at an early age tend to drink more often and in heavier amounts, putting themselves and others at great risk.) Permissive parents may not face as much rebellion as the authoritarian or overprotective parents do. However, overly permissive parents deprive their child of wise guidance in developing effective problem-solving skills. A child of permissive parents can come to feel neglected and believe that their parents have little interest in what they do.This, in turn, can lead to resentment. RESEARCH SHOWS: When they drink illegally, kids of permissive style parents tend to have significantly higher than average blood alcohol levels compared to other underage drinkers.
For pointers on ways to start these conversations or reduce defensiveness on the part of your child, download MADD’s parent handbooks at madd.org/ powerofparents .
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