Laissez Faire Parenting Style: What Is It Really?

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We can all agree that emotional intelligence helps people succeed and gain happiness in life and their relationships.

And how we handle our emotions is strongly dependent on how we were raised.

The relationship between a parent and a child involves many different emotions, positive or otherwise.

Parents have different styles in raising their children, and one of them is called Laissez-Faire parenting.

It is a French term that means “to let people do as they please.”

We will discuss more of these various parenting styles as we go along. You can also check books with similar content on Blinkist.

What Are the 4 Types of Parenting Styles?

Parenting styles are divided into four categories to distinguish the differences and similarities of each type.

In the 1960s, Diana Baumrind, a developmental and clinical psychologist, became famous for her parenting style research.

Here are the four Baumrind parenting styles and their characteristics:

Authoritarian/Disciplinarian Parenting

The authoritarian parenting style is mostly associated with disciplinarian parents. They employ strict rules and a disciplined approach.

Disobeying the set rules is usually met with punishment.

Rules are not often explained clearly, and there is only a one-way communication when the parent talks to the child.

Authoritative parents have high expectations from their children but show little care and flexibility.

They expect exemplary behavior from their children, and there isn’t any room for errors.

Conversely, they don’t offer any reason or guidance about what they need to do or avoid.

In a nutshell, authoritarian parents only expect to be followed without question.

Authoritative Parenting

Authoritative parents are strict but warm. They impose clear and high expectations while being nurturing and reasonable.

Similar to the authoritarian parenting method, they expect children to follow the provided rules and guidelines.

However, these parents offer feedback, warmth, and support to their children. They are also more caring and forgiving when kids fail to follow the rules.

Parents under this category allow their children to think for themselves while showing self-discipline.

The authoritative parenting style is considered the most advantageous for children.

Children understand why their parents implement the rules.

They observe constant communication suitable for the children’s understanding level, showing the parents’ nurturing nature.

The children are allowed to provide input regarding the execution of the expected goals and expectations.

Authoritative parents are assertive and supportive, rather than interfering, prohibitive, and vindictive.

Uninvolved Parenting

Children with uninvolved parents have more freedom. They expect no interference or objection with all their decisions.

Some parents intentionally choose the dismissive parenting style.

In contrast, others are unsure what they need to do or are utterly uninterested in parenting.

Dismissive parenting style doesn’t use a specific discipline style, allowing children to do whatever they want.

Parents and children have limited communication, lack care, and do not expect anything from the relationship.

These parents provide the basic needs of their children but are wholly detached from their children’s lives.

Permissive Parenting

The indulgent and permissive parenting method allows children to do what they want without guidance and direction from their parents.

Parents and children under the permissive category have a more casual relationship similar to that of friendship.

Children with indulgent parents have no or minimal rules and would typically let them resolve problems independently.

Parents and children have open communication, but decision-making lies solely on the younger individual without help from the parent.

Although permissive parents are caring and nurturing, they don’t expect much from their children and do not make many demands.

Disciplining the children is rare due to the parent’s low expectations regarding maturity and self-control.

These lenient and non-traditional parents enjoy communicating with their children and are typically caring.

Laissez Faire Parenting Style

Laissez Faire parenting style, also called permissive parenting, allows children to decide without their parents’ guidance or discipline.

Permissive parents only set minimal control and do not require any sense of maturity from their children.

They also avoid any kind of confrontation.

Instead, they accept all kinds of emotions from their children without any questions, believing that they cannot change the unpleasant behavior.

Most permissive parents are loving and nurturing to their children but lack structure and discipline.

what is laissez faire parenting

How Does Permissive Parenting Affect the Child?

Laissez Faire parenting definition clearly states that all behaviors are acceptable.

Parents offer high-responsiveness with low demands from children.

They are warm and loving but do not attempt to discipline or control the children’s actions.

Since parents have few demands, expectations, and rules for their children, they struggle with self-control and self-regulation.

Many agree that permissive parenting has plenty of adverse effects on children.

  • Children who grew up with permissive parents do not have self-discipline. They are rebellious and disobedient.
  • They have poor social skills and may not know how sharing works.
  • These children are demanding and self-involved.
  • They are insecure.
  • They show low achievement in different aspects of their lives.
  • The kids have poor problem-solving and decision-making skills.
  • Children with permissive parents tend to engage in misconduct, delinquency, and substance and alcohol use.
  • They don’t know how to handle their emotions, hence the aggression and the lack of emotional understanding.
  • They don’t have time-management skills and don’t know how to control their habits.

How Parenting Styles Affect Children’s Personality

Parenting styles significantly affect children’s personality development.

The way a parent interacts and disciplines her child determines his character for the rest of his life.

So, how do the different parenting styles affect a child?

Authoritarian Parenting Style

Children with authoritarian parents are obedient and proficient. However, they have low self-esteem, social competency, and are typically unhappy.

Most of the children who grew up in an authoritarian environment tend to become aggressive or hostile.

Some of them become good liars just to avoid punishment.

They also don’t have social and communication skills, resulting in low leadership capabilities.

However, most become authoritarian or dictatorial as they grow older.

Authoritative Parenting Style

Authoritative parents set rules with matching consequences, but they listen to their children’s opinions and input.

They make sure that their children know who is in charge but still acknowledge how their children feel.

They also use praise, reward system, and other positive discipline strategies in preventing behavioral problems even before it starts.

As such, children with authoritative parents are capable, happy, and successful.

They are independent and have excellent self-control and self-regulatory skills.

They also become responsible individuals and can express their opinions comfortably.

More often than not, they are great at evaluating a situation and making wise decisions.

Permissive Parenting Style

Children with permissive parents have low levels of happiness and self-regulation.

They tend to encounter problems with authorities and have poor academic performance.

These children have higher health risk concerns, like obesity, as they don’t follow any rules and limitations.

Consequently, children with permissive parents have high levels of creativity. Yet, they have little self-control and an increased sense of entitlement.

Often, they grow up having one-sided interpersonal relationships where they take more than they give.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

In this parenting style, children don’t have rules to follow.

They don’t receive guidance, care, or even parental attention, resulting in poor academic performance and unruly behavior.

Children under this parenting category rank lowest in all areas. They don’t have self-control, very low competency, and low self-esteem.

How Do You Deal With Different Parenting Styles?

The various facets of a person’s life significantly affect their parenting style.

Some of these factors include the environment they grew up in and other available parenting resources.

Two parents may have varying parenting styles, which can confuse the children as they receive mixed messages.

All parenting styles have two key components: how much control a parent wants to exert on a child and the affection and warmth they can offer.

Any parenting style differences are challenging and will eventually lead to conflict. Even parents with similar rearing styles argue.

Parenting style disagreements is difficult, creating a problem behavior in the child.

Here are some strategies you can try to get along with different techniques.

1. Analyze How To Complement Each Other

Find balance with your styles.

A permissive parent can teach an authoritarian how to be more affectionate towards the child.

On the other hand, an authoritarian parent may help the permissive how to set boundaries.

2. Develop Family Rules That Is Okay With Everyone

Make rules for the children and how to discipline them.

However, make sure you discuss everything with the whole family first and then come to a consensus.

3. Don’t Undermine Each Other

Parents should always appear united in front of their children.

Try to support the other person’s parenting decisions, except when the child is in danger.

You can discuss whatever conflicts you have at a later time and not in front of the children.

4. Learn Parenting Strategies Together

Read parenting books and discuss them with your partner.

You can also team up with parenting support groups or talk to trusted parenting experts.

Book Rec: Screamfree Parenting

Screamfree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel talks about new ways of raising a child while keeping your cool the whole time.

It aims to help you create an excellent relationship with your child.

Here, you will also learn how to be more proactive by setting boundaries for you and your kid.

You can then help your child grow using these boundaries, consequences, space, and support.

At the same time, the book also aims to teach you to love and believe in yourself as a parent.

Let Blinkist Help

Are you interested in reading more books on parenting strategies but don’t know where to start?

Head on over to Blinkist and check out the different resources about child-rearing methods.

This book-summary service offers 15-minute reads about various non-fiction books on different topics.


The Laissez Faire parenting definition indicates an indulgent style of raising kids where parents accept all emotions from the child.

Do you think this is the kind of parent you want to be for your child?

You can build a meaningful relationship with your children by examining yourself first.

Then, determine what kind of parenting style you want to use.

The children’s needs change, and each child requires a different level of space and set of boundaries to help them grow.

Spend some time reading the Screamfree Parenting summary and other similar resources on Blinkist to guide you on your parenting journey.


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