What is permissive parenting? Permissive parenting and authoritarian parenting are two sides of the same coin because both are reactionary and don’t place connection as a priority between parent and child. Permissive parenting can be considered another form of unconscious parenting because it places upon the child the responsibility for the emotional health of the parent. Connection becomes lost in the abyss of parental wounds which can unconsciously overshadow the relationship.
So where authoritarian parenting is about power over, permissive parenting is misappropriated power that shifts the focus on the parent rather than the child. Both philosophies are dysfunctional and do not work in creating connection. So as to develop healthy emotions where kids feel safe and supported, they sometimes need healthy boundaries. There is one more thing of value to share. It isn’t so much about being controlled coercively, but it does create disconnection. And it is, surprisingly, the infamous saying “Good job!” I know what you’re thinking. How can praise be a bad thing?
Ruth Beaglehole, founder of Echo Parenting and Education, promotes celebration over praise. She exclaimed during a Family Love Village (FLV) workshop:
“We have an epidemic with the word “Good.” For instance, good job, good boy, good girl, good sitting, good eating, good climbing up the stairs, etc. What we’re doing is making our children become addicted to intrinsic rewards. They become addicted to that praise. Instead of rewards, move towards a celebration through an observation. “You climbed up the stairs.” Try to imagine what the experience means for the child rather than taking it away and making it through us, through our lter. And when we say “good job” what we’re really saying is “I like that” and it becomes conditional parenting. If you do what I like, I praise you. If you don’t do what I like, there could be silence or things taken away.”
So, if you really think about it, constantly using praise causes our children to look outside of themselves for approval; approval from their parents, their teachers and other authoritative figures versus wanting to do things for themselves, for their own approval, for the sake of making themselves feel good and content within their own choices, creative space, and feelings.
And it really shouldn’t be about making us proud of them and whether or not a privilege will be taken away (or worse yet, our love taken away), it should be about our children feeling proud of themselves, which can actually motivate them to want to do whatever the action was from a place of choice versus force or fear of something being withdrawn.