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!

© 2008 Mark Brandenburg

Other Father Issues, Books, Resources

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To this day I can remember my father's voice, singing over me in the stillness of the night. - Carl G. Jung

Mark has a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has been a counselor, business consultant, sports counselor, and a certified life and business coach. He has worked with individuals, teams, and businesses to improve their performance for over 20 years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was a world-ranked professional tennis player and has coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to balance their lives and to improve the important relationships in their lives. He is the author of the popular e-books, 25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers , and Fix Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself at the Same Time ). Mark is also the publisher of the “Dads Don’t Fix your Kids” ezine for fathers. To sign up, go to or E-Mail

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