How to be a strict and permissive parent

Clinical Psychologist Laura Markham, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to find the sweet spot between strict and permissive parenting to properly raise your children
Finding The Balance Between Strict and Permissive Parenting
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How to be a strict and permissive parent

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Many parents wonder, where is the sweet spot between strict and permissive, because no one wants’ to be either we know that doesn't raise great kids. And so we think well we have to compromise, but what is that really mean? That might mean that they only brush your teeth sometimes. They don’t have to work that hard in school, just sort of hard. So it actually doesn't get us where we want to go and the reason is that we are missing half the picture. We also need to know where we are on the continuum. The why X is here for support, so if we have a high expectation, like maybe a strict parent does, but low support, the way strict parent does, we are not getting our child the support they need to reach those expectations. That’s authoritarian parenting. If we are offering our child low support and low expectations, we are uninvolved parents and our child is not getting anything they need and those are the kids from most at risk. What about over here, when you have low expectations, but high support. Well you can never have too much support. There’s no such thing but if your expectations are two low, you are not setting limits. That’s permissive parenting, and your child does not develop the self discipline they need. So here is the sweet spot in this last quadrant where you have high support and high expectations and these are the kids who develop self discipline and resilience, because you have given the support they need to meet those expectations.

Clinical Psychologist Laura Markham, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to find the sweet spot between strict and permissive parenting to properly raise your children

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Laura Markham, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and has worked as a parenting coach with countless parents across the English-speaking world, both in person and via phone. You can find Dr. Laura online at AhaParenting.com, the website of Aha! Moments for parents of kids from birth through the teen years, where you can sign up for her free daily inspiration email.  Dr. Laura lives in New York with her husband and her kids, who are now 17 and 21.

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