I’m Not a “Permissive Parent”

I’m not a permissive parent.

It’s not because of boundaries or control or rules or limits or anything of that nature. That’s not why I’m not a permissive parent.

I’m not a permissive parent because my children’s expression of their existence doesn’t require my permission. It isn’t a descriptor that fits anymore when you’ve explored the legitimacy of controlling another human and decided the concept as a whole is flawed, irrelevant and should be abandoned entirely.

When somebody brings up permissiveness as an accusation or a fear or to deny their own occupancy of such it is from a particular perspective on the relationship between child and parent.

Permissiveness only makes sense in the same control paradigm that authoritative dynamics also inhabit; that of a parent in authority.

It is essentially using your position of “authority” to say a lot of “yes” (whether actively or inactively, with words or actions or both). But what about when you don’t believe it is your right to allow or deny?

Autonomy is a human right, it should be considered the standard. It is not permissive to honour that for a child in the same way it would not be permissive if an adult got a drink, went to the bathroom or stayed awake in my presence.

Can I protect my own body and property? Duh.

Can I offer my own perspective and experiences? Sure.

Can I model my own values? Seems a super helpful thing to do.

And in those ways, could I have an influence? Of course.

But it is not within my scope to let my children do anything as long as it doesn’t infringe on another person’s ability to live autonomously too; again my permission is not required.

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