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Parenting Styles: Permissive Parenting & The Jellyfish

parenting parenting show permissive parenting Jan 09, 2023

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Permissive parenting or Jellyfish parenting is a parenting style that is often identified by a lack of rules, structure, and boundaries. Parents who practice a more permissive style are often warm and nurturing, but they tend to avoid setting limits or enforcing consequences for their children's behavior.

Some jellyfish parents have difficulty in allowing their child to have freedom and autonomy, they love their children so much that it might become painful to let them go and be individuals, again their focus is on warm, loving feelings and seeing them be separate individuals is upsetting. 


There are four basic components of parenting, which I imagine as dials, all four of them need to be set at the right level in order for us to become healthy functioning adults. 

1 - Acceptance - we want to feel accepted, not rejected by our parents,

2 -  Warmth- we want our parents to be warm and loving not cold and distant, 

Jellyfish parents often excel in providing these two components of parenting, they are focused on being the more loving and warm - sometimes ‘fun’ types of parents .

3 - Control  - we need help controlling our behaviors when we’re young, we need to know that you can’t hit people, paint on walls or play on the road. 

4- Freedom - we want the freedom to be ourselves and have the autonomy to explore who want to be as an individual 

 Typically, permissive parents, have dials set to 'low' on these last two parenting dials. 


There are some positive impacts of being a  Jellyfish parent- there are some studies that show that children raised by permissive parents have higher levels of self-esteem, and there’s some indication that they might be more resourceful than children raised by authoritarian parents.

Unfortunately there is more research that shows the negative impacts of Jellyfish Parenting, from less sleep, to more TV watching

There’s a lot of research supporting the idea that children of jellyfish parents are  “indulged” and have less self-disciplined and are less responsible than are kids from authoritative families.

In one survey they found links between children who has deficits in self-regulation or impulse control with permissive of jellyfish parenting

Permissive parenting is associated with higher levels of aggression - there was a study of 8 year old girls who had much higher levels of aggfressive behavior if their father was permissive or jellyfish parent.

Other studies have found links between permissiveness and increased alcohol use among teenagers as well as higher rates of school misconduct or delinquency.


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