A common problem with permissive parenting is that a parent will go so far in not wanting to show disapproval of the child that they may act as though they actually approve of a specific behavior being peformed by the child. They may put their needs aside in order to accomodate behaviors that they truly do not wish to tolerate. However, in doing so, they do not send a message of support to the child.
Children may be young, but they are still quite capable of picking up on the little cues. They notice when what you say contrasts what you are otherwise expressing. Rather than being reassuring, this sends mixed messages which can be quite confusing to anyone. Children, more often than not, develop anxiety from these mixed messages. They may begin to doubt their parent’s sincerity and honesty.
Instead, a parent can continue to show love and affection for the child, while not tolerating a specific behavior. It isn’t necessary to allow someone to hit you in order to let them know you love him/her. You can be loving and accepting of a person while having personal boundaries a reflection of the respect you have for yourself.
Exactly! The problem for a lot of parents is how to firmly – but gently – express their own boundaries/needs. I know that my voice often gets too sharp when Kieran has just done something that I find offensive (hit me, etc.). This has definitely been my biggest exercise in patience and peaceful parenting so far (to be gentle even when frustrated).