17 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Being Raised by Permissive Parents

  • October 14, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Luckily, ( sounds strange) I was in the hospital in a coma at age 9 from my dad giving me an adult dose of his pain prescription. It wiped out 98% of my childhood memories and allowed me to “see” from a different perspective the plain laziness, selfishness and neglect of my permissive parents that my 7 other siblings never saw and still don’t. Im #7 and by child# 4 or 5 they were done with parenting. I’m 65 and have worked hard all my life to correct the dysfunction, which I now know thanks to Dr Webb, that is CEN. Only two of my siblings talk to me because I’m so different and I won’t lie to myself nor them to support their false world of a house of cards. I’m kind and respectful but will not jump into the fray, (especially helplessness and negativity) to receive their approval and acceptance so they think I’m the black sheep. I’m a very happy and contented sheep but I’m the white sheep and they’re the black sheep. They just don’t know it yet.

    • October 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Dear Eileen, thanks so much for sharing your story of permissive parents. I am impressed with the strength you are showing in taking care of yourself. Family dynamics like yours are very difficult to navigate, and most folks give up on their own needs in order to regain the acceptance of their family.

    • October 14, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      I am so sorry to hear about your difficult childhood but it sounds like you are so strong. God bless you!

  • October 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    my dad and mom ignored me till twelve then focused on me when daddies and mommy hormonal urge fancied me as a partner

    • October 14, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope you are getting help from a good therapist to support you through this.

      • October 15, 2018 at 2:21 am

        i been in therapy since sixteen due of sexual unhibitions and drug addiction rooted in parental treatment of me.

      • October 15, 2018 at 7:45 am

        Good for you. Keep doing what you are doing, and take good care of yourself.

      • October 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm

        have hard time avoiding men but therapist say i give in too easy to thier advantage

  • October 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    It’s weird looking back — because my parents followed this odd parenting style where they were excessively permissive, and then shamed/yelled/punished/guilt-tripped for not having developed the self-discipline that we never received the structure or instruction in actually developing.

    • October 14, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      I’m very glad you realize this S. It’s so important that you accept that there is something important you didn’t get in childhood, and your struggles are not your fault. And you can now learn the skills you missed!

  • October 15, 2018 at 1:13 am

    This has been a rather eye opening experience. I always felt that there was some reason I had these issues, and assumed it had something to do with the incredible lack of structure in my life, but I couldn’t put a name to it and assumed it was all my fault. Knowing what CEN is and what it does has made me realize that nearly all these emotional issues I have, are the result of it, to some extent. I didn’t expect to find that one answer, that one key to why I felt these things browsing the internet late at night for personality tests. Thank you, truly.

    • October 15, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Dear Declan, please know that you can learn how to structure yourself. I recommend the Three Things exercise from Running On Empty. It really works.

  • October 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I consider myself a permissive, yet attentive parent. There aren’t a lot of rules and chore, but there is respect and if I ask my children to do/stop something they listen. They have a lot of freedom in school work and social life. They have better grades and get into less trouble than their peers. I think it is neglect, not permissiveness that leads to the most problems.

    • October 15, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Dear Susan, it certainly is true that some children need fewer limits than others, and children often need different amounts of limits and structure at different ages. Sounds like you are running a happy home. Thanks for sharing!

  • October 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Allowed to do a lot but expected to be a good girl. Somewhat confusing. Therapists never knw what to say when I said, I never stole anything and hardly lied. I was 25 and it was the 80s. So not as independent as I should have been.

    • October 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Dear Sylvi, it sounds like you managed to figure things out pretty well despite permissive parenting. You can still fill the empty spaces and teach yourself what you didn’t get. I hope you’re working on it. Thanks for sharing!

  • January 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I think my parents are very permissive. For a Long time now it felt like I was being neglected and I’m so happy These articles exist as they really help me. I’ve told my mother several times that I think I Need more rules, I’ve created a list of rules and tried to get her to enforce them, I’ve acted out hoping to get punished (Smoking, stealing, Sexting), I’ve talked About it with my therapist, I’ve had imaginary parents that were strict but None of it helps. I really can’t provide this structure for myself yet, as I’m only 16 and I’m autistic.
    So what can I do?
    PS, I can’t buy your book even though I’d like to.


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