When parents hear me advocate for using duct tape to control their words and actions as parents, they naturally ask me:
What’s the difference between a Less is More Approach and Permissive Parenting?
In simple terms – Permissive Parenting offers no boundaries while Less is More Parenting balances boundaries (order) with the freedom to make mistakes and learn from experience.
Children raised in a permissive household tend to have difficulty with any kind of boundary or structure outside of the home. They’ve been indulged since they were toddlers; Mom and Dad have done everything they can to avoid any kind of meltdown, temper tantrum, disruption, sadness, or anger. This includes giving into the child’s demands, “doing-for” the kids when they show frustration doing something themselves, lack of follow-through with discipline strategies, and solving problems in the moment with quick fixes instead of parenting for the long haul.
Children raised by permissive parents miss out on the chance to develop skills that help them live in a much different world, one that doesn’t take into account they’ve been pampered and spoiled and not expected to take care of themselves or recover from any kind of upsets.
Less is More Parenting is a parenting approach based on a respect for the parent and the child. Order is respectful to the parent and freedom within the boundaries of that order is respectful to the child.
When you implement this type of parenting style, you create a mindful, peaceful, balanced life with your kids. You’re focused on respecting the individuality of your child while giving them the structure necessary to thrive in the real world when they leave your house at 18-years old.
Less is More parents allow their kids to live their own experiences without over engineering their success. They support, love and respect by making time to be emotionally available instead of nagging, lecturing and engaging in power struggles. They focus on the relationship over controlling the details and outcomes.
What ‘order’ is incorporated into Less is More Parenting?
The order I refer to is not order in the sense of authoritarian parenting (ie. Because I said so!). Order comes in the form of regular family meetings, systematic problem solving, natural consequences, family agreements, saying what you mean and meaning what you say, and simplifying parenting by using strategies that work when kids are 3, 13 or 23.
Less is More is not permissive parenting. It invites your children into the process of living, making decisions, making mistakes, and developing necessary life skills within a designated set of boundaries, that grow as they do – to come out on the other side with the mental muscle, courage, and resilience it takes to navigate life as a healthy adult.
If you’d like more information on how to implement a Less is More approach to parenting, I encourage you to get your hands on a copy of my first book, Duct Tape Parenting. If your local library doesn’t have it – suggest it!
**You can also join the Duct Tape Parenting tribe by subscribing to my email list above. I only send my best tips, insights and stories on how to stay true to your parenting values and raise resilient, confident kiddos.**