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Less is More does not mean Permissive

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Duct Tape Parenting; A Less is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Bibliomotion 2012) has been published for almost two years and we have had the great fortune to introduce this philosophy to over 10,000 parents through our book sales.

A common question that we have received from parents who are interested in reading the book, but not yet ready to step back and let go of the helicopter hover, has been how is “less is more” different from Permissive Parenting? First I would suggest reading the book and the answer will be clear, however in simple terms – Permissive Parenting is no boundaries while Less is More is boundaries (order) with the freedom to make mistakes and learn from experience.

Children raised in a permissive household tend to have real difficulty with any kind of boundary or structure outside of the home. Typically they’ve been indulged and mom and dad have done everything they can to avoid any kind of meltdown, temper tantrum, disruption, sadness, or anger. So the children really never gets the chance to develop the kinds of resources that will help them deal with a much different world, one that doesn’t really take into account that they’ve been pampered and spoiled and not expected to take care of themselves or recover from any kind of upsets.

As these kids begin to grow, their anxiety increases because there’s a sense that they’re not navigating the world around them as well as their peer group. They don’t have the resources. They don’t have the confidence. They don’t have the experience. They’re used to just asking and receiving. Or having someone save them from a difficult situation. Or even making those situations go away altogether.

So consider stepping back, letting go and inviting your children into the process of living, making decisions, making mistakes, developing necessary life skills and resources. Remember we are raising 27-year-olds, not seven-year-olds and they need loads of time to practice – 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.

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