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Anne DeSantis offers three strategies parents can use to keep from being too permissive with their children.

We Catholic mothers love and guide our kids in a variety of ways on an everyday basis. One of those ways has to do with lovingly guiding them on what is good versus what is bad for them and for their souls. Not becoming a permissive parent is important to consider, as we live in a culture which tends to feed into the idea that children are “little adults.” They are not.

The reason it is important not to be permissive is that you are your child’s guardian and caretaker. Great responsibility comes with being a parent. Even when your child is walking alone in an unknown neighborhood without an accompanying adult or going to someone’s home who you as a parent do not know, you as the parent have the prime responsibility of taking good care of your children. Healthy food choices are another aspect of this, since other families may have different priorities in this regard.

Here are three ways to avoid being too permissive as a parent. 


Set strong boundaries and stick to them 

Set strong boundaries between things that are permissible and those that are not. Every family is different, so there may be grey areas in this regard: things that are not sinful but are bad choices for our children.  

Once you set your boundaries, make sure your children know and understand them well. The next step is to stick with those boundaries. When we become wishy-washy in terms of what kids are allowed and not allowed to do, then children begin to pick up on it. They may challenge you as a parent, which is normal.

If you do not wish to be permissive, then you must stick to what you said you were going to do and then don’t give in. Sometimes the very best word you can say as a parent to your child is the word “no” out of love for them and for their safety. 




Safety first 

One of the most important aspects of not being permissive is to remember that your child’s safety is number one. Parents of other children may observe something completely different than your own values. When your child visits the home of a friend or relative where there are not as many rules, be observant and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be sure your child knows and understands that the rules of your family are to keep them safe at all times, especially when away from home. Those rules are to be followed even if your child is visiting someone else’s home.  



Remember to always pray for your children, as they are a gift from God. Pray that your kids will keep house rules in mind no matter where they go. Teach them to pray to their guardian angel for protection and right decisions. 


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Sometimes the very best word you can say as a parent to your child is the word “no” out of love for them and for their safety. #CatholicMom


These are ways to help you and your family to remember that part of love is protection. Parents have the obligation to do a good job watching over loving and guiding our kids each day. With God’s help we can avoid the mistake of being too permissive as a parent. 



Copyright 2023 Anne DeSantis
Images: Canva