What Is A Lazy Parent

What's Covered

Parenthood isn’t an easy responsibility especially in terms of raising your child. Every single day has a new challenge for the whole family which includes endless responsibilities for parents. There is no such thing as perfect parenting – every parent has failures as well. And every parent has their own unique ways of how they want to raise their child, depending on which they believe is effective.

As parents, are you applying the so-called “helicopter parenting?” Or do you consider lazy parenting in some ways? Here’s how we differentiate the two:

Helicopter Parenting vs. Lazy Parenting

Helicopter parenting means a parent pays too much attention to their child’s actions and capabilities. It’s another term for overprotecting or excessive controlling on their child in everything that they do which causes them not to discover things on their own. This is common for young kids up to college ages and for some reason, it mainly affects their academic purpose mostly in a negative way.[1]

This method of parenting could also make their child lose their self-esteem and confidence. The child may also have the tendency to feel less able to handle their own life. Basically, this approach is not advisable for parents especially when their child is at the age of learning or starting to develop their minds and behavior by showing curiosity and suddenly asking too many questions over random things – this can be observed starting at the age of 6.

Excessive love, care, and protection for your child may seem too much and not be appropriate. This determines that you are overly controlling your child’s actions which could also include their own emotions. This act is one of the reasons why parents are unknowingly applying helicopter parenting. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, this method of parenting is quite risky as it mainly affects your child’s emotions and high chances are they will not learn how to trust their own abilities.[2]

On the other note, Lazy Parenting is exactly the opposite of Helicopter Parenting. Although, some parents may think or have an impression that it’s not an effective way of parenting because of the word itself “lazy.” But when they dig deeper into the meaning of it, it’s like deliberately letting their child explore things by themselves. They are just behind the back of their child, but not showing too much involvement. Lazy parenting is a way of teaching their child to move and do things on their own that is appropriate to their age. It’s about giving their child the chance to discover things and grow through their own unique ways and understanding. It doesn’t mean that a lazy parent is neglecting their child or being irresponsible. This method could help a child to develop and improve their way of learning and understand their skills and abilities.

Lazy parents are allowing themselves to trust their child’s aptitude towards learning. They might believe that this parenting style is effective in such a way that they will not develop an excessive attachment to their child and at the same time, their child will learn lots of things independently at an early age.

Same with other parenting styles, Lazy Parenting has advantages and disadvantages as well. Keep reading to understand deeply what are these.

Advantages of Lazy Parenting

If you get a better understanding and look into it closely, you will learn that this parenting style is helpful and gives a lot of advantages. It doesn’t literally mean that the parents are “lazy” or just sitting on the couch all day or just doing nothing at all and letting their children do whatever they want. There are many unique tricks why this parenting style works well for other parents. Here are the Pros:

It will give your child the freedom to learn

Let them discover and explore things on their own. As parents, your role is to guide your child appropriately without spying too much. Let them move and allow their little hands to get dirty every once in a while – it’s part of their learning and growing up. Give them the freedom to enjoy childhood, whatever they learn at an early age, they will adapt, apply, and remember it as they grow up. Giving them the freedom that they deserve doesn’t mean that you are neglecting them.

Do not be afraid to let them live independently, you have to trust their abilities and for sure they can stand on their own feet. But before you fully embrace and apply this proven parenting technique, try to enlighten yourself even more by reading a good book that would surely help you and your kids while engaging in this parenting style.

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A Good Parenting Guidelines
This is an informative and inspiring book for parents who are raising kids, it provides applicable techniques on how to raise your kids without taking too much involvement as they grow.

It will boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence

Once you cut the rope and allow your child to be free, they will learn a lot of things based on their capabilities. Of course, in every failure, there is a lesson. It’s okay to see them fail, and you’re there to correct them and teach what is right. It’s your important responsibility to encourage your child and show your presence in both success and failure.

Once they feel that their parents are always there to help them stand after they fail, it will help them to boost their self-esteem and confidence which they can apply not only in their academic responsibilities but also in day-to-day life.[3] Moreover, by learning that their parents are showing support and always helping them in whatever circumstances, they will also adapt that personality and will learn how to give a hand to other people.

Giving your child effective reading material about boosting confidence is a nice gesture!

All About Confidence
This great book will help your child to understand the importance of self-confidence and how it should be applied in any given situation. Once they read this, it will enlighten them to improve their confidence more.

They will have the initiative to help

Upon learning to do little things on their own, it may help them realize to have the initiative to help their parents or other people. A basic example is by doing an easy task at home such as helping their mom to wash the dishes or simply throwing the trash to the bins. Sometimes they will suddenly approach you and will say that they wanted to help. Little things are important and seeing them do it without asking is priceless, if you encounter this to your child, that means your parenting is way effective!

To make this more exciting, try to use a reward chart that shows the list of chores that your kids can do at home.

They will develop full-grown thinking

Once a child is exposed to self-learning and freedom, it could establish a quick development in their minds. Eventually, they will learn how to deal and speak with adults in a proper manner. They will know how to handle things that they are capable of. This may be a result of being confident and with high self-esteem.

The best examples to help the kids to improve their thinking is through reading books, watching children and family-themed TV shows or movies, educational and fun activities, or even helping them to bring out their hidden talents (it could be in arts or music) by enrolling them to any related tutorial institutes.

And since we are living in the modern society, parents may also permit their kids to use their gadgets but always set a timer. The ideal number of hours that kids can use the gadgets is up to the maximum of 2 hours per day and spread it over a period of time. Make sure to keep an eye on your kids while they use their gadgets and limit the applications that they can use. Using gadgets has both positive and negative impacts, it’s just a matter of how we utilize them and we should have to set our limits.[4] One of the positive effects of using gadgets is to help children to analyze and enhance their critical thinking and even discover new vocabularies and could improve writing skills as well.

Parents must know or identify their kids’ way of thinking. It is their important progress and has to be monitored as they grow up. It is essential to help them expand positive and good thinking as it is one of the bases to improve their moral character.[5]

They will develop interpersonal trust & interact independently with others

Children will start to learn and develop to trust other people while they grow freely with guidance and support from their parents. It is a manner of improving their abilities until such time that they know how to properly interact with other children of their age or even those who are older than them. They will know how to play independently and will have no fear to try new things.

Indeed, it is not easy to trust other people. It takes time to improve children’s interpersonal trust and communication – positive vibes and connections between two people must be present. Helping kids to improve these skills must start with the parents by exchanging ideas, talking to each other, and most importantly is by urging the kids to speak about their own feelings.[6]

You will have more time to get things done

When your kids are well-trained to be independent, you can have more time to complete and do your tasks without worrying about your kids that much when you are not around with them. If you need time to do gardening, cleaning the backyard, or by simply cooking, you can easily work on these things and just let your kids do their tasks or just leaving them while playing.

But of course, you cannot leave them alone and do their stuff for long. You still have to check on them from time to time, which could be every 30 minutes. To make your life easier and have a quick check with what’s going on at home especially in your kids’ room, you can put reliable CCTV cameras in all the corners of your house. It’s important to have your home secured and safe with the help of these technologies. These CCTV cameras are also available online.

Disadvantages of Lazy Parenting

Of course, every parenting style has a perfect storm. Although, the lazy parenting style only has a few disadvantages. It only needs good attention to your child to avoid these possible cons.

This technique may affect your character

A simple example is when you are in public where people see or notice that you are literally allowing your child to act kind of independently, they might think that you’re bad parents – to the extent that they may look at you as if you are going beyond the limit and letting your kid to be neglected. This always happens not only for strangers in public who sees this but also your other relatives especially if these people don’t know or understand the true meaning of this parenting style and how it can be beneficial for you and your kids. This is something that you must be aware of and try to break the ice and make them understand.

It might hurt your child

Before you jump into the conclusion if this style would really work, you must consider the age of your kids if this parenting technique suits their age. Do not apply this for kids below 5 years old as you cannot expect them to understand right away what you want to say or command and they are too young for this. Those ages require serious attention, better to try and apply this technique for kids 6 years old and above especially to those who are teens.

Kids who are at the age of 6-10 are already learning to comprehend, they are starting to acquire how to communicate and understand. You can start training them to be independent, a good example is about taking care of their bodies – by letting them take a bath on their own, brush their teeth at least 3 times a day, keeping their body neat and clean, or keeping their hands sanitized all the time. These are basic, next to that you can start commanding them to do easy tasks at home. Just don’t push them too hard, teach them slowly as this parenting style could have a chance to hurt them physically or mentally especially if the tasks that you are trying to teach them are hard or would take a little bit of time for them to accomplish.

If they complain that they are having a hard time or if they feel that a certain task is difficult for them, let them stop. Do not push them to work on it and, you must be very understanding if this situation happens. Remember that your kids are just kids, they are just starting to learn things. Let them rest, have more fun, and enjoy their childhood.

Your child may not learn fast

It’s okay if you notice that your child is taking quite a long time before they finally understand and adjust to your parenting technique, this is normal for their ages. They cannot learn things in just a snap. Therefore, you as parents, have to have plenty of patience and understanding. In every situation between you and your child, you always have to consider that you are in the same boat.

By letting them explore things on their own while watching over them, you would notice their unique ways of discovering how things will work right based on their own ideas. This is just their stepping stone towards learning.[7]

So let them do the work, just do not overwatch them. In the end, once they finally learn, always remember to reward them and compliment them on every successful milestone.

Your child may feel unstable and would need your attention

Once your child has fully adapted your way of parenting and understood that you are allowing them to be independent, there would have chances that they will feel emotionally unstable. There could be times that they are suddenly longing for your love and care and wants your presence beside them at all times. This is normal for kids, and it is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Parents have to make a way and make it a habit to balance things.

If this becomes an issue, your kids might just be asking for “baby” time. Show them how you love them, give them endless hugs and kisses, ask how they are doing, compliment them on every job well done. Your kids are simply asking for more connections with you, so step aside this parenting technique for a while and give your kids more attention, afterwards when they feel better, go back to the original routine.

Do’s of lazy parenting

If the information you’ve read above is already convincing you to apply this parenting technique, hang in there for a moment, no need to rush, you have to know how this technique should apply in the right way.

Patience is the key

Yes, you have to be very patient as you are training your kids to live their life independently by embracing their freedom. At first, they will make lots of mistakes, they will fall off the ground and even lose their confidence. They are just kids, if parents are not perfect, what more these kids are?

Lazy parenting is not an easy way to raise children, it could be risky for both the parents and their kids. Thus, when applying this, your mind should be ready and make sure to reserve tons of patience.

Part of their learning is raising questions, as in a lot of questions in their minds. This is due to their curiosity while they learn to explore things. Once you notice this to your child, you have to be very patient and attend to all their concerns or questions. This is actually a fun part of their learning and this could lead to parent-child communication which is a healthy way to improve their relationship and closeness.

Keep in mind, being impatient could trigger you to lose control and suddenly, you’ll just realize that you just yelled at your kids or worst, say something very hurtful for them. This is a big NO, this situation has to be avoided otherwise your kids will suffer from poor mental health which could also affect their actions and character. It’s always vital to think of the words before you speak.

Practice reading informative materials more often to gain more knowledge on how to work things right, especially when it comes to your patience.

Know their personalities first

This parenting style doesn’t guarantee that will fit to all kids. Just because they meet the age requirement doesn’t mean it’s good for them. It’s also essential to consider their personalities. If you think that your kids are too quiet, shy, or require full attention, then this shouldn’t be applied to them. Better to start training them on how to be friendly by letting them play with other kids while you are giving them your full attention; or might as well, expose them to fun-filled activities; most importantly, talk to them and encourage them to interact with others – this is the most efficient and effective way for them to improve their confidence.

Once you see their progress from being shy and quiet to a very jolly and friendly kid, then try to start applying the lazy parenting style little by little. Bear in mind that it’s not necessary to push them to acquire this type of parenting, let them adapt it naturally, and do not force them.

Set limits

The lazy parenting style doesn’t need to apply permanently. It will only take a short period of time, depends on how fast or slow your kids can acquire the said parenting. If you think your child would need more time to understand your technique, give him or her enough time to adapt, you don’t have to worry if they are in slow-paced learning eventually they will understand your way clearly.

Once you think that they are fully trained to be independent, that’s the time that you should stop applying this technique and try to level up your way of parenting that’s appropriate to their age and personality.

Set easy rules to follow

Implementing rules will lead them to the right way to perform their tasks. Setting rules will challenge them particularly in their listening skills, but make sure that these rules will not stress them out but rather help them to engage more in performing their tasks well.

Sample basic rules are:

  • Never scream or shout when talking to a person just in front of you. Keep a low voice when speaking.
  • Put your dirty laundry in the basket properly.
  • Leave your outdoor slippers or shoes outside the house or near the main/back door.
  • Always wash your hands before and after eating.
  • Share your toys with your siblings or other kids when playing.

These are just the common and simple rules that they could easily remember and follow. It has to be short and precise.

Plan for exciting rewards

This is probably one of the exciting parts, giving them the rewards that they deserve means they are doing well in performing on how to be an independent child.

But when is the right time to reward them? It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be rewarded for each successful task – if so, this could lead to spoiling your child. Make it a habit to reward them after doing at least (5) successful tasks. However, try to provide an exciting reward that’s worth waiting for.

Make them feel thrilled for every reward that they could possibly get as long as they will perform their tasks well. This is also another way to discipline your child – they will follow and listen to you, in return, they will receive any form of generous acts.[8] Suggested rewards are something that could enhance their learning skills or something that’s exceptional like exposing them to sports, arts or music.

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Dont’s of lazy parenting

Here is the part that you must take into consideration in applying this parenting technique. You might be overwhelmed with all the positive points of view of how lazy parenting would work, however, you also have to consider the things that you should avoid.

Never expect too much

In some cases, expecting is bad and disappointing at times. We can expect, but there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be the same as our expectations. The same goes in this parenting style, once you tried this do not expect that your child will fully understand your ways of parenting; do not expect that your child will learn as fast as the others; do not expect that your child will carry how this style would affect his well being.

Every child is different and each of them has their inimitable way to comprehend and gather all the information you toss to them. Stay still, sure there will be some gloomy times but don’t lose hope, the rule is just do not expect, in the first place you will be identifying your child’s personalities first and their way of thinking before you can conclude if this parenting style fits them perfectly.

Do not overload your kids with tasks

Train them one at a time. Never pile your instructions on one plate. They are your precious kids and not robots. The rule is teaching them slowly but surely. Otherwise, they will easily get tired physically and emotionally until such time that they will learn how to complain.

Give them the time to adjust to your parenting style, it will be beneficial to both of you. Let them rest and have a break if they need to. It is better to give them enough period to fully understand every task that you are teaching them, believe that they can do better, just do not rush things up. A great piece of advice is to have their tasks organize or at least create a weekly plan for them.

Never compare them with others

Comparing your kids with others is very hurtful for them. Always protect your child’s feelings and emotions, you could see that they are trying their best and they would need more time to adjust based on their capacity.

If you constantly notice that they do more failures than success, that’s completely fine. Remember that we always learn a lot from our failures – your kids would do the same thing. Understand their failures, never compare them to other kids that you thought are perfect. Show your support and love to your kids even more when they fail a lot, eventually, they will learn from these failures and they will prove that they can do better.

Do not defend them from negligence

Your responsibility as good parents is to correct your kids for every mistake that they have done. Do not tolerate them making mistakes as it could have high effects on their moral character. If they think that it’s okay with their parents whenever they make mistakes, they will take it as a good habit.

If they make lapses, teach them what is right without yelling, never say a word that would hurt their feelings. Talk to your kids in a nice way and try to explain things precisely and at the same time make them understand that what they did was wrong.

In any case that your child doesn’t obey you or not even listening to your words, try to implement a reverse psychology method – this is common in parenting. Reverse Psychology is a practice when a person is prompting the other to do a certain thing that would actually mean the opposite way.[9] A simple example statement is “Go on and play outside while it’s raining hard so you won’t get sick.” But the opposite and what is actually want and intended to say is the other way around –  “Do not go and play outside as it’s raining hard, otherwise you’ll get sick.” Applying reverse psychology to your child is an effective way for them to obey you.

Basic examples of Lazy Parenting

To better understand the way of lazy parenting, you could imagine the basic examples as follows:

Considering that you are in the middle of a conversation with your husband, or say for example you need a quick “me time” you can set a good kid-friendly movie and let your kids watch it for a while.

Another example is when you are teaching them to do school works at home, for them to be able to learn, let them understand or answer any given questions in their paper in their own capabilities – let them do the work. In this way, you are teaching them to analyze things and think on their own.

Or if you take your kids to the playground, you could encourage them to interact and play with other kids. Just take your time sitting on the bench while watching after them. This is the best example of how to teach them to be independent in the presence of other people.

If your kids have their own room and bed, teach them how to make their room clean at all times. It’s good to start on how to fix their bed after they wake up; put all their toys properly in the storage.

Lastly, if you have a daughter, it’s important to train her on the importance of maintaining good physical hygiene. Next is on how to do easy household chores or at least teach her how to cook basic foods in the most creative and fun way.

Final thoughts

Parenting is tough, but it takes the right style to follow in order to help your child grow smart or enhance their learning skills. The lazy parenting style may or may not be suitable to your child’s personalities but in most cases, this is a proven and effective way to train a child to act and move freely by themselves and at the same time, this will serve as a bridge for them to learn the basics that they can apply in any given circumstances that are part of their growing up.


[1] Schiffrin, Holly H., and Miriam Liss. “The effects of helicopter parenting on academic motivation.” Journal of Child and Family Studies 26.5 (2017): 1472-1480.

[2] Hesse, Colin, Alan C. Mikkelson, and Stephanie Saracco. “Parent–child affection and helicopter parenting: Exploring the concept of excessive affection.” Western Journal of Communication 82.4 (2018): 457-474.

[3] Ross, Catherine E., and Beckett A. Broh. “The roles of self-esteem and the sense of personal control in the academic achievement process.” Sociology of education (2000): 270-284.

[4] Keumala, Meta, Marisa Yoestara, and Zaiyana Putri. “The Impacts Of Gadget And Internet On The Implementation Of Character Education On Early Childhood.” International Conference on Early Childhood Education. 2019.

[5] Russell, David H. Children’s thinking. Boston: Ginn, 1956.

[6] Szcześniak, Małgorzata, Melusina Colaço, and Gloria Rondón. “Development of interpersonal trust among children and adolescents.” Polish Psychological Bulletin (2012).

[7] Gabrielson, Curt. Tinkering: Kids learn by making stuff. Maker Media, Inc., 2015.

[8] Aknin, Lara B., J. Kiley Hamlin, and Elizabeth W. Dunn. “Giving leads to happiness in young children.” PLoS one 7.6 (2012): e39211.

[9] Hajjat, Fatima. “Is There Such a Thing as Reverse Psychology?.” Let’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era. Springer, Cham, 2016. 721-722.

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Author

Tiffany Biondi

Tiffany Biondi

Mother of 4 kids, Tiffany is a certified childcarer and during her free time, she write posts in thebabychoice to share her hands on experience and knowledge.

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