Is lazy parenting beneficial for kids? 10 tips to ace it

While it may seem like a laidback style of bringing up your children, but lazy parenting is gaining accolades from all quarters for its intent of making kids more independent and confident at what they do. Lazy parenting isn’t uninvolved parenting where a parent doesn’t take interest in what their child does, but it is in fact a way to let the child make their own share of mistakes while a parent resist from interfering and giving them instructions to complete it. This parenting style allows the child to take their own decisions and become their own person. (Also read: Parenting tips to help your child recognize and deal with bullying at school)

“Lazy parenting is not about not wanting to do things for your child; rather, it is about letting them be and allowing them to grow into their own person. It takes a lot of self-control not to intervene in their life at every turn, but it pays off. There are various parenting techniques, and none of them are right or bad. There is ‘helicopter parenting,’ in which parents desire to be constantly involved in their child’s lives. They want to know what they eat and what they do. Then there’s ‘tiger parenting,’ in which parents want their children to succeed in everything and to indulge and engage in every available activity,” says Dr. Jagdish Kathwate, Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharadi Pune.

“Lazy parenting is a type of parenting where a parent consciously withholds himself/herself from interfering in everything the child does. The parent allows the child to do day-to-day tasks on their own, so that the child gains confidence in doing things. The child is allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. The parent just sits back and makes sure that the child is not harming himself in any way. They allow them to have experiential learning on their own,” says Dr. Sankalp Dudeja, Consultant of Paediatrics & Neonatology at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon.

Lazy parenting vs other parenting styles

“Lazy parenting is opposite of the so called ‘helicopter parenting’ where the parents control each and everything the child does and make sure things are done perfectly. Helicopter parents do not give any room for mistakes and experiential learning to the child. Lazy parenting should be differentiated from ‘uninvolved parenting’ where the parents have no interest in the activities of the child. Uninvolved parents neither provide any warmth nor execute any control on what the child does. In contrast, lazy parents are actively watching the baby doing things, they are making sure that the child is not harming himself or others and is safe. They are just allowing the baby to experiment and learn on their own,” says Dr Dudeja.

Criticism of lazy parenting style

“Oftentimes, ‘lazy parents’ are labelled selfish since, after all, if you’re a parent, you should be thinking about your children every waking second. They could not be more incorrect,” says Dr Kathwate.

Benefits of lazy parenting

“It has been postulated that those children who are raised with this style of parenting are strong, independent and capable of making their own decisions. However, they may not like being told what to do, and have difficulty in following commands,” says Dr Dudeja.

How to ace lazy parenting style

Dr Dudeja shares useful tips to ace this offbeat parenting style.

– Hold back yourself from interfering in everything the child does.

– Allow the child to do day-to-day tasks on their own, so that the child gains confidence in doing things.

– Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. Just make sure that the child is not harming themselves in any way.

– Be ready for natural consequences. Sometimes, the child may not be able to finish their task properly or may hurt themselves a little bit while doing something. You have to accept the fact that within limits, a child should suffer the natural results of their actions/decisions.

– Do not get tempted to rescue your child when you notice that things are not going the right way.

However, make sure that you are keeping a close watch on the child and you interfere in a timely manner before the child harms themselves or others.

Dr Kathwate adds more tips to the list:

– Let them go slowly: We are constantly rushing our children because we are always late and there is so much to accomplish. Don’t be tempted to offer, ‘let me help you so we can finish faster.’ Let them take their time; with experience, they will get quicker.

– It’s okay to provide reminders ‘clean up your dish,’, ‘clear the table,’ ‘please put your stuff away’ – We find up reminding our kids of some of these things every day, but it works. When more of these duties become habits, the list grows shorter.

– Act as a ‘side guide’: Lazy parenting does not imply abandoning the child to their own devices and going for a nap. The idea is that you will be present while they are alone. Thus you may direct and manage them, but give them total autonomy over their work. For example, when kids are tidying up their rooms, you can be present to assist them with what goes where the first few times, but they handle everything on their own after that.

– Create a reward system: Whatever your child desires, whether it’s a new toy, screen time, or junk food, is obtained through the points she accumulates each week. For example, if she has taken a shower, dressed, brushed her teeth twice a day, and made her bed every day of the week, she will qualify; they will collect her points for a few weeks and redeem them towards it, making the entire process extremely simple and straightforward.

– Set a good example: The most significant aspect! You can’t expect kids to do the same if you’re not folding your own clothing, turning off the lights when you leave a room, or limiting your screen time. Always set a good example.