The Effects of a Lack of Parental Control

Self-esteem, self-discipline, ambition and emotional development are stunted without parental guidance and involvement, affecting an individual's decision-making capabilities and self-identity far beyond childhood. Parental control is not only beneficial but necessary and has immediate negative effects when not present that can put a child in danger.

Kids Need Boundaries

Without set boundaries, there are no guidelines, and living without guidelines creates insecurity. Parents are a child's main source of security and if the parents' behavior indicates that they are not in control, it opens the door for uncertainties. Kids push the limits because they need to know limits are there and to know that someone is in charge keeping them safe, according to, the website of clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Markham Ph.D.

Social Context

Studio shot of boy screaming

What are the Effects of the Home Environment on Learning?

Learn More

With the correct kind of involvement, parents help children develop interpersonal skills and guide them in socialization, teaching them how to form relationships on their own. Parents have significant control over their children's playmates when they are young. Youths from authoritative homes look for and attract like-minded adolescents, creating a peer group that maintains high standards, according to a 1995 study looking at parenting types and children's associations published in "Developmental Psychology." With parental control, parents can teach their children how to look for qualities in a friend that will create healthy relationships and reinforce healthy behaviors.

Risks to Safety

Neglect is the extreme of parental lack of control and can lead to a variety of anti-social behaviors that could result in intervention by the law. In the UK the Child Safety Order (CSO) was established to act as an early preventative measure to indicate youths under the age of 10 at risk. The child's behavior is identified as being anti-social and causing harm or disturbances in the community and is often connected with home and family life, particularly identified as a lack of supervision or neglect. A Parenting Order can be issued alongside a CSO, with intervention to provide guidance and support in developing parenting responsibilities to further prevent children from going down the delinquent route.

Academic Achievement

Studio shot of boy screaming

What Are the Causes of Violent Behavior in Children?

Learn More

Ambition is learned, and corresponding behaviors are developed through the family and environment a child is a part of. Parents lead by example for their children and the amount of parental control practiced has a great influence over a child's ambition to achieve. Permissive parenting, a parenting style that has no set boundaries or rules, results in lower levels of achievement as found by Phyllis Heath Ph.D., in the 2009 edition of her book "Parent-Child Relations: Context, Research and Application." The book compares research in regards to academic ambition and the parenting role. The children of these families fail to learn the self-discipline that is required in academic learning and as a result do not achieve the success they are capable of.