How To: Master the Art of Lazy Parenting (and Why it’s a Good Thing)

Lazy parenting centres around the idea that we don’t have to provide constant entertainment, intervention, and guidance for our children. Sounds cool, right?

Fancy the idea of partial parental leave of absence and semi free-range children? SAME.

Pinky Mckay goes a step further and calls it ‘benevolent neglect’ which, if I’m honest, makes me like the idea of lazy parenting all the more!

What is lazy parenting?

In short, lazy parenting is the polar opposite of helicopter parenting. There’s no constant forcing your fun self upon your children with structured, guided play, limitless interaction and/or intervention or general circling of your offspring, tending to their every need. Nope, none of it. In fact, BACK THE HELL OFF.

mum at home, lazy parenting, kids mess
A snapshot of lazy parenting. Kind of. Not really.

Is lazy parenting actually lazy?

Absolutely not lazy per se. In fact, it can actually be a bit of a struggle to loosen the apron strings of control initially. You obviously still need to keep your child safe and, particularly for young children, your supervising presence will still be required. You’re not leaving them to fend for themselves completely, just a little.

Why is lazy parenting a good idea?

It’s a good idea because it encourages kids to use their brain. They help learn for themselves through trying, failing and exploring options. Not to mention the fact a little responsibility and independence goes a long way towards building confidence and resilience. Children are capable of AMAZING things when we sit back and let them try.

It’s not all about the kids either. Parents put A LOT of pressure on themselves to always be actively engaged with their kids, doing this exercise and doing that activity – day in, day out, that shiz is EXHAUSTING!

mum asleep on sofa with daughter in arms
Lazy parenting 101: RELAX a bit.

How do I implement lazy parenting techniques without actually being lazy?

As mentioned earlier, start by taking a giant step back!

  • Set up safe zones for play ( a play mat in the lounge room, a playroom) and let kids go nuts doing their own thing. Turn a blind eye to the mess, they’re having a blast.
  • Encourage open-ended play. Kids love it! Plonk a box full of random items (cardboard tubes, boxes, glue, tape, pipe cleaners, pop sticks etc) on the floor and the kids will go to town creating all manner of things using their imagination. Mama, you make yourself a coffee and grab your book while they’re busy. Sweeeet.
  • Let your child organise themselves. Allow them to pack their school bag, lunch box and get their clothes ready for the next day.
  • Assign tasks. Older kids can shop for groceries. Give them a list and a budget and set them off to task.
  • Let your child struggle for a bit. Don’t be so quick to race in and rescue him with solutions to a problem, give him time to figure it out for himself. Note: obviously only if safety isn’t an issue. If your child can’t swim him, pluck him out of the pool!
  • Allow kids to learn consequences. If they forget their library book, they can’t borrow a new one. They won’t forget next time. DO NOT run that library book up to the school! #refrainfromtherescue
lazy parenting, child getting ready for school
Don’t underestimate kids – they’re TOTALLY capable of dressing themselves for school.

Lazy parents unite!

This isn’t my first rodeo in the parenting arena. I’m three kids deep; two have left the nest, leaving just one sweet chick to nurture and fuss over with my undivided attention. Only I’m not. I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been and we’re all bloody loving it.

That’s not to say we haven’t had our hiccups along the way. There was one time I asked my children to pack their own bags for a winter holiday and my daughter packed not one jumper. #soblessed

family travel luggage tip

There’s no one-size-fits-all in the land of parenting. Lazy parenting not quite the right fit for you? Check out our post on gentle parenting, that might be the solution you’re looking for!

What to Read Next

Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

Write A Comment