How is TCS different from permissive parenting?

I grew up in a permissive environment. If I wanted to eat mashed potatoes for breakfast, or wear my elf costume to school, my parents let me. If I signed up for ballet or ice skating or horseback riding, and then grew bored, or had a conflict with my instructor, I quit. If I didn't want to do my homework or clean my room I didn't. In high school I missed 16 days one quarter, because I didn't feel like going. I didn't have a curfew, or restrictions about movies, sex or parties. I'm sure you get the idea, I want to keep this short.

But today, as an adult I'm pretty irresponsible. I have a very difficult time initiating action, and I give up quickly. Even things I want to do, like keep the house clean, or eat healthy foods, I don't do consistently, even though I feel much happier when I do them. I live for the moment, and can't be bothered to work for a goal, or delay gratification. A hypothetical example: even though I want the garbage men to take my trash away, if I don't feel like setting it out by the curb, I don't. Then later I feel sad and frustrated that I didn't do it, and my quality of life and happiness suffer.

Just wondering what your thoughts are.

i think...

...that there are people who grew up in authoritative homes that have the same kind of problems.

if a person wants the trash taken on trash day, and is feeling bad that s/he missed setting the trash out and truly wants to get it out to the curb on the next trash day, there are ways to help one's self get that done, from 'notes to self' taped up in obvious places to help jog memory to alarms set to asking for another person's help to paying someone to get it done.

there's a process of conjecture and refutation going on all the time, in learning about how to get dishes done and to work on time and money in the bank and bills paid and parties thrown and trash to the curb in time on trash collection day.

if a person is having a problem thinking clearly about a problem and finding solutions (how in heaven's name do people get the trash to the curb when they want?), it could be that they are mis-identifying the problem, or are experiencing coercion in the mind when they try to think about it. observing might be a first step.

re: what is the difference between TCS and permissiveness, off the top of my head i'll say that a TCS parent would be busy helping a child explore the pros and cons of costume wearing to school and the reasons and implications of quitting the team and the lessons and school and curfews, helping to figure out exactly what a kid wants and how to get it safely and what the moral issues are; rather than just 'letting' the child wear/eat/attend/quit/have any and everything without the help and information and involvement of the parent.

Caring Versus Not Caring

I actually think the word "permissive" is a positive word that's been assigned a negative meaning in our culture. "Permissive" is a term used to describe parents who simply can't be, or don't want to be, parents to their children. Usually their children are simply (to them) by-products of a relationship or experience they wanted at one time. These parents are totally absorbed in themselves and can't be bothered to interact with their kids and take an interest in their kids' lives, so they just leave their kids to figure out life on their own. I honestly think the word "permissive" should be changed to "uncaring" when describing these parents, as these parents are selfish people who really only take themselves seriously.

In contrast, parents who take their children seriously are intensely interested in interacting with their kids and helping their kids make sense of the world -- and especially in helping their kids pursue their own (their kids' own) dreams. I see TCS as truly permissive, in a very positive way -- whereas permissiveness as conventionally defined is actually more debilitating than freeing.

The real difference between TCS and conventionally defined permissiveness is the difference between caring and not caring.

Susan