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Pushover Parents
Parents who are afraid to discipline their children because of fear, disappointment, or any other reason.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-08-29 07:56:47 sponsor: MsCC93 (last reply: 2013-09-04 18:51:25)

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Parents are supposed to the the authorities for their children, but these parents may not be good at it. They usually mean well, but when it comes to disciplining their children, they are too afraid or refuse to for any reason.

If this goes on, the kid usually turns into a Spoiled Brat/Bratty Half-Pint with bad social skills.

Obviously, Truth in Television.

If they do, infact, disipline their child, then this will lead to Was Too Hard on Him.

Can be related to Stupid Good if parents love their children too much because of it. Contrast Abusive Parents where parents aren't pushovers, but for the wrong reasons.

Compare to Extreme Doormat.



  • A Judge Dee fanfic uses this: a young boy with many facial tics, whose father seems completely indifferent, never beating or praising him, while his mother alternates between love and hate. It turns out the man was sterile, so his wife slept with another man to conceive (which, in eight-century China, was a horrifying crime, both the adultery and the fact that the husband did nothing against it). Ever since, the father doesn't punish the boy for fear of going too far, the mother is constantly reminded that she failed as a wife, and as a result the poor boy is growing up very confused.


  • In Girls Just Want to Have Fun, millionaire Bennett Sands basically lets his daughter Natalie do what she wants (until the end), making her a Rich Bitch.
  • Regina George's mom in Mean Girls has shades of this, as shown in a scene when Regina tells her mother to stop talking, and she stops.


Live Action TV

  • Shown many times in Maury with violent teenage girls, with parents (usually only moms) who are terrified of their daughters, and are afraid of disciplining them.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In one episode of The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, there was rich father who didn't want to discipline his snobby son, Eustace Strytch, for his behavior because he was too ashamed. At the end, after Hugh gives him tips, he finally disciplines Eustace by punishing him for a month.
  • Implied with Sarah and Ed's parents in Ed, Edd n Eddy.
  • Vicky's parents in The Fairly Oddparents are downright terrified of Vicky, and they are afraid of disciplining her.
  • A Johnny Bravo episode has him baby sit a kid with magic powers. The parents are afraid of the kid big time, so they let him do what he wants.
  • An implied zig-zagged example of The Powerpuff Girls is with Daddy Morebucks, Princess Morebucks' father. It's shown that he rarely disciplines his daughter when she throws temper tantrums, and gives her money to get her silenced. The ending of an episode when Princess becomes the mayor also implies that he gives her proper discipline when necessary.
  • Charlotte and Drew Pickles towards Angelica sometimes in Rugrats.
  • In the The Simpsons episode, "The Itchy and Scratchy Movie", during a parent-teacher conference, Marge explains to Mrs. Krabappel that she and Homer have a hard time disciplining Bart whenever he does something wrong and are encouraged by her to start being firm about it. Following her advice, they get better at disciplining him, such as when they send him to bed without dinner for breaking Grandpa's teeth, and preventing him from seeing The Itchy and Scratchy Movie when he doesn't watch Maggie and she drives Homer's car.
    • In a Flashback on The Simpsons it's shown that Ned Flanders' parents were beatnicks who didn't believe in punishing their son for his unruly behavior, but on the other hand didn't want the behavior to continue.
      Dr. Foster: Would you please tell your son to stop [tearing my office apart]?
      Ned's Dad: We can't do it, man! That's discipline! That's like tellin' Gene Krupa not to go "boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom bam bam bam, boom boom boom bam ba ba ba ba, da boo boo tss!" We don't believe in rules, like, we gave them up when we started livin' like freaky beatniks!
      Dr. Foster: You don't believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned's anger.
      Ned's Mom: Yeah. You gotta help us, Doc. We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas.
  • Liane Cartman from South Park admits that she doesn't give Eric any discipline because she is insecure about not having any friends.
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