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I am a non-native English speaker. When I was writing an English essay, a question came up my mind. Which word is better "carefree parents" or "easy-going parents" when I want to compare with "strict parents"?

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If they are exactly the opposite of "strict", I would call them "liberal" or even "permissive" depending on the intended connotation.

  • "liberal" (adj) not strict, not opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted.

  • "permissive" - (adj) deficient in firmness or control, giving people a lot of freedom or too much freedom to do what they want to do.

When we use "permissive" there is usually a certain criticism implied.

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    I think "Permissive" is better, as "liberal" might be taken to be describing their political viewpoint. – Max Williams Jan 22 '18 at 14:41
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In general, in my area of the United States, the word of choice seems to be lenient - per the linked definition, “1. agreeably tolerant; permissive; indulgent”.

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A very lenient parenting style I only recently discovered has been labelled: Free-range parenting. So some might be called Free-range parents. Their children are commonly called Free-range children, and there are documentaries on YouTube about that particular social phenomenon.

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