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How Much Is Enough?: Everything You Need to Know to Steer Clear of Overindulgence and Raise Likeable, Responsible and Respectful Ch Paperback – December 11, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (December 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569244375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569244371
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Parents who over-coddle, over-schedule and over-stimulate would do well to cut back or risk damage for generations to come, according to authors Clarke, Dawson (co-authors of Growing Up Again) and Bredehoft (chair of the department of social and behavioral sciences at Concordia College). Unchecked, overindulgence can create kids who lack even the most basic skills, morals and emotions, they say. Considering the popularity of the 'they're-only-kids-once' people who encourage individuality and permissiveness, this is certainly a different-maybe even controversial-approach. While perhaps a bit melodramatic in its outlook, the book manages to be useful and specific, and it's not simply a "tough love" guide, either. Go ahead, these authors say, love them dearly but while you are at it, give them chores, rules, structure and a united front-the results will be overwhelmingly positive. The unlikeliness of some scenarios and tips will make parents wince (despite what anyone says, few kids will thank their parents for being strict). It's also safe to assume that no matter the case, sometimes even the best parent can't get a point in edgewise. So, if parents and kids can learn when enough truly is enough, will the world be a better place? Maybe, maybe not-but like chicken soup, it can't hurt.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A well-researched, groundbreaking approach to understanding the impact of overindulgence on our children, on our communities, and on our planet." -- Rick Ingrasci M.D., M.P.H., Director of Community Development, BigMindMedia

"This book will help you give your child the skills to be successful in life." -- Joan K. Comeau, Ph.D., CFCS, CFLE, Founder and Director,

"This is a marvelously helpful book for those of us who want the very best for our children..." -- Reverend Dick Lundy

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 36 customer reviews
The book is informative, practical and easy to read.
Even though she whines about it, I know it's for her own good and it makes me feel like a much better parent.
Kim S
Nevertheless, it is a good read and encourages parents on their way to raise kids without overindulgence.
U. Mayfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Wood Wirtel on April 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
The authors present a wealth of great information on how to avoid overindulging children (and they are very careful to explain how overindulgence is different than spoiling). The central overindulgence theme is explored through various topics such as "too many things", "too much freedom" or "too few rules", just to name a few. These subtopics make it easy to zero in on precise concerns, if necessary, but the text is still an easy and productive read from cover to cover.
The problem comes from trying to locate information specific to, say, dealing with toddlers or teens (there are even some strategies presented for dealing with adult children). Because the subtopics are presented as wholes, with information specific to various age groups mixed together, it may be difficult for a parent who needs information on a specific topic for a specific age group to find what he or she needs most. Parents are almost compelled to read through pages and pages of non-applicable information that they don't need, just to stumble across that which they do.
Particularly appreciated are the portions of the text dedicated to quoting adults who were overindulged as children. Reading about the difficulties they faced as a result of their upbringings will give extra support to parents struggling with making the transition to supporting parenting from overindulgent parenting.
Parents who have the time and willingness to read through the entire text in order to gain the overall picture of overindulgence and its many insidious forms will gain the most from the book. Parents facing an acute challenge requiring quick strategies and specific suggestions may wish to turn elsewhere.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Larissa G on November 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
What is overindulgence? Many people think that overindulging their child means to spoil them, but in reality, overindulgence is much more complex. In the newly released book How Much Is Enough?, authors Jean Illsley Clarke, PH.D, Connie Dawson, PH.D, and David Bredehoft, PH.D, strive to show parents and other influential adults how to raise children who are considerate, responsible, and polite by teaching them all about overindulgence and how to avoid it. All three authors have done extensive research on the issue of overindulgence and this is not a first publication on the topic for any of them.

How Much Is Enough? is an informational book, yet it cannot be described as a text book. One thing I really enjoyed about reading it is that not only does it present useful information and explain terms used; but it also presents us as readers with real life examples and stories so that we can apply the information and see where it might be useful. There are also many pictures and diagrams included so that we can visualize the most important points. Since we all learn best through different styles, the unique presentation of information is helpful. Also, a lot of the information is reiterated over again throughout the book so that we can fully understand what is being offered to us.

Humor is evident in How Much Is Enough? which makes the book much more enjoyable, easy to read, and easy to understand. Whether the reader is a parent, plans on being a parent someday, or works with children in any way, overindulgence is an issue that needs to be faced. This book truly addresses every issue on overindulgence and teaches readers everything they would ever want to know about the topic. I would recommend this book to everyone over the age of fourteen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
My first impulse is to say "yes" to my kids when they ask. I thought that was part of what being a parent was about. I want them to have fun, I want them to be happy, but I also want them to be functional, competent adults. This book gives me the information I need to be able to say "no" and have it stick, to establish boundaries, lay out expectations, and reward appropriate behaviors. Now I know that doing so gives my children what they need, not simply what they want. I think all parents should have a copy of this book. It is so very useful, and written in a way that does not blame, but shares information.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
As parents of a toddler, my spouse and I work hard everyday at giving our child the best of ourselves and the world around her. This book is a wonderful guide that reminds us how to give the best, and that the best isn't always more of something. The book is filled with examples that really drive home the main concepts. Additionally, the writing is very straightforward, making it easy to apply to one's own life. I find myself recalling phrases and examples from the book when faced with challenging parenting situations. This is a relevant reference for all parents and caregivers.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Myra Fourwinds on October 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
We might say this book, How Much Is Enough, is about parenting, or grandparenting, both subjects the authors have accumulated a great deal of information on from their research. We could say this book speaks about materialism in the family, economy, and resource allocation. But the sterling core of this book is about conscience. The authors, in every chapter, in graphic examples, ask the question: "Is anyone being hurt by each decision and action we personally make?"

We live in a time where our culture does not speak out about the value of conscience. We have overfilled jails and juvenile facilities, overactive pharmaceutical industries and financial institutions, but where do we hear about the value of knowing and doing what is right? Has this become an unpopular notion?

These authors give us guidelines to be able to judge for ourselves where the lines are between what is enough, and what is overindulgence. This book illustrates through narrative examples what happens, what the effects are, when this line is crossed over. In a time when consumerism is encouraged and having more is considered better, these authors cause us to ask ourselves if we even know how much is enough. Their research shows us the consequences: to individuals, to families, and to our culture when the concept of enough becomes cloudy.

Using a very clear test of four questions, the authors teach us to have means to judge our interactions with others in our lives. While speaking specifically about interactions between children and their responsible caregivers, the book puts us in the detective's seat to be able to see how a given situation could be interpreted as either helpful or harmful, and how to discern the difference.
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