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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

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (December 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569244375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569244371
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
I disagree with "Concerned Consumer" (who gave this a 1 star rating). I am a Marriage and Family Therapist, have worked with children and adolescents for over 20 years, and could not disagree more with this persons review. There are very few books that I believe so succinctly address the problem of overindulgence in today's children and adolescents (even adulthood). In today's consumer, materialistic, automated society we absolutely need a book that addresses this problem and breaks it down in a way where a parent can identify clearly what areas they may need to work on and improve. This book does just that. I find it very informative and researched based, as it is clearly not a simplistic issue. I love the appendices to address what to to expect and what to focus on in each developmental stage as well as the helpful assessment. There is always a nay sayer and it usually is someone who does not want to admit that they might benefit from such a book. If you are drawn to attachment parenting, this book is also for you, as it clearly defines what is a healthy approach versus an unhealthy approach to attachment parenting (which is really that the parent is trying to meet their needs rather than the childs).

The book breaks down 3 types of overindulgence: "Too much" , "soft structure", and "over nurturing". There is an assessment in the Appendices to find out which area might need more focus. The researchers also ask 4 questions in each scenario to determine if your child is being overindulged in various situations, or overall. I think these four questions are important for anyone to find that fine line between loving your child wholly, and loving them but not allowing them to grow into a healthy, strong, and independent adult.
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