A couple of years ago I came across a book written by University of Minnesota faculty member Jean Illsley Clarke called “How Much Is Enough?: Everything You Need to Know to Steer Clear of Overindulgence and Raise Likeable, Responsible and Respectful Children.” I mean, really. Who wouldn’t be drawn to title like that?

Clarke has conducted research over the past two decades about the effects of overindulgence on children and how this affects them as they grow up to be adults. She and her team of researchers define overindulgence as “giving too much of anything to a child so that it slows their learning and developmental tasks.” Overindulgence hinders children from learning the necessary life lessons and skills needed to thrive as adults. 

One question parents can ask themselves is: “Will doing or giving this