HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Everything You Need to Know to Steer Clear of Overindulgence and Raise Likeable, Responsible, Respectful Children

Jean Illsley Clarke, Author, Connie Dawson, Author, David Bredehoft, Author . Marlowe & Co. $14.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-56924-437-1

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. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
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