How Much is Too Much? Book Club Discussion Questions

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1.     Is overindulgence the same thing as “spoiling children?”  If not, how are the two different?  What do the authors of How Much is Too Much? say?

2.     The authors of How Much is Too Much? describe three types of overindulgence: Too much, Soft Structure and Over-Nurture.  Describe one thing that surprised you about these three overindulgences.  Explain why you were surprised.

3.     Have you seen or experienced a recent example of overindulgence?  If so, share it with the group.  What type of overindulgence was this?  If you put yourself into this situation as the adult who was overindulging, what could you have done differently?

4.     Do you see the fact that both parents are working as related to overindulgence?

5.     Discuss the challenges that parents have trying to raise children in today’s world, in what has been described as "overindulgence-the New Normal," a “cult of overindulgence.” or "living in afffluenza." Give some positive ideas on how you as a parent can combat the media messages to buy, buy, buy.

6.     Do your children have friends who are overindulged?  What are some ways you can help your children deal with that?

7.     Describe some of the consequences that occur from growing up overindulged.

8.     What values positive or negative do children learn from being overindulged?

9.     The authors offer parents a tool called The Test of Four.  What is it?  Give an example where you used The Test of Four, or one in which you wish you had used it.  Explain.

10.  What can parents do instead of overindulging their children?  List and discuss a number of healthy options.

11.  What can parents do about grandparents or others who overindulge?

12.  What are some specific ways you are teaching your children the concept of “enough.”

13.  What is the Nurture-Structure Highway?  How can you use this tool to help you gain balance in your parenting life?  Give an example from your own parenting life.

14.  What advice do the authors offer parents who were overindulged as children?  Can they recover from this overindulgence?  Explain how.

15.  Why are rules good for children?  Explain.

16.  What I your understanding of how to enforce rules? Explain and give an example.

17.  Why are chores good for children?  Explain.  Why did the participants in the overindulgence studies complain so vigorously about not having done chores when they were children?

18.  What are the hazards of too much freedom?  Do your children have peers who have too much freedom?  How do you handle that?

19.  How can a parents who have developed a pattern of overindulgence with their children change?  What ideas do the authors give to take back parental leadership?  Explain how they might work in your family.

20.  Do any of the many stories on overindulgence in the book sound like your story?

21.  Just because children have earned some money does not mean they can spend it in ways that go against your family values.  How do you handle that?

22.  What advice do the authors offer parents who were overindulgence as children? Can they Recover from this overindulgence? Explain how.

© David J. Bredehoft, Jean Illsley Clarke & Connie Dawson 2004-2022;