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Too Much Of A Good Thing – Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age – A Book Review

This book centers around and draws examples from a research study called “Parenting Practices at the Millennium” (PPM). Over 1000 parents and around 650 teenagers were at the core of the study. The book is broken down into four main sections. The first part of the book is an examination of parenting in a gilded age. The middle part of the book analyzes the many pitfalls of indulgent children from self-centered narcissism to self-control issues. The third section of the book is an outline for parental strategies to combat the problems our children face in our permissive society. The last part of the book is a technical reference and endnotes of the PPM study.

Giving too much and expecting too little in return, growing up in the new gilded age and supplying our children with the life skills they’ll need as adults is the context of part one. The author, a PhD of psychology at Harvard, sited a few situations with his patients and related them to the PPM study.

The seven deadly sins of pride, wrath, envy, sloth, gluttony, lust and greed are all spun into the second part of the book. The author reviews several case studies from his professional experience as a psychologist in relation to the PPM study and is combined with religious undertones.

Journey back into childhood and find your inner parent to figure out why you parent your child/children in the particular manner that you do. The third part of the book helps parents to look inside themselves to identify parenting traits also supplies a miniscule amount of practical parenting advice on general topics such as setting limits, giving more attention and being consistent.

The technical appendix and PPM study results are interesting and enlightening. Dozens of variables ranging from average household incomes to effects of family dinner time are examined in relationship to the author’s theories and broken down into easy to understand percentages.

I checked out this book from my local library after seeing an article in Parents magazine that made a reference to it. I would love to give the issue and article however someone, ok my wife, recycled the mag before I could make a note of that. The book contains plenty of staggeringly scary statistics and the inner parent examination is an interesting idea, so I do recommend the book however don’t waste your money on it, go borrow it from the library and skip to the last few chapters. While this book is a yawner there are some nuggets of truth and insightfulness that can help build parental confidence and ability.

Too Much Of A Good Thing
Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age
Dan Kindlon, Ph.D.
Published by Talk Miramax Books
Copyright 2001

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2 Responses to “Too Much Of A Good Thing – Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age – A Book Review”

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  2. October 11th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

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