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Parenting in the age of overindulgence

Parenting with a Good Heart Online Course

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Are you concerned about giving "too much" to the children in your care? Do you want to know how overindulgence affects all types of families? Do you want practical and easy parenting tools that you can use right away? Then the Parenting with a Good Heart Online Course is for you!

Parenting with a Good Heart

Join author and researcher Jean Illsley Clarke, parent educator Lisa Krause, and a multidisciplinary team of Extension educators in the University of Minnesota Extension’s Center for Family Development in an exploration of overindulgence and how you can avoid it with children.

Overindulgence is giving your child too much of anything — money, space, time, energy, or attention — that can delay their development. Parents and caregivers overindulge children from a "good heart," but it doesn't help children or families in the long run. Parents can learn to wrap their good hearts with the strengths it takes to resist overindulging. Then they can teach their children how to be accountable and responsible for themselves and toward others.

What You Will Learn

This course will give you tangible tools that you can begin to integrate into your parenting right away.

In part 1, you will explore these topics:

  • Overindulgence comes from a good heart.
  • Family values — what are they?
  • Has overindulgence become the “new normal”?
  • Increasing our “brain awareness.”

In part 2, you will explore these topics:

  • Identify the three ways of overindulging and what to do instead.
  • Flip the negatives of overindulgence into positives.
  • Use the Test of Four to decide if something is overindulgence.
  • Use the Developmental Parenting Highway to stay on the road to success.

Who This Course Is For

This course is for:

This course is free and each part takes about one hour to complete. A certificate of completion is available once both parts have been completed.

How do I get started?

You can gain immediate access to this course. For this course, your computer will need the following:

  • Access to the internet
  • Adobe Reader (available as a free download)
  • Adobe Flash Player version 8.0 or newer (available as a free download)
  • Internal or external speakers (audio scripts are available within the course as an alternative)

These courses are free and do not require registration. You can access and return to the courses as often as needed.

Access Part 1 Parenting In the Age of Overindulgence Online Course access the course now button for course 1 Access Part 2 Parenting In the Age of Overindulgence Online Course access the course now button for course 2

If you have questions about this course, please send an email to

Related resources

Parenting in the age of overindulgence Online Course — Take this free online course to help you learn how to identify if something is "too much" and get strategies to avoid overindulgence.

Overindulgence: The Test of Four — It's natural to want to protect your children from feeling discomfort. When we do so it can be done through overindulgence which is not healthy for the child or the parent. Learn about the Test of Four tool and how to recognize what is enough.

5 Tips for Parents to Avoid the Damaging Effects of Overindulgence — Jean Illsley Clarke discusses the concept of overindulgence while offering 5 tips on how to recognize it and what to do about it. — Authors and researchers for the book How much is too much? provide further resources and insight on overindulgence today.

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