Definition of Childhood Overindulgence

"Overindulging children is giving them too much of what looks good, too soon, too long. It is giving them things or experiences that are not appropriate for their age or their interests and talents. It is the process of giving things to children to meet the adult's needs, not the child's.

Overindulgence is giving a disproportionate amount of family resources to one or more children in a way that appears to meet the children's needs but does not, so children experience scarcity in the midst of plenty. Overindulgence is doing or having so much of something that it does active harm, or at least prevents a person from developing and deprives that person of achieving his or her full potential.

Overindulgence is a form of child neglect. It hinders children from performing their needed developmental tasks, and from learning necessary life lessons" (Clarke, Dawson & Bredehoft, 2014, How Much is Too Much? p. 5).

© David J. Bredehoft, Jean Illsley Clarke & Connie Dawson 2004-2018;  bredehoft@csp.edu, jiconsults@aol.com