Love Them Don’t Indulge Them. Knowing the Difference. Indulgence Defined. An inability to resist the gratification of whims and desires A disposition to yield to the wishes of someone Gratifying a desire Lenience Pampering. Overindulgence Defined.
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Love ThemDon’t Indulge Them Knowing the Difference
Indulgence Defined • An inability to resist the gratification of whims and desires • A disposition to yield to the wishes of someone • Gratifying a desire • Lenience • Pampering
Overindulgence Defined There are two definitions. Both include no mentoring of children. • The first definition requires access to finances via wealth or false-wealth (credit card debt). Parents give to their children, which is a replacement for mentoring of children. Their severe overindulgences are a replacement for parenting.
Overindulgence Defined • The second definition requires no finances. Parents, without wealth or false wealth, give their children too much permission too soon. Therefore, their children are not prepared to manage life, as the complications of life come too soon.
Conscience Deficit Due to Overindulgence • Natural, but painful emotions • Causes child to apply good cognition • Which creates internal guidance • Then in turn feeds the conscience • James 1:2-5 – Purpose of Pain
Children’s Reactions • Over-Dependency – overindulged children usually become excessively dependent on their parents and others • Anger and Resentment – Anger becomes associated with children’s overdependence on parents. For some children, this may lead to opposition and conduct disorder.
Children’s Reactions • Loss of Interdependency – Interdependency is defined as taking care of oneself with the balance of being concerned for others. A symptom of conduct disorders and certain personality disorders is a lack of interdependency (It is all about me with no concern for others). • Loss of Self-Reliance – Many overindulged children do not gradually learn the skills necessary to eventually stand on their own two feet.
Children’s Reactions • Inflated Sense of Self – Overindulgent children often hear very positive comments about themselves from their parents. Their parents often do not offer constructive criticism about real flaws. This results in overindulged children not managing constructive criticism form other well-intended adults (e.g. teachers, principals, grandparents, future bosses, etc.). • Emotional Distance – Overindulged children tend to create emotional distance with parents more severely than normal.
Children’s Reactions • Loss of Age Appropriate Skills – Since everything is corrected for them and done for them, overindulged children do not learn basic age appropriate skills • Learn Conditional Love – Overindulged children often times do not experience unconditional love as they are never wrong.
Research Insights • Early Writings • Symptoms Associated with Overindulged Children • Becoming an Overindulged Adult • Myths • Miscellaneous but Important Research
Insights – Early Research • Baumrind was one of the first writers/researchers that described permissive parents. He described permissive parents as highly responsive to their children with low expectations. Permissive parents were nurturing, but offered freedom to the children to make choices with little guidance and little control. • It produced a “charming sociopath.” • Baumrind, D. Effects of Authoritative Parental Control of Child Behavior, Child Development, (1996), 37, 887-907
Insights – Early Research • Dr. Nelms found that parents, who are ambivalent and confused about parenting, could not differentiate between nurturing behavior and overindulgence. • Love & overindulgence blended together. • Nelms, B. C. Attachment vs. Spoiling, Pediatric Nursing, 1983, 49-51
Insights – Early Research • Dr. Swain termed the phrase “Spoiled Child Syndrome” which is the transfer of power from parents to children via overindulgence. • Swain, D. W. The Spoiled Child Syndrome, Changing Family Conference XIV proceedings, Iowa City, Iowa 1985, 67-71
Insights - Symptoms • Dr. McIntosh offered symptoms related to Spoiled Child Syndrome: • Excessive self-centeredness • Immature behavior • Parent unwilling to enforce age-appropriate rules. • Excessive lack of consideration of others • Entitlement • Temper outbursts • Manipulative • McIntosh, B.J. Spoiled Child Syndrome, Psychological Bulletin, 1993, 69-79
Insights - Symptoms • It was found that permissive parenting was associated with children who had: • Lack of self-esteem • Lower cognition • Lower levels of individuation • Lower levels of social consciousness • Lower levels of autonomy • External locus of control • Obnoxious attitude • Ill-tempered behavior • Parents not enforcing age-appropriate limits • These researchers offered an excellent review and summary of the existing research including Coopersmith, 1967, Baumrind, 1983 and 1991; Buri Louiselle, MIsukanis, and Mueller 1988). • Bredehoft, D.J. et al Perceptions Attributed by Adults to Parental Overindulgence During Children, 1998, (16)
Insights - Symptoms • Six outcomes of Overindulgence: • Entitlement, not feeling responsible for actions • Missing skills; social skills telling time • Not knowing what is enough – balance • Boundary difficulties – little consequences for breaking rules • Emotional pain – isolated and loneliness • Increase in affairs after married • Clark and Dawson (1998) on the issue of Cultural Myths and Overindulged Children – 730 people surveyed with 124 responding that they were overindulged as children.
Insights - Symptoms • Dr. Kindlon describes the Seven Deadly Syndromes associated with overindulgence: • Self-centeredness • Anger • Extreme ambition • Lack of motivation • Eating disorders • Impulsiveness • Spoiled behavior • Kindlon, Dan, Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age
Insights - Symptoms • Anger Resentment Hatred • Resentment = Cancer of Love • Indifference – “I don’t care.”
Insights - Symptoms • No one typology for overindulgent families. • Children raised with overindulgence: • Felt unlovable • Need constant affirmation • Lack skills • Lack self-sufficiency • Adolescent dysfunctional thinking • Bredehoft, D. J. et al Indulge Them Less, Enjoy Them More: Finding a Balance Between Giving More and Saying No to Your Children, Technical Appendix – Journal Articles
Insights - Symptoms • Parental permissiveness significantly predicted high psychological symptoms in 500 adolescents. Parental warmth reduced symptoms, but would later increase symptoms if parental warmth lead to increased permissiveness. • Koeske, G.F., Journal of Social Service – Research (1998)
Insights – Becoming an Overindulged Adult • These researchers studied adult-children of overindulgence (ACO) and found: • 27% indicated physical violence was in their childhood homes. Of the 27% with physical violence in the childhood homes: • 30% were spanked • 50% were hit with belts and objects • 20% were beaten
Insights – Becoming an Overindulged Adult • 51% had addictions in their families. Of that 51%: • 66% drugs • 10% work • 9% food • 2% perfectionism • 2% co-dependency • 2% sex • Percentages of overindulgence continue into adolescence and adult-life • 39% report overindulgence through adolescence • 9% through adult-life • 9% through later life • 22% report being overindulged still today and throughout life
Insights – Becoming an Overindulged Adult • The methods of overindulgence were: • 53% having things done for them • 53% no consistent chores • 41% being given clothes • 35% being allowed privileges • 35% being given toys • Reasons for overindulgence: • Poverty • Guilt • Chemical Dependency • Workaholic
Insights – Becoming an Overindulged Adult • Mixed Concerns overindulged children when they become adults: • 48% felt love • 44% felt confused • 31% felt guilty • 71% could not gauge how much is enough food, spending, parent/childrearing, activities, feelings of what is normal, and conflict in boundaries and relationship
Insights – Becoming an Overindulged Adult • Mixed Concerns overindulged children when they become adults: (cont’d) • They had poor skills as an adult in: • Communication and relationships • Mental and personal healthy skills • Decision-making • Money and time management • Ability to be responsible • Overindulgence of their own children • Bredehoft, D.J. et al Perceptions Attributed by Adults to Parental Overindulgence During Childhood, 1988, (16)
Insights - Myths • Netherlands researcher who debunks the myth that only children are more indulged than others and flourish less results indicate: • Only children had equal life satisfaction to other children. They had slightly more life satisfaction. • Parental status had little influence on well-being. • Parents of only children are more likely to do work outside of the home. This offered somewhat greater satisfaction to only children. • No lower self-esteem. They had somewhat more self-esteem • Only children do not assign higher value to good grades, popularity, and looks. • They do have lower value of sports. • They do not see them having better status or reputation at school. • Veehoven, Ruut et al, The Well Being of the Only Child, Adolescence, 1989 (24) 155-166
Insights - Myths • Studied issues for the only child and found: • Only children had greater achievement and intelligence. • They had positive self esteem and sociability. • Parents and teacher continued to harbor the same old stereotypes about only children. • Teachers saw them as more attention-seeking, more mature, intelligent and less social skills as peers. • Parents saw them as less social, greater need for attention, shortage of playmates, greater maturity and higher lifestyles. • Rivera, M. et all, Spoiled or Spectacular? A Look at the Only Child Elementary and Childhood Education, 15 - ERIC
Insights - Myths • Most indulged children had 2 or more siblings. They were not only children. • Debunked the myth that Grandparents are the over-indulgers. • Parents were over-indulgers in 96% of the homes. • Both parents in 43% of homes • Mom alone in 42% of homes • Dad alone in 11% of homes • 21% overindulged in childhood • 38% overindulged in adolescence • 22% throughout life • 19% reported physical abuse • 70% reported psychological abuse • 14% reported sexual abuse • Very few had chores • They had poor social skills
Insights – Misc Research • The researchers define three categories of overindulgence: • Too Much Stuff: Materialism and activities • Over-nurturing: Too much assistance reducing self-reliance • Soft Structure: Lax rules, no chores, aimless • Bredeholt, David et al. “No Rules, Not Enforcing Rules, No Chores Plus Lots of Freedom = Overindulgence Too
Insights – Misc Research • The researchers identified a typology to parenting with children younger than 5 years. Ethnicity, educational level and income were significant. • Type 1: 56% of parents did not believe it was possible to indulge a child for the first five years of it’s life. These parents were more likely to be Caucasian with higher education and incomes. • Type 2: 20% of parents did believe spoiling a child, younger than five years, was possible. • Type 3: 24% of parents believed young children could be spoiled, but should not be spoiled. These parents were more likely African-American parents with lower education and lower income. • Solomon, R et al. Spoiling an Infant Further Support for the Construct, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 1993, 13(2), 175-183
Insights – Misc Research • This writer coined an interesting phrase and idea. She suggests that some children with Attention Deficit Disorder actually have Intention Deficit Disorder. These children have adjusted so completely to being catered to and entertained that they find school boring, fueling their attention problems. • Hage, Deborah, “The Makings of a Human Bomb Breaks in the Bond Coupled with Overindulgence”
Insights – Misc Research • Inadequate parental monitoring of children’s behavior is a major contribution to noncompliance and aggression in children, as well as antisocial behaviors. • Barkley, Russell, Defiant Children
Insights – Misc Research • Reports parental permissiveness as a more important factor for children using chemicals than peer pressure. • Wilmes, David, Johnson Institute
Insights – Misc Research • Studied parenting styles, gender, types of household tasks. • Best predictor of young adult success was participating in household tasks by 3 and 4 years old. • If introduced to household tasks at 15 and 16 years, these subjects were less successful. • Rossman, Marty, Researcher/Associate Professor of Family Education
Insights – Misc Research • High-risk factors leading to attachment difficulties included parents retaining unrealistic images of the child and overindulgent parenting. • Smith, Lawrence, Bonding and Attachment, Washington Parent Magazine
9 Types of Overindulgent Parents • The “Giving Parent” • The “Reminder” Parent • The “Blinders” Parent • The “Glorifying” Parent • The “Permissive” Parent • The “Favoritism” Parent • The “Blaming” Parent • The “Overly-Responsible” Parent • The “Ultimately Responsible” Parent
Qualities of a Good Parent • Many of the qualities of the overindulgent parent are good qualities. • The problem is that the overindulgent parent focuses on one quality instead of working on multiple qualities. • “Too much of a good thing can be bad.”
The “Giving Parent” • Compulsively gives-in to every whim of their child. • The giving parent is a “giver”, which is a wonderful quality. This quality becomes distorted when parents only give and never become a multidimensional parent.
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Giving Parent” • Repairing childhood issues with vicarious • “I will give my child what I didn’t have.” • Parenting self not child • Reacting to an abusive childhood • Overcompensation for feelings of inadequacy. • Excessive guilt proneness
The “Reminder” Parent • Harboring fears of confrontation. • Reminder parents have the beautiful quality of “encouragement” constantly reminding and encouraging children to behave. But “reminder” parents offer too many warnings and never discipline their children.
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Reminder Parent” • Fear of rejection. • You cannot be their buddy til they are adults. • Children need discipline. • Parents are legally responsible. • Fear of confrontation and a lack of assertiveness. • Intense cognitive distortion of all or none thinking. • If my child needs discipline then I am a bad parent. • Laissez-Faire Parenting Style
The “Blinders” Parent • Filled with the cognitive distortion of All-or-None thinking. • “Blinders” parents have the incredible quality of accurately recognizing the “good” in their children. They appropriately praise their children. This admirable quality becomes distorted because they ignore the flaws their children need to correct. • In reality the “Blinders” parent is actively rejecting child, they are editing out the bad parts.
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Blinders Parent” • All-or-none thinking • If I ignore the problem they don’t exist • Labeling • Blame someone else – projection of blame • Labeling with projection of blame • Always someone else's fault • Shopping for label (e.g. ADHD, ADD, etc.) • Narcissistic reactions • MY child…
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Blinders Parent” • Severe competitive needs • One upmanship by comparing • Symbiotic self-esteem • If my child has problems, I have problems as well. • Psychological rigidity • “I don’t like change.” Easier to edit it out.
The “Glorifying” Parent • Transferred narcissism with the cognitive distortion of exaggeration • Glorifying parents have the wonderful quality of complimenting their children. “Glorifying” parents are similar to “Blinders” parents, as they ignore their children’s flaws. • “Glorifying” and “Blinders” parents have one basic difference. “Blinders” parents have an accurate understanding of their children’s talents.
The “Glorifying” Parent • “Glorifying” parents exaggerate their children’s positive characteristics. They see incredible qualities their children do not really have. • Since “Glorifying” parents exaggerate their children’s positive qualities and ignore their flaws, they completely reject their child.
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Glorifying Parent” • Symbiotic Overcompensation • Some parents have a mundane life with a strong desire to glorify a part of their life. Children are handy targets for their glorification. • Vicarious life lived through children. • Triangulation • One parent glorifies the children and the other has a more realistic perception of their children. The glorifying parent seems to the children to be the better parent. The realistic parent is viewed as too restrictive and critical. • Minimizing • Make uncomfortable and flaws less than they really are.
The “Permissive” Parent • The “permissive” parent has the incredible quality of trust. They distort their trust by giving their children too much freedom, too soon, and too young. Their children are allowed to get into activities for which they are not mentally prepared.
“Stinkin’ Thinkin’ behind “Permissive Parent” • Parenting Role Confusion – “The buddy problem” • Fear of Appropriate Confrontation • Afraid that confrontation will jeopardize the relationship.