Science of Parenting: Don’t Overindulge Children

AMES, Iowa — Research shows that children who get everything they want grow up to be greedy, materialistic, self-centered adults. However, parents can raise their children to focus instead on internal life goals, such as learning, developing relationships and helping others, note family life specialists Donna Donald and Lori Hayungs. In December Donald and Hayungs offer tips for parents on how to avoid overindulging children in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

“Our role as parents is to raise children who grow up to be caring and competent adults,” Hayungs said. “This month we’ll blog about three types of overindulgence — giving kids too much, over-nurturing them and soft structure, such as not enforcing rules or chores, or allowing too much freedom. We’ll also explore ways to figure out when ‘enough is enough.’”

Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month of December and in a five-minute podcast.

Through the Science of Parenting,, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.