Parenting with a Good Heart Online Course

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!

What is overindulgence

Overindulgence is giving your child too much of anything that can delay their development. This can include:

  • Money

  • Space

  • Time

  • Energy

  • Attention

Parents and caregivers overindulge children from a "good heart." Overindulgence does not 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.

About this course

Parenting with a Good Heart Online Course is an exploration of overindulgence and how you can avoid it with children.

This course is for:

  • Parents who are unsure what overindulgence is or families concerned they may be overindulging

  • Teachers, childcare providers, caregivers, or other family members interacting with children

  • Professionals who work with parents and families regularly

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

If you have questions about this course, please send an email to overindulgence@umn.edu.


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.”

Access Part 1 now

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.

Access Part 2 now

Related resources

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.

Overindulgence.org — Authors and researchers for the book How much is too much? provide further resources and insight on overindulgence today.

This following individuals created this course:

  • Jean Illsley Clarke, author and researcher

  • Lisa Krause, parent educator

  • Kelly Kunkel, Extension educator in health and nutrition

  • Rebecca Hagen Jokela, Extension educator in family resiliency

  • Ellie M. McCann, Extension educator in family resiliency

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