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How Much Is Too Much? by Jean Clarke

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IS IT OR ISN’T IT?

The Test of Four—Clues to Overindulgence

APPEARANCES OFTEN ARE DECEIVING.

—Aesop, 550 BC

WHEN IT IS NOT OBVIOUS whether a specific behavior or situation would be overindulging, we need a way to assess it. The Test of Four asks four questions. If the answer to any of the four is a clear yes, that is a strong indicator that the adult needs to think carefully before proceeding. If an answer is “probably” instead of “yes,” it still warrants careful consideration. Sometimes the proposed behavior or situation needs to be skipped; other times the situation can be changed to be helpful.

“Gwen’s kids never seem to wear the same thing ...

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