Many times it boils down to just saying the magic word: no. Our kids truly are indulged, because for whatever emotional and psychological reasons (that would fill up another book), Gen X parents don't want to cause their children a moment's discomfort. And saying no to what they want is uncomfortable.
[Amish] Bishop Jacob, a sage grampop of fifty-six grandchildren, some whose names he's not even sure about ("Sometimes you have to think once or twice," he admitted) gave me the bottom line: "Say no to your children, because it's chust not good for them if you never say no," he told me. "They'll never learn, later in life, that they can't always get what they want."