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Do you ever join others in bemoaning how entitled people seem to be now. All the things they expect to be given with little or no work involved? Or, as a parent the kids who think mom and dad are just there to meet their every whim?
Yeah, we’ve got a little bit of that entitlement going on in our house, too. No, the boys don’t have cell phones or get sent to a line up of classes that break the bank. (Although, summer camps for Scouts adds up quickly!) But they often look towards Mom and Dad to fulfill many of their wishes and expect things to be done for them.
At first glance at the cover, you might think Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement is all about getting kids to do chores. And, to a degree, it is. But, it goes far beyond with the mom’s goal being to equip her children to be fully functioning adults when they are old enough to leave the nest.
About the Book ~
Is Your Home Out of Order?
Do your kids think that clean, folded clothes magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? Do you think it’s your job to pave their road to success? As parents, so often we hover, race in to save, and do everything we can for our kids—unintentionally reinforcing their belief that the world revolves around them.
When Kay Wyma realized that an attitude of entitlement had crept into her home, this mother of five got some attitude of her own. Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her kids to basic life skills. From making beds to grocery shopping to refinishing a deck chair, the Wyma family experienced for themselves the ways meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others.
With irresistible humor and refreshing insights, Kay candidly details the ups and downs of removing her own kids from the center of the universe. The changes that take place in her household will inspire you to launch your own campaign against youth entitlement. As Kay says, “Here’s to seeing what can happen when we tell our kids, ‘I believe in you, and I’m going to prove it by putting you to work.’”
About the Author ~
Kay Wills Wyma has five kids, ages four to fourteen, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. She holds a bachelor’s from Baylor University and an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). Before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, she held positions at the White House, the Staubach Company, and Bank of America. She and her husband, Jon, live with their family in the Dallas area.
You can keep up with her adventures on the MOAT blog.
My Thoughts ~
I absolutely loved this book and the very approachable style of writing that Kay uses. She shares their journey through the 12 month experiment with transparency and humor interjected in the stories.
More importantly, reading this title has this mom seriously looking over what the boys are doing to contribute to the household and where they need some gentle nudging to learn important life skills. I can see that I’ll need to get hubby fully on board as the boys are quite resistant to change, especially if it means anything resembling work.
One thing I liked is how Kay described the payment jar containing $1 per day of the month that they could lose if the chores given (e.g. making their beds and picking up their rooms) was not done when she inspected. Beyond a way to help them earn spending money for those little sundries they desire (e.g. food from a drive-through), the past business major in me can see the motivating factor of seeing it disappear if the work is not done. Some people call this having some ‘skin in the game’ as we are more inclined to keep what we view as ours than to exert more effort to possibly earn more.
Some of the areas that are covered in their 12 month experiment are things that my boys can do (e.g. laundry), but may not be doing it well (as in actually washing their clothes without mom nagging them!) Others are things that I know they are capable of doing (e.g. planning AND making dinner for the family), but we have not encouraged them to do on a regular basis.
I definitely recommend this title for just about any parent out there who feels like the kids are taking it all for granted and change is desired. It just might help inspire you to take action and give you a game plan to do so.
Cleaning House is available in paperback for $14.99US/ $17.99CAN or for Kindle at $9.99.
Disclaimer ~ I was sent a copy of this title to facilitate a review. No monetary compensation occurred and all opinions are my own.