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Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement

Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement

4.3 23
by Kay Wills Wyma, Michael Gurian (Foreword by)

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Is Your Home Out of Order?
Do your kids expect clean folded clothes to magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? By racing in to make their lives easy, have you unintentionally reinforced your children’s belief that the world revolves around


Is Your Home Out of Order?
Do your kids expect clean folded clothes to magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? By racing in to make their lives easy, have you unintentionally reinforced your children’s belief that the world revolves around them?
Dismayed at the attitude of entitlement that had crept into her home, Kay Wyma got some attitude of her own. Cleaning House is her account of a year-long campaign to introduce her five kids to basic life skills and the ways meaningful work can increase earned self-confidence and concern for others.
With irresistible humor and refreshing insights, Kay candidly details the ups and downs of equipping her kids for such tasks as making beds, refinishing a deck chair, and working together. The changes that take place in her household will inspire you to launch your own campaign to dislodge your kids from the center of their universe.
“If you want your children to be more responsible, more self-assured, and more empathetic, Cleaning House is for you.”
—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Cleaning House

“At last! Enlightenment about entitlement in our kids—and not just what it is, but also what to do about it.”
—Elisa Morgan, author of She Did What She Could, president emerita of MOPS International, and publisher of FullFill

“Parents, take note: Kay Wills Wyma’s experiment could change your life, especially if your kids suffer from ‘me first!’ syndrome. If you want your children to be more responsible, more self-assured, and more empathetic, Cleaning House is for you.”
—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family

Cleaning House is both a beautifully told story and a practical guide to parenting in today’s complex world.”
—Michael Gurian, best-selling author of The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls

Cleaning House will be one of the most influential parenting books of our generation. When it comes to directing parents how to raise fabulous kids, Kay Wills Wyma nails it.”
—Meg Meeker, MD, author of the national bestseller Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Cleaning House offers the perfect solution for parents who want to free their children from the entitlement trap. Hilarious stories, amazing creativity, and a huge dose of grace make this book difficult to put down! Kay Wills Wyma paves the way and offers tools to help our families experience the satisfaction and confidence that comes through meaningful work.”
—Sandra Stanley, North Point Ministries

Cleaning House delivers practical advice, helpful encouragement, and laugh-out-loud moments for weary parents who want to lovingly change the hearts and future of their overly indulged children.”
—Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries and author of The Root of Riches

“For parents who are weary of the Me generation, [Cleaning House] provides a practical roadmap…to bring your children from entitlement to empowerment. From the day-to-day aspects of training in practical-life skills to issues of the heart such as service with a smile and hospitality, Kay writes with transparency, humor, and wisdom. As a parent, grandparent, and school principal, I believe this book will become a favorite of parents and one they will reference frequently.”
—Jody Capehart, co-author of Bonding with Your Teens Through Boundaries

“In an age of youth entitlement, this is a must-read for moms who desire to raise godly kids with servant hearts! Kay Wills Wyma understands and communicates on this vital issue like no one on earth!”
—Joe White, president of Kanakuk Kamps

“In Cleaning House, Kay Wills Wyma has crafted a book that hits home on many levels. It’s a case study for any parent who wants to change the entitlement culture among their kids. But at a deeper level, it hits each of us who long to live our daily lives in a way that pleases God.”
—Ronald L. Harris, senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters

“Reading this book will inspire hope, despair, and then more hope: hope that we can get our kids to do more chores, then despair that no, maybe only Kay can do it (she had a book contract!), then hope again—because Kay shows us, step by baby step, how to make it happen, in the real world, with real kids.”
—Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids

“With unique creativity and wry humor, this sensible, determined mom herds her five distinctly different offspring into an acute lifestyle change; namely, learning to master the inevitable demands of life.… With ‘a spoonful of sugar,’ Cleaning House cools the dangerous ‘me first’ fever weakening our American culture.”
—Dr. Howard G. Hendricks, distinguished professor emeritus of leadership and Christian education, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Jeanne Hendricks, speaker and author of A Mother’s Legacy

“Here’s a book that is designed to help parents get their kids a one-way ticket to reality about responsibility, but I was thinking it would be great to get voters to read it and apply these simple, but brilliant principles to members of Congress!”
--Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and host of Fox TV's Huckabee  and radio's Mike Huckabee Show

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
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5.20(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Cleaning House

A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement
By Kay Wills Wyma

WaterBrook Press

Copyright © 2012 Kay Wills Wyma
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307730671

The Epiphany

Driving down Preston Road, I was dutifully transporting children to school with my then-fourteen-year-old son sitting shotgun, when I learned how this kid defines the American Dream. As is typical of this particular area in Dallas, we were surrounded by opulence: on our left was a Lexus, on our right a Porsche, and directly in front a silver Maserati.
“Mom.” Abandoning his pose of boredom, my son perked up.

“Which one of those do you think I’d look best in? I think the Porsche…Yeah. That’s what car I’m going to get when I’m sixteen.”

Fighting back nausea, I looked at him. “What planet are you on? And how do you think you will pay for one of those cars?” A question I knew had no answer, since his primary activity involves a screen and remote control.

Who is raising this kid? I thought. Is materialism and money all he thinks about? Where have all my words of wisdom gone? The hours of volunteer service, the countless lectures on being content with what you have, and all the brilliant soliloquies I’ve delivered on the fact that “stuff ” will never really satisfy you—has none of that penetrated his brain?

After dropping him off, I passed through the last school zone on my way home and dialed my sister-in-law, who is also one of my best friends. Not only did I need to vent my frustration, I needed reassurance that I wasn’t crazy and that there is a light at the end of this self-centered teenager tunnel. She delivered on the former but couldn’t help much with the latter because she has a few slackers of her own. After we exchanged similar stories, I had a sobering epiphany.

“I think I’m raising little socialists,” I said, “the serve-me kind that are numb to the benefits of ingenuity and hard work, the kind that don’t just need to be taken care of—they expect it.”

And why not? That’s what I have apparently been raising them to expect. In that moment and in the days that followed, I came to realize that not one of my five children knew how to do their own laundry. Not one could clean a bathroom—I mean, really clean it. Not one could cook, serve, and clean up after a full dinner. I wasn’t sure my eight-yearold could even cut his waffles.


To be fair, my children can do a lot of amazing things. They are genuinely great kids. But they’d been getting a sweet free ride, especially in their home life. With me stepping in and doing for them—rarely, if ever, putting genuine responsibilities on their plate—they didn’t have a chance to realize their potential.

As I’ve since discovered in conversations with other parents, ours was not an isolated case. Raising independent kids is countercultural these days. Instead of teaching our children to view themselves as capable, we step in to do everything for them. We start when they’re still young, using safety as our lame excuse (“She’ll fall if I don’t hover”), then we continue “protecting” them (“If I don’t help him get As, how will he get into college?”). We pave a smooth pathway, compulsively clearing away each pebble of disappointment or difficulty before it can impede their progress.
By the time they reach adolescence, they’re so used to being taken care of that they have no idea they’re missing out on discovering what they can do or who they can be.

I was reminded again of how low I’d set the bar of expectations after my eighth grader, the one who plans on driving a Porsche at age sixteen, brought home an assignment from his English teacher to prepare a declamation. The task: select a speech or essay—something quotable and interesting—commit five minutes of it to memory, then recite it in front of the class. Seemed straightforward enough.

And yet, following in his mother’s footsteps, my child procrastinated to the point that his teacher finally chose a passage for him. I tried, with little success, to smother my laughter when I learned that my “what’s the least I can do to get by?” teenager would be memorizing and reciting Teddy Roosevelt’s 1899 address to the Hamilton Club in Chicago—an address entitled “The Strenuous Life.”

I kid you not.

Here’s a brief portion of what TR said:

In speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the State which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preëminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.

A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting American demands from himself and from his sons shall be demanded of the American nation as a whole.1 Oh, there is much more. And it’s all incredibly convicting. TR would climb out of his grave, metaphorical big stick in hand and all thoughts of speaking softly abandoned, if he knew what we have done to the country that he and so many other determined leaders worked diligently to shape. And I’m embarrassed to say that my kids would probably opt for “mere easy peace.” They’d most certainly shrink from “hardship” and “bitter toil.”

What Message Are We Sending Our Kids?

Incidents like these and countless others brought to my attention a malady that had infected my home. Youth entitlement seems to have reached epidemic proportions in both my family and society as a whole—and I was appalled to realize that I, like many of today’s well-meaning parents, am a primary carrier of the germ.

With the greatest of intentions and in the name of love, we have developed a tendency to hover, race in to save, protect from failure, arrange for success, manipulate, overprotect, and enable our kids. Freeing their schedules for sports, school, and increasingly important time with friends, we strive to make our children’s lives easier or to make success a sure thing by doing it all for them. We shower them with accolades, proclaiming how wonderful they are—yet we rarely give them the opportunity to confirm the substance of that praise. All our efforts send the clear, though
unspoken and unintended, message “I’ll do it for you because you can’t” or “No sense in your trying because I can do it better and faster.”

Those messages are really the opposite of what I want my kids to hear from me. I want them to hear the truth—that with hard work, perseverance, and discipline, they can do anything they put their minds and muscles to.

This realization convinced me of the need to redefine my parenting approach. Instead of communicating “I love you, so let me make life easy for you,” I decided that my message needed to be something more along these lines: “I love you. I believe in you. I know what you’re capable of. So I’m going to make you work.”

I’m not sure where this entitlement thing originated. I don’t remember my parents doing my homework for me or checking every answer before school the next day. They really only helped when I was legitimately stuck and asked for assistance. I don’t remember them running in to protest when a teacher gave me a bad grade, warranted or not. I sure don’t remember my folks leaping hurdles to get me on the right team at the right school with the right teacher. For the most part, they let the chips fall where they might and expected us kids to adapt and aim for success as best we could. I don’t remember getting by with a messy room anchored by my unmade bed. (Okay, so our housekeeper, Beatrice Howard— Bea to me—not my parents, checked our rooms. But she made the chain of command crystal clear: my dad, my mom, and then her. She wasn’t there to work for us. She worked for my parents. She was our boss.) We did work Saturday mornings, though, sweeping the garage, mowing the yard, washing the cars, cleaning windows, and such. Our efforts were inspected for quality, because “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well,” as my dad (over)emphasized.

Yet in today’s society the primary role of parents seems to be racing in to “help” their kids. We manipulate circumstances to clear a pathway for our children to reach the top and be the best. We might even complete their homework ourselves, just to be sure it’s done right. At the very least we check it all.

We impart the message that achievement is paramount. Then we do everything in our power to ensure their success—by sticking ourselves smack-dab in the middle. The result? A group of kids now labeled as “Gen Me,” because they behave as if the world revolves around them. Some experts even use the term narcissistic. Is their behavior worthy of a clinical diagnosis? Maybe or maybe not. But evidence clearly suggests we now have a group of overserved kids who are struggling on the other side of education to find their place in life.

A few years ago, a Newsweek article described this group with the brief story of Felicite:

Since leaving college Felicite has changed jobs more than once a year. The 26-year-old Parisian—who didn’t want her full name used in case it was seen by her current employers—tends to switch for “excitement” rather than money. Indeed, whenever her latest job doesn’t pay enough for her to rent an apartment, she simply moves back into her parents’ home in the suburbs. Her latest plan: to quit her position in advertising for humanitarian work overseas.
“I’m still young!” she says. “I just want to have fun in my job.” Felicite is emblematic of a growing trend. Around the developed world, more and more twentysomethings are staying home with their moms and dads so they can pursue their interests instead of worrying about secure jobs that will pay off mortgages.”2 Around the same time the Los Angeles Times reported on a San Diego State University study that pointed to a rising trend of egocentrism: All the effort to boost children’s self-esteem may have backfired and produced a generation of college students who are more narcissistic than their Gen X predecessors.…

Some of the increase in narcissistic attitudes was probably caused by the self-esteem programs that many elementary schools adopted 20 years ago, the study suggests. It notes that nursery schools began to have children sing songs that proclaim: “I am special, I am special. Look at me.”3

More recently, Emily Bennington, a career expert and coauthor of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job, wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which she described the behaviors she and her colleagues have observed in recent college graduates, the more disturbing of which is kids needing their parents
to be present during postcollege job interviews. “Naturally,” she noted, “it’s easy to blame the students in these situations (‘they’re too entitled’), but the bigger problem is us. We—as parents—are so eager to shelter our kids and keep them safe from any possible harm that we fail to realize that this in itself is harming them.”4

Although the parents I know fully intend to prepare their kids to succeed in life, stories like these and an abundance of other real-life examples demonstrate that we undermine our own goals when we race in to ensure our kids’ success and happiness. Our “helping” strategy sounds good until we find ourselves immersed in a society of overindulged, underprepared adults who sorely lack a solid work ethic.


Excerpted from Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma Copyright © 2012 by Kay Wills Wyma. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet 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.

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Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Paula_Greene More than 1 year ago
Do we love our kids enough to let them fail? To make them work? To step aside rather than step in? Kay Wyma, blogger turned published author, can certainly relate to the desire to jump in the driver’s seat and take control for her kids, even when she knows her meddling isn’t helping in the long run. When she observed that her children felt they were entitled to be served rather than to serve, she decided to embark on “The Experiment”, a 12-month journey to teach her children how to be productive at home while instructing on basic life skills, and she tells her accounts in her book Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. Kay Wyma describes herself as a wife, organizationally-impaired mother of 5 (ages 3-14), a controller, procrastinator, manipulator, and recovering enabler. But as she weaves her way through each of the twelve months, it’s obvious she is clever, witty, and down-to-earth. In the year-long experiment, she designates a theme for each month in which she assigns specific tasks that teach life skills such as how to: cook and clean a kitchen, do yard work, run errands, do laundry, host a party, perform handyman jobs, etc. Each chapter tells of her humorous journey of giving charge to her kids on the new task for the month and what was accomplished (or not accomplished) both externally in the home and internally in their character. She doesn’t sugar-coat her stories by proclaiming sickening success; in fact, some aspects are big flops with lessons we can learn from. With hilarious detail, she conveys how she dealt with attitudes of apathy and entitlement as well as mood swings. At the end of each chapter, she summarizes the month’s successes and failures and what both she and the kids learned. This book is fun and full of ideas that parents can implement in order to equip children with life skills and defeat the attitude that the world is there to serve them. I started the “stock market” method for allowances and have not had to remind my teenagers to do their chores or help around the house ever since! I highly recommend this book to every mom who has kids of any age living at home. Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by WaterbookMultnomah Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review.
JamieLittle More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time Kay Wills Wyma had a revelation; she realized that there was a huge sense of entitlement among her kids and she realized that she’d played a big part in creating an environment that fostered that attitude. It became her mission to rid her household of that sense of entitlement and help her kids learn to become more independent and responsible. Her efforts became known as the Experiment, a 12-month long quest to teach her kids to be more self reliant and teach herself to take a backseat and let them figure out life on their own. Cleaning House chronicles her experiences during the Experiment, recording the funny experiences alongside those that made her realize things she needed to change about herself. This book really got me thinking about our society and in general and the sense of entitlement that is so prevalent in our culture. So much of the problem stems from how kids are being raised; from day one everything is done for them and they are not held responsible or accountable for the own actions. Kids are being raised to be dependent on others instead of being able to do the simplest things on their own, I believe this is setting our kids up for failure and disappointment in the real world once they leave the safety of home. In this book, Kay Wills Wyma tries her best to tackle this issue and teach her kids to become more independent and self-sufficient. There are some great lessons to be learned from this book, as well as ideas to try with your own kids to help instill such values in their life. Though I tend to think that I try and keep my kids accountable for their actions, this book revealed areas that I need to work on as well. Thank you Kay for helping me to see things I’d never thought of before! I’d highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to raise their children to become responsible, productive members of society, rather than those who feel they should have everything handed to them on a silver platter. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
BlessfulWritings2 More than 1 year ago
If you know a child that has never made their own lunch, washed their own laundry, made their bed, nor washed a toilet...this book is for you! The narrative is first person and much like a friend sharing her joys and challenges during a year of "cleaning up" her house. Twelve chapters walk us through the year with each new challenge tackled. Additional insights and hints from other moms helps provide a bit of additional perspective, but overall we learn what worked in one home with a particular set of children. For the rest of us, and we may be few and far between, there may be a few helpful hints to keep your kids moving (new incentives? varied methods?). All in all, this is a book about getting started, not moving to the next level. My kids are doing the things mentioned in the book: I wanted more information on how to keep them motivated, and how to help them continue to see value in what they are doing. This book was provided by Water Brook publishing, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review.
uncommongirl More than 1 year ago
I love the title of this book being the organizer that I am. I found Cleaning House to be entertaining and story-like in the way the author retold her experiment. The book’s chapters are the monthly new task/tasks that she implemented in her house. Each chapter ended with what her children learned and what she learned. Chapters also included some practical tips from other moms. A few bible verses were included and many practical biblical applications could be found throughout the book. Like almost any book, there are a few things I disagreed with. We’ve previously addressed many of the tasks mentioned – with varying degrees of success – in our home. I agree that it’s well worth the effort to rid entitlement, youth or otherwise, and to value meaningful work.
moneysavingmommiesX2RG More than 1 year ago
Cleaning House A mom's 12-month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement Written by: Kay Wills Wyma Mommy in Ga says: I was looking for a book that would be both interesting and helpful to me (you know the whole 2 birds one stone theory!!) and i came across this book title. I read a little about the author and thought, wow we are really going to connect....her 5 kids, my 4 kids.....her kids thinking mom should do everything, my kids thinking mom should do everything!! Now that you know why i chose this particular book lets get to it! I started reading the book and the first few pages i wasn't sure i was getting the connection i needed ( i am one of those you really gotta hook me if you want to keep me interested.....4 kids is a whole lot to tune out and read, so i have to choose my time wisely!!!) But i kept reading, and i did connect. She started a money jar her kids got to keep on the dresser and if they did not do the current chore they lost a dollar,so i love that aspect of it. I also love that she introduced only 1 new task to her kids a a time, as to not overwhelm them with the change. To me in pats of the book i had a really hard time staying in it, but she talks about her younger kids and her older kids as well, and i am a true procrastinator so i do not want ot think about my kids getting older, that may be where we got into trouble!! I would recommend this book for people who have older children as well as young or, people who are prepared to follow the experiment the whole way through.....organization and planning ahead, the whole 9 yards!! The author had so many great strategies and ideas and not only did she motivate her children to "clean house" but at the same time she also gave her children more self confidence in showing them the abilities they have within themselves........It is very motivating and makes you look around your own home and wonder why you haven't done this sooner and then like a smack in the forehead she points out she has tried (and so have all of us ) but then to make things easier on you and to have less whining and complaining she does it herself (and so do all of US!!) She so clearly points it out and you so clearly see it at the same time. I guess where we did not connect was when she was talking about jobs (although i will have to go back and read that chapter wen my kids hit the double digits in age!!) and she talks about the expensive car her son thought he would drive at 16 and my kids aren't quite there yet.........But really the cleaning of the bedrooms and bathrooms, the kids pitching in in the kitchen and in the yard....all of that is really great stuff and i will be taking that stuff and putting it under my belt to use for my 4 young children and teaching them what capabilities they have and how proud they can be!!! All in all i think that it is a well thought out book and that she has a lot of great stuff in there even though, i personally didn't connect through the whole book I am very glad i stuck in there.........I have learned a lot of valuable lessons for me and my family and i think it will help "clean this house!!!" To read an excerpt of the book go here. You can purchase the book by going here. This book was provided to me byWaterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group as a review item, the book was free and ALL opinions about it are my own.
KristyC More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It felt like a road map, full of practical tips and advice on how to instill an environment of serving the family every day. I'm not gonna lie, when I first finished it I began making grand declarations like, "Atticus! Time to learn how to clean a toilet!" and "Adelaide! Here's how you start a mower!" Then I remembered that Adelaide just turned six and perhaps shouldn't be around a machine whose primary components are a gasoline engine and spinning blades. Even after I settled myself down, however, I have found myself going back and referencing the book many times for ideas on how to instill a solid work ethic in our own children-starting this summer. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who has children or has ever had a minor panic attack when confronted with the knowledge that the next generation don't seem to want to put forth any effort. For anything. Ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Things are different around this house and our children have found more of purpose. We've just begun. I recommend this fun book to all of you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I love that the author has children of a wide age spread like I do so I can see how to apply ideas in different ways. We are 2.5 weeks into th experiment d my kids'rooms have never been this tidy for this long before. My daughter the hoarder has seen how nice tidiness is, and it is flowing over to other aspects of our house. They can't wait to get started on the challenge of making dinners and planning parties. I don't think we will take a month for each challenge, and we will do them in different orders sometimes, but this is going to give us a new 'normal'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of great ideas for teaching your kids the skills they'll need as adults. No sugar-coating, but a lot of great parenting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book for new moms to read, so they don't make the same mistake. Writer's descriptions can be too flowery for my taste.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Especially christian parent. Whether you homeschool or not or whether you are a single parent or not. I do think though most of the stuff in this book would work best if you have more than one child in the home.
itvln02 More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book for any parent.  The authors intended audience is that of parents that desire to reeducate their children to get rid of youth entitlement in their homes.  I feel that this book is also appropriate or even better suited for new parents.  I have a 2 year old and a newborn so I read the book as if the author was an older mentor advising on how to establish work ethic and prevent youth entitlement from the start. I enjoyed the authors honesty and transparency about what worked with her children and what didn't.  I also appreciated the authors discussion of what she learned versus what her children learned in the process. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Thank you! For more information follow these links. Author's website More Info Read chapter 1 Author bio
Beth_Strand More than 1 year ago
“Cleaning House” is a Parenting Must-Read If you have children, or you’ve been a child, you’ve probably been on the giving or receiving end of the classic “why should I have to do this” eye roll. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably experienced frustration at some point when trying to involve your children in chores. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just easier to do the job yourself and spare the hassle…but what are you doing to your kids? Kay Wyma went on a mission to teach her kids basic life skills (bed making, cooking, cleaning) and to weed out an entitled attitude that had taken root in her home. She tackled one aspect of home making each month and along the way discovered as much about herself as a parent as she did about teaching her children. Her discoveries are presented in a fun, witty and very readable manner that may inspire you to rethink some of your parenting habits. Kay shares her insights sprinkled with comments from her readers and friends on how they tackle similar problems at home. Note: this is not as much a “how to” book as an honest and open look at the problems, pitfalls and triumphs of her year-long “experiment.” Let’s face it, our future is in the hands of the next generations (they’ll be choosing our nursing homes, after all) and the best gift we can give them, and ourselves, is to equip them to be capable, responsible adults. “Cleaning House” will give you a fresh perspective and, who knows, maybe even a cleaner house! This book was provided to me by WaterBrook Multnomah for this review as part of their Blogging for Books program. (My opinions, however, are entirely my own!)
Stacy_F More than 1 year ago
To boldly go where few parenting authors gone before...This to me summarizes the book Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma! The book is simply and attractively decorated and gives the book a "homey" look. Reading the book is a joy and keeps the attention. This book is for any parent who feels the need to do everything for their children, yet knows that teaching their children individual responsibility is best. I am a person who by habit feels that nothing gets done right if I don't do it, but at the same time I become overloaded with things I cannot get done. This book has been a blessing because it has shown me that I cannot do it all and my children need to learn on their own in order to be successfully organized in the future. The content deals with getting children to take responsibility for their belongings and offers handy tips along with a way to apply each tip. I found the book to be refreshing and do-able. I implemented the dollar jar (Task 1, Operation Clutter Control). The only "do differently" I would recommend would be to try to find a way to implement these tactics in less time. Overall, I was blessed reading this book.  it's the first author I've seen write on this topic I appreciate all the honesty in the book; the successes and failures and although she isn't done ridding her children of the "do it for me" syndrome, she's made real progress as a mom and as an individual.
palmtreegirl More than 1 year ago
The book "Cleaning House" by Kay Wills Wyma was not what I was expecting it to be. That was not at all a bad thing, however. I thought it would be a slightly different take on the same basic cleaning principles that are covered in the vast array of books that are on the market. Instead I found myself reading a book that is about a mom who has decided to rid her home of youth entitlement. Kay Wills Wyma is the mother of five children and one day she had an epiphany. She realized that her own children were victims to our age of entitlement. In a conversation to her sister in law she said, " I think I'm raising little socialists, the serve-me kind that are numb to the benefits of ingenuity and hard work, the kind that don't just need to be taken care of-they expect it." She noticed that by doing every thing for her children she wasn't being as helpful as she intended. She, like a great many parents in today's world, was sending the message of "I'll do it for you because you can't". Instead of ignoring the problem she decided to start a year long journey. She made a list of twelve things that she wanted her children to know before leaving home. Over the course of a year she worked on one item from her list each month. The book covers each stage of her "experiment" with all of its ups and downs. I enjoyed reading about how this mom decided to go against the grain of society and teach her children to truly work instead of doing it for them. As a mother of three this is an issue that I confront daily. It takes courage to be the mom that steps back and allows her children to learn a task, even if they don't do it as well or as quickly as you can do it yourself. By the end of the year the author had taught her children many valuable life skills ranging from running errands, to cleaning, to serving others. The book is full insights and encouragement. It has enough humor to keep it light and fun to read. I plan on re-reading this book and implementing many of the ideas in my own life. I received a free copy of this book to review from WaterBrook Multnomah publishing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been pondering the problem with entitlement. It seems like everywhere we turn people are entitled to have what they want. It’s not just a few people – entitlement is like a cancer that is more corrosive than and widespread than the HIV virus and less curable than the common cold. It is prevalent at the very top of the bureaucracy that runs our democratic nation, and at the very grassroots level of the same - in our own homes. Yes – this virus has infected some of us – and our children. Our BABIES have been sickened by the virus of entitlement, and if we don’t first cure ourselves and then help them, generations are going to be lost to the virus. Does this sound dire? It is. This book is excellent. I’m not biased because I am a blogger and Wyma first blogged about her experience as a mother, with much of the results ending up in the book! Okay, well maybe a little bit biased by that. But really, the book has a wealth of wit, true knowledge and applicable exercises that may work with your own family. Some of them are working for me, and some of them I’ve tweaked to be relevant to my children, my family, my circumstances. Wyma is offering a real life opportunity to combat the virus of entitlement in the age groups where it is most effective to do so – and in a result driven and measurable platform. In the end, everybody walks away with an appreciation for co-existing, communication, team work and responsibility. That is the opposite of entitlement. We are having our bumps and stumbles trying to put into effect some of what I’ve learned through Wyma’s writings – but I believe this is one of the most effective ways to cure my family of the entitlement virus!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Whatev." She ran out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
((Im a girl))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago