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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Cleaning House and teaching children how, June 20, 2012
This review is from: Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement (Paperback)
Do your kids tend to think things just magically happen at home? Do they think "oh Mom will do it" or "It's Mom's job since she stays home"? Do you do everything for them and wonder why they do not help themselves unless it involves video games or the fun things they choose to do?

Then this is the book for you!! Kay Wills Wyma wrote Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement after realizing one day that she was failing to teach her children to appreciate the finer things in life and instead to expect them. The dawning of this revelation came the day her teenage son informed her he wanted a Porshe for his 16th birthday. She came to realize he had no clue what a car like that cost or how hard one had to work to achieve owning something in that price range, so she set out to change her children's ideals of the world, one challenge at a time.

Kay began by providing her children a jar filled with 31 one dollar bills and a task that had to be completed every day. If the task wasn't completed and properly, as she saw fit, the child would lose a dollar for that day. At the end of the month, whatever was left in the jar was able to be spent as the child wished and hopefully they would learn a valuable skill over the course of the month as they worked to keep every dollar the jar held.

She began this experiment with the simple tasks of making the bed and picking up their rooms every day. Each month they had to continue with the already learned tasks and learn to do new ones on top of them, from how to cook and clean the kitchen, to laundry and cleaning the bathroom including the toilet and bathtub. Each child had a different day of the week to complete some tasks while other tasks were required to be done daily. Every time a task was not completed, the child lost a dollar.

Mom (Kay) was no exception to this. She created her own jar and participated in the challenge herself. Yes, she did occasionally lose a dollar as her family worked through the challenges showing her children that even she was not perfect in completing tasks as she was asked.

What did her family learn? Valuable skills through the year that would last them a lifetime. Kay now knows she can send her children out into the world and they can survive with clean laundry, a clean home and do simple daily things for themselves.

Want to make changes like this in your family? The first step to understanding Kay's logic is to buy her book, Cleaning House, and read it from beginning to end. Then implement her strategies to fit your family so that when the day comes for your children to leave the nest, they are equipped with lessons they will never forget.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 25, 2012 9:02:27 AM PDT
juliafriedl says:
This sounds like a great approach, and one I can start implementing before I even start reading the book. My children are younger, 5 & 3, so I think I will start with quarters instead of dollars, and do it on a weekly, rather than monthly, basis. What a great idea. Thank you for your informative review.

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 9:21:53 AM PDT
tiredmommy says:
I like the idea behind this book and I will probably still buy it but I do not like the idea of paying my kids for things that should be expected of them. IMHO, making your bed correctly isn't something you should get paid for, it's something every adult is expected to know how to do.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 8:23:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2013 8:24:38 PM PST
C. Ash says:
That's true, but it seems to me that if you're looking to motivate them to make the change that that was the goal. She didn't pay them for making the bed; she penalized them for not making the bed. (and how frequently are adults penalized for not making their beds, in real life?) But every parent has their own workbox of motivational tools, so perhaps the idea behind the approach will work for you, even if you adapt it the way juliafriedl plans to.
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