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Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement Paperback – May 8, 2012
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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
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.
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Top customer reviews
I bought this book at the same time as Accountable Kids, and I couldn't hardly read the Cleaning House book. If you are looking for an extended (long winded) explanation about this subject and how things went for this mom, with vague ideas about what to do in your own home, with tiny inspirational moments dropped in 2 or 3 times, this is the book for you. If you've NEVER thought about this subject at all and this idea of your children not being spoiled has never crossed your mind, this is a great book to start you out. It's also perfect if you want to subtly tell your sister you think her children are entitled freeloaders without saying those words, just gift her the book. Of course, if you don't think the way this author does already, you wouldn't crack the book open anyway, neither would your sister; which is why the explanations are overkill, in my opinion.
Personally I wanted a straightforward plan of action and in comparison to Accountable Kids, this book was sorely lacking in a tangible plan. Especially for the 3 yr old of the family in the book who had everything done for him. 3 years is the perfect age to begin teaching accountability as a habit but he just becomes another chore opportunity for the older Wyma kids. Which is cool, go Wyma family, you do you! If you are looking for ways to start out your toddlers with small daily steps to accountability, this book won't help.
Does anyone want my copy?
What I took from this book:
"Meaningful Work" boosts self-esteem (don't you feel good after completing a job well done?)
We often underestimate our children's abilities. We often do the work that they are capable of doing because we are more experienced and we can do it quicker, more effeciently, and completely. When we do it for them, we not only take away their opportunity to learn and practice (so they can become effecient like us), we are also telling them with our actions that they can't do it, so we'll do it for them.
That I can slowly incorporate new tasks for my children, to help them make work a habit, not a chore.
Often, after children practice taking the initiative to do the work needed around them, they will be focused on others and not themselves...perhaps we aren't entitled as much as we are selfish/self-centered
For myself, some of the beginning chapters (which the author admits to) are a bit unnecessary for some. Teach them to make their bed...we are thankfully past that. But, I understand that this may be helpful to some. And, it does point out that perhaps many of us began teaching our children the basic skills, but somewhere in our busy lives we started doing it for them because we did it better, faster or more consistently. Sometimes we parents do things out of love or because it is easier than telling them to do it 10 times.
About the Christian viewpoint:
Yes, it is there, but I personally didn't find it overwhelming. I believe it is always important to understand the worldview of an author, but it isn't always necessary to avoid a book because of an author's viewpoint. It is more closed-mind to do so. Open-minded readers should be able to read, filtering what they find unnecessary to their understanding of topic, instead of taking offense.
About the anti-entitlement stance:
It is pretty much expected, as it is stated in the titled. Yes, there are some liberal jabs in the beginning, but if you are looking for a book to help you plan a strategy for raising children that take the initiative and make things happen in the world around them, I hope you read on.