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Customer Reviews for WaterBrook Press Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook

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

We all want to make life easier for our kids, but are we doing too much? Are we fostering an attitude of entitlement? Sharing her experiences with her own children, Kay Wyma helps you teach your youngsters real-life skills - from making their beds and controlling clutter to practicing hospitality and engaging in community service.
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Customer Reviews for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Review 1 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great tips from the "Ironing Board" of moms!

Date:February 6, 2014
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JodiMom2Five
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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3 out of 5
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I was excited to have the opportunity to read Cleaning House; A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, as I can relate to the author as a fellow stay-at-home mom of five. The work involved in maintaining a home of seven and all that it holds can be daunting, especially if it all falls on one person.
As I scrolled through the pages on my Kindle I was open to any bits of wisdom Kay Wills Wyma could offer. The book is more of a memoir than a how-to book, but still offers a great amount of advice on getting your kids out of an entitled mindset. I really enjoyed the tips from her "ironing board," a group of wise moms who chime in on each chapter. As I read through each chapter, each one describing that month's experiment, I couldn't help but relate to all the different responses she received from her children. I can see mine reacting in just the same way. For example, I have a son who would much rather fork over the cash to buy fast food than take the time to cook for the family. Kay reveals the ups and downs of the year and I loved her honest portrayal of a home of seven different personalities. She explains how she would maybe do things differently if she had it to do all over again, which is useful information for a reader taking on the challenge.
If nothing else, it brings attention to the dangerous trap of youth entitlement and what that could mean for the future. It is an issue I deal with daily in my household.
This is a great quick read for any parent!
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review.
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Review 2 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great advice for parents

Date:January 14, 2014
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Thomas
Location:Cypress, TX
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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This book is great advice for parents (or grandparents) who want to spend time with their children while teaching them work ethics.
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Review 3 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enabling Parents Need It, Those Not Can Pass It Up

Date:August 10, 2013
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seekingmyLord
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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I wish I could say that I loved Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement as much as I hoped I would, but I did not. Although I found some of transparent honesty of author's personal experiences enjoyable and even funny, I had difficulty reading the book in its entirety. That may be because I am just not in the target market for the book; before I finished the first chapter, I knew that would be very little relative to my lifestyle. Unlike the author, I homeschool and part of my daughter's education is living in the real world, which includes housework, laundry, meal preparation, grocery shopping, budget keeping, yard work, etc. If anything, the author's "experiment" to add chores and projects to the lives of her children was in the direction of how things are done in my own family.
Kay Wyma started simply in the first month with just having her five children, ages four to fourteen, making their own beds and picking up clutter, very doable for all the ages of her children. Each month she either added to the chores or had them work on a particular project with the last month being etiquette.
The second month was to learned to plan a menu, shop for the groceries, prepare the food, and clean up after the meal one day each week. I thought it was much for the youngest of the children, but there was plenty of help from the mother. I also thought this was an excellent regular chore for the older children, but later in the book it is mentioned that after the second month, she only required them to cook one meal a month. That is when I had to put the book down for a few days, which turned into many weeks. I thought the older ones could do a meal at least every two weeks, if not weekly. How were the older children really going to learn how to prepare meals making only twelve meals a year?
When I finally picked the book back up, I continued to read trying to enjoy it as a chronicle of the author's experiences in her twelve-month experiment, rather than a book that would share any insights that I hoped to incorporate into my own lifestyle. However, two troubling factors kept surfacing throughout the book: the family's financial advantage and the husband not being on board.
This book was published in a time when our country had not yet recovered from a long economic recession and within the writer shares that she has a maid that comes to her home twice a week. I am happy for them and for the maid they employ, but their lifestyle is a little out of touch with those of us who cannot afford a maid or work as maids. One might think that is why her children were not doing anything, but the reality is that the parents were the ones who needed to change the most, which leads into the second problem that really grated on me: the parents were not in agreement with the experiment. It was such a major undertaking to change the entire family's lifestyle and having the father not more actively involved and supportive really bothered me.
At the end of every chapter, the author summarized what her children learned during the month and what she learned as well. After the first chapter, she writes, "I had no idea the number of areas in which my enabling tendency prevails." This was quite obvious because she was making the five beds in which her children had slept each day, not to mention she was picking up after them all as well. I am glad that this experiment helped her to see this and make lasting changes that are beneficial to her children in preparing them for taking care of themselves in adulthood. Perhaps my frustration was in reading the painstaking steps of an enabling mother finally learning how to be a parent.
In the end, I am torn about giving this review. On one side, I can see it would be helpful for some families who need it, but I found it to be less helpful and somewhat irritating to read being on the other side of the fence.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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Review 4 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

So helpful!

Date:July 16, 2013
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autumnrebekah
Location:Cumming, GA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
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This book is a must read for all parents. I am guilty of doing way too much for my 11, 14 and 16 year old children. They are capable of so much more! We have already implemented many changes based on this book and have seen wonderful results! Thank you Kay!
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Review 5 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A good start

Date:April 8, 2013
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Danni
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
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There were so many things I liked about this book. There are also so many things that I wish I could talk to the author about. I give Kay Wills Wyma much credit for taking the first steps toward ridding her household of entitlement. Lord knows I want that too.
I felt the book started out strong, but by the end there were some tasks I wasn't fully sure she was doing. She even admitted at one point that the handyman task didn't come close to what she expected. I did love her transparency with all of it though.
Overall there were some very good points I took from the book. One of my favorite quotes from the book was
"And I won't settle for simply yanking out the bad stuff; the good stuff needs fertilizing. I need to hit their areas of strength..."
How true is that. How often do we just focus on the bad instead of nurturing the good as well. This book was a good starting point for anyone looking for a jumping off point to ridding their house of entitlement.
I received this book from Waterbrook Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 6 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome read!

Date:March 8, 2013
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Mudpies and Tiaras
Location:Ohio
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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Do you long to sit back and relax with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the prettiness of your home? The consider reading “Cleaning House” by Kay Wills Wyma. Kay found herself met with bad attitudes, eye rolls and worse when she asked her five children to help out around the house. And guess what? She did not like that. But it’s not just about her kids helping, it is about their heart and their attitude. Kay set out to change their hearts, and yes, her house too, over the course of a year. “Cleaning House” by Kay Wills Wyma is filled with hilarious stories, practical tips and advice and you will find yourself nodding along and thinking, “You mean we’re not the only ones dealing with that?” My husband and I have been inspired and look forward to tackling the attitudes and the cleaning too.
For Easter consider buying “Cleaning House” by Kay Wills Wyma for someone you love.
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Review 7 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Cleaning House - A Witty & thought-provoking read

Date:March 7, 2013
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Copperpetals
Location:Columbus,MT
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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This book was very well written. The concept of child-entitlement and how that looks in my house was very eye-opening. As mothers it is very easy to just do things for our kids to make their lives smoother. Cleaning House was a book that will forever change how I look at what I ask of my 3 children. By doing things for them I am robbing them of the learning experience and satisfaction of a job well done.
The author does a 12 month experiment with her husband and 4 children. Each month involved a different task/objective for her family to learn to do. Ms. Wyma ends each month with what her children learned and what she learned as well. I am definately recommending this book to friends!
I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The words and opinions are my own.
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Review 8 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Cleaning House will clean your house.

Date:January 25, 2013
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Margie Sims
Location:Richmond, VA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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I have blogged many times about how order escapes me. Now that three of my kids are grown, I remind myself that they turned out well in spite of my quirky disorganized ways. Besides, I tell myself, I have ten kids, and who (except Mrs. Duggar) could be organized with ten kids? Nevertheless, I am constantly trying to improve my methods, and this week I reviewed a book that is truly helpful.
Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma takes a new approach to organization. She goes an impressive step further--not only helping her five kids to get organized, but also helping them to get over themselves.
The subtitle of the book is : A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. It all started on the drive to school when her teenage son asked her which car she thought he would look best in, casually observing the cars around him. When he concluded that a Porsche was the best fit, Wyma saw the entitlement attitude waving a huge red flag. But she didn't just sigh or roll her eyes, she responded with an action plan.
Growing up privileged ("one of those" she describes herself), she was still taught the value of hard work. "But somehow I came to realize I haven't been equipping them to embrace those truths," she admits. In her book, Cleaning House, she lets all of us in on just how she did it.
Wyma's approach is to divide and conquer: divide the house into twelve parts and require her kids to own each piece for a month. Her plan is doable, digestible and humorously disagreeable to her kids.
If you're ready to get down to the nitty-gritty on what we parents are really supposed to be teaching our kids, pick up the book--and start Cleaning House at your house.
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Review 9 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

“Cleaning House” is a Parenting Must-Read

Date:January 16, 2013
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BethStrand
Location:Oregon City, OR
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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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!)
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Review 10 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Book to Teach Your Children Responsibility

Date:December 20, 2012
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Angell
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I have to say, this is an OUTSTANDING book. Ladies, if you battle with entitlement in your house, then you just gotta check out this book. For some reason this generation of kids thinks that everything is done for them and they don’t have to work. Well Kay Willis Wyma battles this in a quite unique way…one month at a time.
That’s right…she chooses a different task each month to tackle. She began a 12-month experiment of teaching her kids certain responsibilities like: Making your bed, doing your own laundry, cleaning their bathrooms, meal planning along with helping with cooking, even fixing things around the house!!
So basically, everything the previous generation used to do and teach their kids. What happened and what caused the whole entitlement generation anyways?!!
One thing that stands out the most with the author is her sense of honest truth with a side of humor. I’m all about honesty and being real! And I can totally relate to her struggle with gaining control in the house since I’m naturally a pushover.
I would have to say that my only complaint is that she rewarded them financially. I truly wish I could do that for my boys but I can’t right now. But there are tons of ways to reward (movie night, game night, ice cream, bake together, read books, crafts, etc), depending on your child’s age.
All in all, I plan on actually following this book in about a year or so (need my kids to get a little bit older), maybe changing some of the tasks and what not. I don’t have teens so there won’t be any household repairs done, but you catch my drift. It’s definitely a tool you can use and I recommend it very much!!
Disclaimer: I received this copy free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review...all opinions are my own.
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Review 11 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Bring Up Confident, Independent Adults

Date:August 24, 2012
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Heather King
Location:Gloucester, VA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
As a kid, my mom took the time to teach us how to wash dishes, clean the bathrooms, do laundry, cook, buy milk at the convenience store, find the best deal at the grocery store, and pump gas---among other things. She pushed us out of the nest, in a way, urging us to become more independent and capable over time. We got up with our own alarm clock, fixed our own breakfast and packed our own school lunches. It probably would have been easier for her just to do everything for us, but she made sacrifices so we could learn.
Kay Wills Wyma discovered that her family of five kids was growing up feeling entitled. They were perfectly willing for their mom to handle everything for them, to assume their burdens, and handle their problems. So, she embarked on a 12-month "Experiment" of teaching her kids things like: Laundry, cleaning bathrooms, meal management, service to others, household repairs, outdoor chores and more. She covered pretty much all the lessons my mom covered in her own family "curriculum."
I loved her honest, humorous style and her willingness to talk about successes as much as failures. It made me more aware of how I smother my own three daughters with "help." From my husband's perspective, this book was just basic parenting---what we all should be doing anyway---no need to write a book about it. But, since I'm perfectly content picking out the clothes my daughters wear everyday, I found myself more challenged by Wyma's ideas and inspired to make some changes.
My only complaint is that so many of her ideas rely on financial resources that we just don't have. Sure it worked for her to give each of her children (did I mention she has 5!!) $31 at the start of every month as incentive to keep their rooms clean and beds made. However, I can't afford over $150 in the monthly budget to goad my kids into action.
Nor can I afford for them to shop at the grocery store and replace my strictly managed budget with a free-for-all with my debit card. I can't afford to pay a teenager's salary because he's too young to actually get a paycheck. I can't afford to have a team of lawn care professionals keep my yard neat and tidy. I can't hand each of my children $50 and tell them to plan a party. And, unlike her friend who had to trim her own budget, I don't have the luxury of cancelling my two-day-a-week cleaning help. Yup, shocker, I know, I clean my own house.
I'm glad such monetary incentives and programs worked for her family, but they absolutely don't fit our tight budget and made me at times shake my head at her impracticality. I wish she had given other possible ideas so that this could work for any of us. What can I use instead of money? My mom didn't pay us for learning all of these same tasks, so I know it's possible.
We're a society unfortunately struggling with entitled youth, high school students whose moms do their home work and college students who expect their moms to fight their professors over grades. Adult children move back in with mom and dad at the slightest whim and allow their parents to pay their bills, fund their vacations, cosign on their houses, and watch their kids. It seems like most of us probably need to do some house cleaning and focus on training up independent, confident and capable adults. This book is full of ideas to help us do just that.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 12 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wake Up Call For Parents

Date:July 29, 2012
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MsMommyHH6
Location:Fort Lee, VA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
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Kay Wills Wyma set out on a 12 month experiment within her household to change the "serve me" attitude of her 5 children into a "serve others" and work hard attitude. She found out a lot about her children, her marriage and more about herself than she ever expected. Each month she set out on teaching her children a "real world" task that they NEED to know to be successful adults and confident children. Kids and parents need to be pushed outside of their comfort zones in order to see what they are indeed capable of doing. She found out she had a lot of work to do to ease up on control, to stop trying to make it easy for them and to step aside as they learn by succeeding AND failing.
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders - Abigail Van Buren
Was it always successful? Did the children approach the experiment willingly? Did Kay & her husband see eye to eye? Not always, but always a lesson was learned and a family bond grew stronger.
I found myself analyzing my parenting style, seeing where I've missed learning opportunities by doing things myself to save time and making lots of notes on how to incorporate this experiment in my own home. I have already started some of the suggestions in the book and hope to add more as the girls get older. I feel like this book was a wake up call that making it easy for them now does a huge disservice to them when they are adults. I also looked back on my own childhood wishing my mother had taken the time to teach me to cook, to clean the house correctly and had urged me to spend less time on extra curricular activities. I'm so glad I was led to this book while my children are small and I can make changes now instead of when they are in their teens.
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Review 13 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An Inspiring Read!

Date:July 27, 2012
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malittl
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
About a woman with five kids ages four to fourteen who is "dismayed at the attitude of entitlement that has crept into her home." Basically she's sick and tired of her kids acting like the world revolves around them and that they're entitled to a free ride. So she embarks on a year long journey of whipping her kids into shape, so to speak.
She basically picks one important life skill each month for her kids to take responsibility of hoping to equip them with a strong work ethic, self-confidence through a job well done and concern for others along the way.
Here is the schedule she follows:
Task 1 - Operation Clutter Control (Making Beds and Picking Up)
Task 2 - Kitchen Patrol (Cooking)
Task 3 - Grounding Time (Outdoor Duties)
Task 4 - Working for a Living (Employment)
Task 5 - Domestic Dirty Jobs (Cleaning Toilets)
Task 6 - Roll Tide (Laundry)
Task 7 - The Handyman Can…or Can He? (Fixing What's Broken)
Task 8 - The Entertainers (Hospitality)
Task 9 - Team Players (Working Together)
Task 10 - Runner's World (Errands)
Task 11 - It's About Other's (Service)
Task 12 - Lades and Gentlemen (Manners)
Following along with Kay as she strives to instill responsibility and a strong work ethic into her entitled children is entertaining and motivating. I'm so glad I got ahold of this book before I have grown kids. I want to raise them to consider others, be respectful and work hard and this book inspires me to do so! I highly recommend reading it!
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Review 14 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Review is In :: Cleaning House

Date:July 11, 2012
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MichelleatTexasHomemaking
Location:Texas
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Is childhood entitlement becoming a problem in your home? Are you looking for a solution to encourage kids to take responsibilities and chores seriously? If so, you have got to read Kay Wills Wyma's Cleaning House, a mom's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement. But, you don't have to take my word for it.
"In an age of youth entitlement, this is a must read for moms who desire to raise godly kids with servant hearts!" - Joe White, president of Kanakuk Kamps
"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
Kay begins Cleaning House with her newly discovered epiphany: her children don't appreciate what they have and they definitely don't understand where their possessions truly come from. She feels they believe they are 'owed' things. Her biggest push to change the way her household runs is when her eight year old son asks one day, "Why should I make my bed? That's your job!"
As a stay-at-home mother of five in the age range of three to fourteen, Kay was at her wits end. She decided to redo her thinking and implemented changes forever altering her family's lives. She set up a rewards and loss system strictly dependant on the children and her actions for each day of the month. She began each month with a challenge and $30 in a jar. If the monthly challenge was met each day, the money stayed in the children's jars. If the goal was not met daily, money was removed from the jar and paid to Kay for services rendered. It didn't take long for the kids to catch on.
The tasks Kay assigned her family were simple, but worth knowing and doing correctly. She wanted her children to gain something more than responsibility - she wanted them to gain self-confidence, understanding, respect, and a sense of pride in their accomplishments. She hoped, through their constant positive actions, her children would come to reap the rewards of their hard work; as well as build a stronger relationship with their siblings.
The Cleaning House challenge for the Wyma family included the following tasks to be mastered: make a bed and maintain an orderly room, cook and clean the kitchen, do yard work, clean a bathroom, get a job, do laundry, do handy man tasks, host a party, work together, run errands, put others first through service, and act mannerly. Kay didn't ask her children to do all of these things on Day One; she gradually worked up to these objectives throughout the year.
I really enjoyed the way Kay set up her book. She went beyond just discussing how she got her children to participate each month; she included in every chapter advice from her "Ironing Board," a group of special friends, what her children learned at the end of the month, as well as what she learned. She also added wonderfully inspiring quotes, as well as great links to resources.
One of my favorite chapters in the book deals with teaching the children to cook and clean up a kitchen. Every child must prepare an evening meal once a week. Of course, she helps the younger children, but even they must pick out a recipe and go shopping for the ingredients. I enjoyed Kay using these lessons as teaching moments every chance she got. Her youngest child was unfamiliar with a grocery store and the definition of produce. Her eldest child tried to get by with purchasing the family dinner because he was not confident in his cooking abilities.
Even if your children help out around the house, I believe your family can glean something positive from Cleaning House. I'm not sure I would implement the monetary system used in this experiment, but I did like the ideas behind it and how Kay tried to teach her children fiscal responsibility along with mastering tasks. I highly recommend this book for all stay-at-home parents as we (the larger communal we) often times tend to do the work for our children instead of allowing them to do things for themselves. I'm also very glad Kay Wills Wyma cared to shared her story with all of us.
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Review 15 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

There is hope for my household!

Date:July 3, 2012
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1kyteacher
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Kay Wills Wyma's book Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement is a great book. After reading it, I felt hope for my own household!
After a conversation with her oldest son, the author realizes the strong sense of entitlement that has engulfed her household. Looking to make her children productive members of the home (and society), she develops an experiment to develop skills she wants them to have before leaving home. In the process, the children learn to take their eyes of themselves and focus on others. Wyma learns that there is hope for the enabling parent as well. She shows what happens when we allow our children to help even though it is easier, quicker, and less messier to do it ourselves.
During the experiment, the children take lessons in housecleaning, cooking, hosting parties, and running errands among other tasks. In each chapter, she details the task at hand with examples of how it all played out. Wyma also includes tips from other moms and experts and what she and her children learned that month.
As a mom who finds it difficult to relinquish control and who has silently encouraged her children to not take part in chores, I fully appreciated this book. There is hope for us! I highly recommend this book for families looking to help their children grow and split up the household chores.
I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of an honest review from WaterBrook Press.
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Review 16 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Useful insights

Date:June 13, 2012
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Jeannine
Location:New York
Age:35-44
Gender:female
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5 out of 5
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My husband has peeked over my shoulder in curiosity this week as I have been engrossed in Kay Wills Wyma's book Cleaning House. Written as a narrative during a "twelve-month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement," the book is extremely readable. Each month for a year, Kay has chosen an area in which her children are put to work, with guidance and teaching from their mother. From keeping bedrooms tidy to preparing entire meals to doing laundry and learning etiquette, Kay provides a multitude of well-researched ideas, encouragement, and inspiration for moms eager to battle the "serve me" attitude we often enable in our children. Kay views the project through a God-lens, and is honest when she sees herself butting up against her own weaknesses. I cheered for Kay and her children at their successes, and was heartened by her honest assessments of things that didn't go so well. I admire the great deal of parental oversight and patience that Kay put into the project, as she overcame the very common dual parenting mistakes of "I can do it faster and better" and "You aren't capable of doing it." Kay's humor is captivating and self-effacing. Cleaning house left me with much food for thought, as well as ideas for immediate implementation in our own family life.
1) start young. Teenage push-back is a huge challenge
2) potential loss of money is a greater incentive than earning money. We are implementing the jar policy immediately.
3) your children can surprise you with their ingenuity, creativity, responsibility, and productivity.
I noticed that it seems like the more affluent the family, the greater the need for this type of intentional teaching. I am guilty of having the "just let me do it" perspective, due to time constraints or my own lack of patience, but many other responsibilities in our family have been shared by the children quite naturally -- helping in the kitchen, changing over the laundry, trimming shrubbery, and putting down grass seed -- because we don't choose to use our limited funds to have others do this for us. As I read, I had a difficult time relating on occasion because, despite evidence that money isn't exactly free-flowing in her household, I often felt that it is more free-flowing than it is in many households. For instance, when Kay's eldest got a volunteer job, she and her husband covered the "pay." Also, Kay mentions how her good friend comes by two days a week to help with her youngest child, but also does other things, like cycling through the laundry. And while this woman is a friend, she also sounds kind of like a part-time housekeeper. In another place, Kay refers to another family's need to eliminate two-day-a-week house cleaning as cutting expenses "to the nub."
Overall, this is a very useful book to have on one's shelves, as it gives a blueprint for getting children prepared for life's tasks, and prepares them for the world. Kay relates some chilling anecdotal and studies-based information on the difficulty today's young people have bridging the world of a praise-filled childhood and the cold world of work. Humans were designed to work, and I have seen in my own children that pride of accomplishment that comes from succeeding at doing something really challenging. Kay Wills Wyma's Cleaning House has further encouraged me to raise the bar. I have become convicted that I must take the time to show my children how to do things, and then give them patience as they master the task. It is a joy to watch them bask in the glow of their own accomplishment.
This review is part of the Blogging for Books program through Waterbrook Press, and they kindly sent a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest opinion.
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Review 17 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable!

Date:June 12, 2012
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kattrox
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
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The author realized how "easy" her children had it at home. Their sense of entitlement further prompted her to devise a 12 month system where she wasn't doing all of the work and they could contribute while gaining a sense of accomplishment and power within themselves. With the introduction to her 5 children ranging in age from 3-14 the conversation throughout the book was humorous, beneficial and recognizable within my own family when my children were younger. Filled with tips, what worked or didn't for her family, what was learned each month and the struggles and successes encountered.
Although these are the author's ideas and suggestions I feel they can easily be improvised to fit within the readers family and situations. The book applies humor mixed with common sense tactics and could be a helpful tool to others, especially those with young children who are looking for ways to promote self independence. Also would be helpful for working moms and dads or anyone else who need extra help with the never ending list of household and outdoor chores. I would recommend this book to others.
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Review 18 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

How to raise responsible kids!

Date:June 4, 2012
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Debbie
Location:Alabama
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, by Kay Wills Wyma. I even loved the title! I am surrounded by kids, including my own, that seem to think that adults exist merely to make their lives easier. The author, realizing that her own children were unable to clean a bathroom, do laundry, cook, or even keep their rooms clean, embarked on a year-long project to train her children in the skills they would need to grow into responsible adults who could both take care of themselves and would be appreciative and thoughtful of others.
Each month, the family added a new habit or skill to their routine. The first month was making beds and maintaining clean rooms; the second was meal preparation and kitchen clean-up. Further months included home maintenance, outside chores, and hospitality. Despite her children’s grumbling at the new expectations, she found that they learned new skills, developed pride in their abilities, and began to show more consideration for other as the months passed.
I found this book to be inspiring. Although my child does chores and is probably more competent than many her age, there are some tasks that she has never done and I love the idea of using a methodical method to ensure that she learns all the skills she needs before she leaves home. Additionally, while she is pretty good about doing what she’s asked, she fails in the area of self-initiative. I think she’d be perfectly happy to live in total chaos! I will definitely be drawing from some of the the ideas in Cleaning House in the next months!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook-Multnomah for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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Review 19 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:May 23, 2012
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Angel
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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I agree wholeheartedly that America is filled with youth (and adults) who are overcome with entitlement.
This book reminded me of 7 in the way it breaks up a year into tackling a different task each month as an "experiment" that involves the authors entire family.
The twelve aspects Kay Wyma chose to tackle:
1. how to make a bed and maintain an orderly room
2. how to cook and clean a kitchen
3. how to do yard work
4. how to clean a bathroom
5. how to get a job..outside the home
6. how to do laundry
7. how to do handyman jobs
8. how to host a party {read a whole post on the chapter on hospitality}
9. how to work together
10. how to run errands
11. how to put others first through service
12. how to act mannerly
I agree that children should know how to do each of these important tasks! There were a few things I disagreed with through the book {as in almost any book}, but I think her message is one parents in American desperately need to understand.
It was a quick read for me {finished it the day I received it}.
Some quotes I want to share with you:
"Raising independent kids is counter cultural these days. Instead of teaching children to view themselves as capable, we step in to do everything for them".
"What ever happened to teaching, directing and modeling rather than doing everything for our children?"
"My job as a mother is to teach, not to handle tasks for them. I need to help these kids tackle their tendency toward untidiness before it becomes a permanent fixture in their lives. "
"If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well."
"I wish I had recognized earlier what sports, activities and busy schedules stole from me...Great and empowering lessons come from pitching in around the home, especially in the kitchen. Wonderful conversations can be had while stirring a custard or washing dishes."
"I am determined to be vigilant against the many ways a mediocre culture threatens to encroach on our home".
"Give them real work. Yes, give them real responsibilities, as much as possible, so they get the sense that they are important and that their good work is greatly valued by real people(and shoddy or incomplete work is a problem for real people). Give them things to do around the house every day around the house that are legitimately helpful to others."
"The tasks in and of themselves are nothing more than a means to an end. The end I crave is a young adult prepared for life and confident in the person he/she was created to be."
Our kids need to know how to persevere. They need to know that no job is beneath them. They need to know what it takes to operate a home. They need to know that sometimes you have to get dirty to get something clean. They need to know how to serve. They need to know that a family operates as a unit, everyone pitching in."
"Overindulgence resulted not from coddling but from avoiding. While we avoided teaching opportunities {because it was faster/easier to do it ourselves}, the kids received a big fat load of free time, reinforced expectations of being served, and confirmed that they belong on the sidelines of life. "
Disclosure: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.
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Review 20 for Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Entitlement

Date:May 2, 2012
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
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Apple and Speedy both play fall soccer at the local park. This is one sport that they both love. I have often lamented the lack of points though. Number 1 I am super competitive so a game with no winner is painful for me. Number 2 I honestly think all the kids would work SO much harder if there were scores and a clear winner and loser. Why work hard if they are all gonna get a trophy at the end and get no special accolades for performance?? Apple's coach last year was THE BEST. She gave them each a "special" certificate at the end of the season for performance in a particular area. What a boost to them to be recognized for an actual achievement!!!
I think the patting kids on the back even when they don't do anything great, giving a trophy to every kid even if they disrupted the game more than participating, clapping and cheering for everyday tasks that we (parents, coaches, teachers, etc) do is RUINING our children. My mantra has always been "Kids will only do as well as you expect them to." SET THE BAR HIGH PEOPLE!!! If you only expect your kids to roll out of bed and accomplish the minimum everyday, then that is absolutely all they are going to do. Seriously. So when your 35 yr old "kid" is still living in your basement, searching for a job that embraces them and their desires, let me know how that works out for you!
I am not alone!! WOOHOO!!! Kay Wills Wyma totally agrees with me! She has a brood of 4 and she embarked upon a yearlong journey to remove their sense of entitlement. In other words she was tired of them expecting her to do everything for the (enabling) and she wanted them to know that sheets don't wash themselves and ketchup doesn't magically reappear in the fridge when you run out. She realized she had not been equipping her kids with the skills they would need to function in real life. Most parents don't these days. I'm guilty of some of this myself.
I have been on a journey to teach my kids the value of trying hard and working their whole lives.......but I am guilty of "doing it myself because it's easier." If you remember last summer, Apple spent some of her summer vacation learning about cooking and some cleaning tasks. Speedy did a little too because I don't think just girls need to know these things. I will admit Apple loves to help in the kitchen but I often shoo her away because it's a bigger mess if she "helps." However many friends look at me in amazement when I admit that at least 4 times a week Apple is in charge of breakfast for she and Speedy. Granted it's usually cereal or breakfast pastries but she can do it and pour oj.
Wyma makes so many good points in Cleaning House. I won't cover them all here because you NEED to read this book! Seriously. Whether you have 1 child or 10 and they are 0 or 15, you need this book! You need the reminder that hard work gives more self esteem than any positive reinforcement pat on the back and sticker! Seriously. Available May 8!
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
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