Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement
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WaterBrook / 2012 / Paperback

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Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement

WaterBrook / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: WaterBrook
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)
ISBN: 0307730670
ISBN-13: 9780307730671

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Publisher's Description

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

Author Bio

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.

Editorial Reviews

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 Reviews

4.6 Stars Out Of 5
4.6 out of 5
4.9 out Of 5
(4.9 out of 5)
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.5 out Of 5
(4.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 21
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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Great tips from the "Ironing Board" of moms!
    February 6, 2014
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    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.
  2. Cypress, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great advice for parents
    January 14, 2014
    Cypress, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book is great advice for parents (or grandparents) who want to spend time with their children while teaching them work ethics.
  3. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enabling Parents Need It, Those Not Can Pass It Up
    August 10, 2013
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    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.
  4. Cumming, GA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    So helpful!
    July 16, 2013
    Cumming, GA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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!
  5. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    A good start
    April 8, 2013
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    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.
Displaying items 1-5 of 21
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