Ridding Our Homes of Youth Entitlement

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.

In my last post (
"Should Kids Do Chores?"), I quoted some practical insights from this book. She gave me the idea of the “stock market” method for allowances, and I have not had to remind my teenagers to do their chores or help around the house ever since!

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 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.

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