Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma---A Review

I am starting to see a disturbing trend in Rebecca---it is a trend defined by the I wants. I want this. I want that. She wants this for her birthday. She wants that for Christmas. Did I fail to mention that her birthday is in 5 MONTHS from now? She gives me the evil eye if I ask her to pick up books and toys at the end of the day. The look that says why do I have to do that? She is only 5 years old and yet I can see the beginning of the sense of entitlement that I dread her getting. The sense that Mon and Dad does everything for her and that is just how life is. Because of this I was intrigued to read and review Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma.

Wyma argues that she sees a sense of entitlement in each of her five children and that it bothers her because it is a problem in most of society and is kept going by parents including herself. Wyma decided to spend a year working on teaching and allowing her children to explore and master different areas she felt were necessary to become well-groomed adults. These included such tasks as making their beds and cleaning their bedrooms, cleaning their bathrooms, to making meals for the family to becoming servants to others. While she admits it wasn’t easy and at times her children balked , she found that her children were better people at the end of the twelve months. They learned to put less emphasis on self and more on doing for others.

I found this book to be enlightening and empowering and to reinforce that is okay that I think my five year old should help out around the house in age appropriate tasks. While at times the writing seemed to go off on tangents that did not seem to belong, the main messages were clear. There was humor involved and advice from not only Wyma but also a group of other Mothers and Grandmothers who offer their advice (who Wyma call “ The Ironing Board”).

I think every Mother should read this book as not only a tool to ways to teach our kids that entitlement is not given but earned with work, but also we can know we are not alone in our teaching our children and shaping who they are and what kind adults they will become.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by Waterbrook Press Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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