I have been sharing a lot of parenting fails lately and here comes another… Our children are spoiled.
Even though I never intended to raise my children to expect that money grows on trees and that they can have whatever they want as long as they ask the right person and follow the request with “please,” this attitude of entitlement seemed to ooze out of their pillows and wrap their tiny brains in poison.
And me? I let it happen. Partially because I don’t want to stir up problems in the family when someone gives too many gifts. Partially because I tried to refuse too many gifts and my resistance was futile. Partially because… this is the big one… I am lazy and lack follow-through.
Well, I have honestly had enough. I am disgusted by the attitude I see in my children when I tell them it is time to put away their electronics and they respond with nasty looks on their faces and snarky comments. I am frustrated by the piles of toys and clothes I find stashed inside their closets only just a few days after I have organized their rooms. I am sickened by the pile of dishes on the counter with last night’s dinner crusted and stuck.
Something needs to change… and it is ME.
Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma
I have no idea how I found this book on Amazon. I was not looking for “how to rid my children of entitlement attitudes” but I think God knew that I needed motivation… and to know that I was not alone.
In Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, Kay Wills Wyma shares the experiment she did with her family after coming to that moment when she realized something needed to be done. Her plan was to make a list of basic tasks her children needed to have experienced and be able to accomplish on their own before they were old enough to leave home. Cleaning House chronicles her journey through family meetings, teenage attitudes, prepubescent tantrums, and a long list of woes every mother can understand.
By reading about Kay’s experiment, you realize that the issues in your family are not foreign. You are not the only mother struggling with lazy, over-expectant children and their long list of desires. Cleaning House is filled with real life, practical ideas, and a nice dose of humor.
Intentionally teaching children about life
If I sit back and wait for my children to learn how to do the basic tasks by observation, I will be sitting for a long time because unless I ask for their attention (or get on the phone), they ignore me. I need to be intentional. I need a plan.
Kay’s 12-month plan is… can I say, “brilliant”? As the children learn the basic duties required by life, they also are schooled in diligence, self-motivation, and the pleasure that comes from accomplishment.
The twelve tasks her children needed to master were:
- how to make a bed and maintain an orderly room
- how to cook and clean a kitchen
- how to do yard work
- how to clean a bathroom
- how to get a job… outside the home
- how to do laundry
- how to do handyman jobs
- how to host a party
- how to work together
- how to run errands
- how to put others first through service
- how to act mannerly
Obviously, I am not going to be putting my two year old out on the sidewalk to deliver newspapers and I will not be allowing my 9 year old to go to the store alone, but I can use Kay’s suggestions and be teaching my children the fundamentals of these lessons, preparing them for when they are old enough to accept the larger responsibilities.
My favorite part of Cleaning House
While the entire book is full of juicy tidbits and a-ha moments, my favorite part of Cleaning House is at the end of each chapter when Kay shares a list of what she saw her children learn and a list of what she learned by guiding them through the process.
Sometimes, parenting can be a chore, but by reading Cleaning House, I was affirmed that the daily grind is worth the exhaustion, attitudes, and tantrums. I received the reassurance that my efforts will pay off, my children will learn valuable skills , and I will learn priceless lessons.
Our 12-month plan begins on September 1st.
Buy it now
Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma is available from WaterBrook Multnomah and at Amazon.com in paperback, for Kindle, and as an audiobook.
Psst… Kay also writes at her spot in the blogosphere, The Moat Blog.
Enter for a chance to win
WaterBrook Multnomah has generously donated a bundle of parenting books valued over $70 for one reader at Meet Penny. The bundle includes:
- Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma
- Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian
- Upside-Down Prayers for Parents by Lisa T. Bergren
- You Can’t Make Me by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
- How We Love Our Kids by Milan and Kay Yerkovich
Giveaways for physical products are only available to residents within the United States. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Review and giveaway products were provided by my sponsor and additional compensation may have been received but opinions are 100% my own. Facebook is no way affiliate with this review and by entering you hold them unaccountable for any legalities related to this giveaway. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter using Random.org and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to respond to the email or another winner will be selected.