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

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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,740 ratings  ·  416 reviews
Do your kids think that clean, folded clothes magically appear in their drawers? Do they roll their eyes when you suggest they clean the bathroom? Do you think it's your job to pave their road to success? As parents, so often we hover, race in to save, and do everything we can for our kids--unintentionally reinforcing their belief that the world revolves around them.

When K
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Published May 8th 2012 by christianaudio (first published January 1st 2012)
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Pumpkinbear
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsey
I tried to read past the author's mocking and sarcastic tone as she described her interactions with her children so that I could hear the message and experience. However, I found it very difficult. There are ways to do what she wanted to do that don't involve making fun of the child.

I also don't understand why she was surprised her clan didn't know how to do things like clean a bathroom when she had never taken the time to teach them. Finally, I found it hard to connect with the author because I
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Lisa
The short review: I had better uses of my time - more interesting books to read - than to waste it reading this book.

The longer review:
This memoir had a premise that intrigued me. The author spent a year teaching her five children to do more chores and to endeavor to help others, all with the goal of battling their sense of entitlement.

Within the first few pages, I was disgusted. Observing some instance of her children acting spolied and selfish, the author observes to the reader something al
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Linda
I enjoyed this woman's narrative, but the reader needs to be aware of who is telling the tale. This is an upper middle class (possibly lower upper class) woman with a decent-sized house (three bathrooms!) and household help that comes in two times a week, who does not hold a job outside the home. Her school-aged children go to private school (well, it's Texas; the public schools were devastated by Bush and Perry, so I suppose she has to send them there). She has the time and resources to devote ...more
Heather C.
I, like the author, don't think my kids have enough chances in life to take full responsibility for anything, and I feel like it's my job to help them have those opportunities, whether it be making their bed every day or having dialogue with a teacher on their own about how to do better in their classes. So I appreciated her perspective, and will use a lot of her tips in the future.

I didn't like, however, the way she referred to her kids negatively the whole book. I know she was trying to make
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Christine Cavalier
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Meghan
I picked this up after seeing it advertised on TV. Youth entitlement is something I worry about with my own kids. After reading this book I am no longer worried. I can't even begin to describe my shock at everything she had neglected to teach her kids. (No understanding of grocery shopping?? What is a toilette bowl brush?? Etc) This book is only applicable to upper class families. She has a house cleaner and a lawn care service for goodness sakes! No WONDER her kids feel entitled to not have to ...more
M.K.
Here's a detail to begin with: I liked this book enough to keep it two extra days of incurring fines. Not just late-a-day-ten-cent fines, but it's-on-hold-so-hurry-up-already fines.

Wyma realizes one day that her kids expect to be served, have little initiative, and care about all the wrong things. So, she launches a year-long war on her kids' habits, tackling everything from laundry to hosting a party. Along the way they discover the joy of work amid typical growing pains and brick walls.

I've go
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Dana
This is an awesome book! I actually found a link to the book when I began researching the net about child entitlement. I had noticed to my dismay that my own children were acting as if the world owed them something. A quote from my daughter..."Mom, I am your precious child..you are SUPPOSED to do things for me. That is just the way it works.". I did not know what I had done to lead her to believe this way.

Wyma helped me to see that I had inadvertently been responsible (at least in part) for my c
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Amy Murray
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heidi
I really enjoyed the practical tips in this book -- ideas like the chore jar, and making themed months for everyone to work, and identifying your goals for what you want your adult children to do and understand when you have finished raising them.

On the other hand, there was so much that I didn't connect with. Because of my parenting style, my kids don't really believe I am their domestic servant because I am at work all the time. So the feeling of entitlement that Wyma was talking about is not
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Crabbygirl
the biggest thing(s) i got from this book was not the subject or what was actually said, but what i could read in between the lines:
and what i read/understood was how annoying/frustrating it must be to be married to an evangelical christian who is able to call god on her side for each and every marital spat (plus bring along your blog audience to witness your rightness/righteousness)

point of fact:
said author's husband (understandably) wants to NOT have their teenage son potentially damage thei
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Mia
As a mother of three children who works full-time I'm constantly looking for ways to keep our house better organized. I picked up this book because I could relate to the author and felt that if she can do it with five kids, I can do it with three!
I loved the concept behind this book - a mother who wanted to teach her kids the value of work and the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. Also, she wanted to be sure that before her children left home, there were certain chores tha
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Jessica
This book started out strong and had a good concept. Teach our children to do things for themselves so they become active and compassionate members of society. I was interested.

While there were some good points that did lead me to changes at home already (we started a chore chart that is working wonders with my 5 year old), I did find myself skipping over entire sections. I think the author views the world from a very distinct point of view - upper middle class, Christian family from Texas. She
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Leanne
I liked some of the ideas for kid chores in this book. My kids already do many of the things listed but the book inspired me to start teaching kitchen tasks - at least to my older child (age 7).

What I didn't like was the overall tone. I found myself wincing at the many lectures that she gave her children - I can only imagine how they felt.

I also didn't like the throw them into the water and let them swim mentality. Of course, my kids are younger, but I pass along new skills by working with the
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Aisha
Empowering kids not enabling takes the main focus in this book. The author's 12 month experiment was filled with 12 areas to enrich the skills of children. Basic training and tasks great for elementary grades and teens. I laughed aloud on the gas pumping episode of her eldest son. Some great things I want to work on with my grade schooler and even a few (making bed habits and ideas) with my preschoolers.
A great call to encourage our kids to work and develop a character of responsibility and acti
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Katie Watson
I was certainly not expecting this to be so Republican/preachy/bible-quoting. But still enjoying it...

Loved this book. I definitely don't have the same worldview as the author in a lot of ways, but I loved her home-view, and she's a pretty entertaining writer. Starting to implement some of her ideas, and thinking about how to do more. My kids say, "I hate that book!" :) Really, I think every parent should read this!
Cindy Brown Ash
We're preparing for a cross-country move with three kids, and I thought Kay Wills Wyma's Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement would be a great resource for how to motivate the kids to give me the help I need to make this process go smoothly.

Wyma claims her Experiment was prompted by her 14-year-old son's off-hand request for a Porsche for his 16th birthday. She came up with a twelve-step program to teach the children the hows and whys of self-sufficien
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Kate
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 d ...more
L
I liked this mom's writing style & willingness to point out things that didn't work just as easily as those that did. She fully admits she doesn't have all the answers, but wants to share her journey... Along the way she shares many, many ideas. Most of the themes each month and ideas I felt were more geared to older elementary at youngest to teenagers even though she does have a little preschooler in her home. I loved many of the ideas! By the later months, I found some things repetitive an ...more
Tanya
I think I'm going to start an "Experiment" in my own home. Every time I picked up this book Clara said, "Do you have to read that?" She figures a book called Cleaning House with pictures of kids doing laundry on the cover isn't a good thing for her. From her perspective, she is probably right. As a parent, I know that she will be a happier and more well rounded person if she learns to do these things while she's young. I love that her family is real. The Experiment didn't go perfectly. They didn ...more
Marie DiCocco
I should have known how I would feel about this book when I read this on page 2:

"I think I'm raising little socialists," I said, "the serve-me kind that are numb to the benefits of ingenuity and hard work, the kind that don't just need to be taken care of--they expect it."

And as I continued to read, this author's political & religious views were screaming at me. If I read that word "entitlement" one more time, I was going to scream! Unfortunately, I wish she really knew what a socialist was
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Priscilla
Feb 20, 2013 Priscilla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
I rated "Cleaning House" amazing because it tells a story of a mom who had an insight (certered around youth entitlement) and then (actually) followed through with a positive, creative spirit, great ideas, and even better, told the story of the journey as she took it! That's amazing!

Besides enjoying the frank and honest journey this family took, I enjoyed following Kay's insights as she tried and succeeded and tried and failed. This book is extremely relevant to parenting today, and what the aut
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Sara Walker
While I appreciate the value of teaching children to work and the information in this book about teaching children to work in order to eliminate attitudes of entitlement, I worry the methods of this book will create other problems. Paying kids to do housework might seem to be a logical reward system, but then, isn't it another reward system? Money is just replacing gold stars. The objective presented here is to use money to motivate kids to do the work until the work becomes habit-forming and th ...more
B
This might be cheating, but I honestly skipped over some sections of this book. I probably skimmed / read 80% of it. I gleamed what I needed (inspiration, some practical ideas, a kick in the pants) and skipped over the rest. I was inspired to do what I always knew in the back of my mind that I should be doing: I gave my children more independence and responsibility to do what they can do for themselves. Or sometimes what they can do for the whole family, or sometimes (selfish mother moment), wha ...more
Angie Vallejo


Hooray! I love how the author saw a situation and dove in wholeheartedly to do what is best for her family and her kids! Entitlement with kids today is a hot topic of many conversations, but this author didn't just talk about it -- she actually did something about it! She shares her one year experiment of teaching her children "real life." As moms, we do want to make life easier for our kids, but we don't realize that by doing so much for them, we are actually harming them. The book is the auth
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Shawn
I heartily recommend the spirit of this book, though I have some reservations about the book itself. If you are among the growing group of parents who is waking up to our collective failure at preparing today's children for independence, read the book and be inspired to get to work. The author chronicles a twelve-month experiment to make her kids WORK and to teach them some life skills, i.e., cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands, being a good host, serving others, etc.

The book has a reli
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Rachelle
I loved so many things about this book; Wyma comes from a far-more privileged background than I could relate to but she wants the same thing as I do for her children. This book is ideal for the parents of elementary/middle-school aged kids; if yours are in high school, you will have more work (as Wyma points out). Particularly helpful was Wyma's bumping up against societal expectations (or lack thereof) for children. They've changed since I was a kid and this book was extremely helpful in furthe ...more
Debbie
In the present generation where so many children grow up with plenty this is a great reminder to all moms on how to "end the war on youth entitlement". Although not all her suggestions are appropriate for me many of her suggestions can be tweaked and applied to just about anyone's family including my own. A well written engaging read!
Eraina
Wyma discusses youth entitlement from her home and community perspective (Dallas). Each month they tackle a new issue: (1) house cleaning (personal responsibility in household clutter control), (2) kitchen/meal planning, cooking & cleaning, (3) gardening, (4) working/employment, (5) bathroom cleaning, (6) laundry, (7) home repair and maintenance, (8) party planning & hospitality, (9) working together as a family/family projects, (10) errands, (11) serving others, and (12) manners. She co ...more
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Kay Wills Wyma has five kids, ages four to fourteen, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. Before she transitioned to stay-at-home mom, she earned an MBA, worked at the White House, and dabbled in international finance. Happily married to Jon, this self-described recovering enabler is committed to equipping the next generation to achieve great things in the future by piling on the responsibilit ...more
More about Kay Wills Wyma...
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“Instead of communicating "I love you, so let me make life easy for you," I decided that my message needed to be something more along these lines: "I love you. I believe in you. I know what you're capable of. So I'm going to make you work.” 55 likes
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” 2 likes
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