Book Review : Cleaning House

Janelle Cole

5 Stars

October 22, 2012

To say that I loved Kay Wyma’s book : Cleaning House / A Mom’s 12 month Experiment to Rid Her House of Youth Entitlement, is an understatement. This book spoke to me on so many levels!

If anyone claims their children do not struggle with entitlement issues I would have to question, how? Because my kids have much less than most, however they still struggle with entitlement – they still think they should be able to have things their ways.

This is journey that Kay takes with her family. Each month, over the course of a year, she addresses a different subject to work on. A few include : Kitchen Patrol, Domestic Dirty Jobs, Errands, Laundry, Party Planning, and Serving. I learned something in every one of these chapters!

One of my favorites was the chapter on Serving and how important it was. I loved that the more they were thinking about serving others, and finding ways to do that, the less they were thinking about themselves and what they wanted. She was quick to show families who serve often do not even realize how much they are serving, it becomes a way of life for them. I am not expecting that serving would really change my children’s wants, but it would help them to get the focus off of themselves and more outward looking.

I also loved hew chapter on Kitchen Patrol. I try to keep my kids very involved in the kitchen with helping cook, always cleaning and occasionally planning. Kay took this to a whole new level with teaching the kids to plan a meal, shop for it, serve it and clean up after it. There were many lessons learned in that month with her kids, one of which was eating in was cheaper than eating out, and if the kids had to supplement the overhead to eat out, they planned to eat in. What a real life lesson!

One other aspect I enjoyed about this book was the inclusion of comments from friends and blog readers that offered another bit of insight or experience in certain areas. I enjoyed hearing others weigh in and share lessons learned! At the end of each chapter Kay wraps up her topic with “lessons learned for the kids” and “lessons learned for her” which was also a great summary.

I tried to take my time reading this book, letting it all sink in. I wanted to try to implement some of these same ideas into our family. While I have not taken these tasks to heart in the sense that Kay did on a monthly basis, I have tried to emphasize more responsibility with each of my children.

I am trying to equip my kids so that they can step into the kitchen and plan and execute a meal. I want my kids to be able to take dirty closes in to the laundry room and return with clean folded clothes that I did not touch. I love the independence they are learning as we implement so many of the ideas in this book and the confidence they feel because of that.

Check out these fun videos to give you an idea of what this book will help you conquer in your home!!

As I am sure you can tell, I highly recommend this book, I love Kay’s writing style, I love her wisdom and her wit! I plan to read this book again to make sure I catch anything I missed! I cannot imagine a family that would not benefit from the ideas presented in this book!