Cleaning House – Book Review

The following is a review of the book Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma. When I initially received the book I intended to give it away on this blogsite. However, after reading it, I decided to keep the book so I can use it as a resource.  I guess you’ll have to pick up a copy for yourself.


Cleaning HouseThis book is for anyone who believes his/her children need to learn responsibility and accountability. Cleaning House was written by Kay Wills Wyma and covers a span of twelve months in which she embarked on an adventure, which she calls “The Experiment,” to rid her household of youth entitlement and teach her children basic life skills.

I found the book easy to read, as well as engaging and challenging. Wyma’s honesty and transparency in telling her story is refreshing. She owns up to her faults as a mother who has enabled her children to the point of becoming dependent, spoiled, and ill-equipped to function properly in society. But instead of throwing up her hands in defeat, she decides to do something about it.

Each month for a year she introduced a new job for her children to master. These tasks included normal household duties such as keeping their rooms orderly, as well as character issues such as acting mannerly. Wyma gives practical steps to accomplishing her objectives as well as underlying motives for her decisions.

The author uses humor mixed in with everyday life examples to explain the reasoning behind her decision to begin The Experiment, how she implemented it, and the results. Throughout the book, Wyma offers great nuggets of truth in a relatable style. For example, after she trained her children on how to serve others and act mannerly, she states, “When they inhale the fresh air of service, self-centeredness is exhaled out. The two can’t occupy the same space.” Toward the end of the book, Wyma declares, “When we started out, I didn’t expect all the side benefits I’ve been witnessing. What was born out of frustration with my unintentionally overindulged kids has become an interesting case study in the myriad benefits associated with equipping. The biggest of these being the kids’ capacity to see beyond their own immediate desires and look instead to the needs of others.”

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Winters Family Implementation

kids cleaning

Many of the jobs Wyma tackled have already been adopted in our house. For example, my children maintain an orderly bedroom, go grocery shopping with me on a regular basis, and have their own cleaning responsibilities. But the author of Cleaning House inspired me to step it up a notch.  An area we have fallen short is yard work. So a few weeks ago I purchased a Badminton/Volleyball kit as an incentive for my younger children to do some yard work. The kit is their pay for completing 10 hours of work. This benfits both them (they are learning how to complete yard work and are motivated to do so) and Don and me (we are motivated to teach them how to pull weeds, rake, and clear debris).

What about you?

What chores or tasks are your children responsible for?

What new tasks would you like to teach them?

*To catch up with Kay or order her book, visit her blogsite here.


3 thoughts on “Cleaning House – Book Review

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2013 + A Bonus | In the Midst . . .

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