I love, love, love this book’s premise, and adore how Author Kay Wills Wyma, a former White House employee, cleaned her OWN house by kicking off a most unusual experiment to “un-enable” her 5 kids and introduce them to the basic tasks of independence. Wyma found that while parents are well-intentioned, we’re raising dependent kids by sending the message, “I’ll do it for you because you can’t.” Kids, she said, need to hear, “I believe in you, so I’m going to make you work.” From making beds to grocery shopping to (prepare yourself…) yes, disinfecting a bathroom, her family experienced firsthand how meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others.
I love to write about chores, and have a whole page dedicated to tips & tools on “how to make chores work”; a free downloadable chore chart you can customize; and lots more. Click here for more on this important parenting topic. And full disclosure, I’m as guilty as the next about not insisting the kids do more around the house, but it’s on my VERY short-term bucket list…always, and I do see the benefits big time. In fact, when I was recently bed-bound with the flu, my 14-year-old proudly told me he folded 8 baskets of laundry (and did a beautiful job). I love to share the story of my 40th birthday trip with girlfriends, and hearing someone say that the washing machine is WAY less technical than our kids’ electronic gadgets…they CAN do it! Just ask!
I asked the author to share some tips for The Lounge, and hope you’ll enjoy these inspiring ideas as much as I do…
Top Twelve Things a Kid Should Know Before Flying the Coop
1. How to make a bed and maintain an orderly room
2. How to cook and clean a kitchen
3. How to do yard work
4. How to clean a bathroom
5. How to get a job … outside our home
6. How to do laundry
7. How to do handyman jobs
8. How to host a party
9. How to work together
10. How to run errands
11. How to put others first through service
12. How to act mannerly
Adapted from Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma, used by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No parts of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About the author:
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 recovering enabler is committed to equipping the next generation to achieve great things in the future by piling on the responsibility today. Kay enjoys inspiring other parents of adolescents and teens through her blog TheMoatBlog.com.