I really enjoyed the Introduction chapter of Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. I felt like it gave me a window into the author’s home, letting me get acquainted with her and her family prior to delving further into the book. It also set the stage for the reason we all need this book: the up-and-coming generation is being “lovingly” referred to as Gen-ME for their narcissistic tendencies. Yikes. I barely avoided being lumped in with that group (based on the year of my birth, anyway…according to this quiz from USA Today).
There were also a few key points that resounded with me about what we (as parents) are doing to our children:
“With the greatest of intentions and in the name of love, we have developed a tendency to hover, race in to save, protect from failure, arrange for success, manipulate, overprotect, and enable our kids.” -p. 4
“Our ‘helping’ strategy sounds good until we find ourselves immersed in a society of overindulged, underprepared adults who sorely lack a solid work ethic.” -p. 7
The author, Kay Wyma, created a list of 12 tasks she wanted her children to have mastered before they left the house. I thought this was a great idea, so I decided to create my own list for our boys. I resisted the urge to write any generalized character-related tasks (like how to serve, how to have good manners) because I think those things that will never be fully mastered (even into adulthood) but rather will have to constantly be refined.
- How to do laundry. That includes FOLDING and PUTTING AWAY/HANGING UP, not just moving clothes from the washer to the dryer (which my husband thinks is “doing” laundry). :)
- How to make their beds each day and maintain a clean room.
- How to clean a bathroom (and how often to do it–weekly, especially if you are a boy).
- How to prepare simple meals (and clean up afterwards).
- How to mow the yard, weed-eat, and trim (this will be Prince Charming’s job to teach as I myself have yet to master any of these tasks–call me a hypocrite).
- How to create a budget.
- How to apply for a job (outside the home) and how to conduct oneself during an interview.
- How to paint a wall.
- How to fix a garbage disposal, hammer a nail, and use a few basic power tools (another job for Prince Charming).
- How to organize and de-clutter a home.
- How to safely move heavy furniture (and why they should always help their friends when they move).
- How to set up a checking account (and ensure said checking account is never overdrawn).
Your Assignment for Next Week: Read Chapters 1, 2 AND 3.
(I know, I know…it’s a lot! But we’re trying to get through this in a month right?!?!)
What did you think about the introductory chapter? Leave a comment or link up below!