Calling all Aunts, Moms, Grandmoms, Neighbors, Foster Moms, Teachers, Babysitters, and well, you get the picture. Any of you with any morsel of influence over any child, LISTEN UP….
Before you say, “Nah…it’s too late, my kids or grandkids are too old…”, let me encourage you by telling you I’ve already muttered that, however I’m highly inspired for our future grandchildren, Lord willing, and for young Moms whose paths I cross.
Yes, it may be too late for your grown adults—my muttering went something like this: “Wow…I soooo wish I’d had this book while we were attempting to raise our boys!!!” Be ye of good courage, there is HOPE for the future…
Drum roll, please…..The book? Run don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma.
Before you begin reading the book, become acquainted with Kay. She’s the most fascinating, brutally honest, hysterical funny wife and Mom of five kiddos I’ve ever read. Checkout her blog: www.themoatblog.com “Because a Mother Of Adolescents and Teens should never walk (or drive) the road alone.”
At the beginning of this year, I introduced us to just one concept from Cleaning House…Why We Need More Iron in Our Diets….This week, I’ll share a few of a thousand and one of Kay’s brilliant ideas.
Kay’s epiphany came from countless chaotic incidents with her kids. She confesses, “Youth entitlement seems to have reached epidemic proportions in both my family and society as a whole—and I was appalled to realize that I, like many of today’s well-meaning parents, am a primary carrier of the germ.”
With so many kids and so little time, Kay says she did most everything for them because she could do it faster which made her household run more smoothly. But….she realized her message of “I love you, so let me make life easy for you…” desperately needed to be:
Thus “The Experiment” was born in the Wyma family. Kay came up with twelve things she wanted her children to know before they left for college. They took one per month for a year.
Each endeavor is an excellent idea in and of itself. Add to that their actual experiences filling each page, which literally bring the house down (a/k/a bring the reader to tears from laughing so hard).
While they sound simple, just give one of these a try:
Just let those sink in for a few minutes. Aren’t they all excellent ideas? Coming up with some of your own?
At the time Kay wrote this book, her five children were 14, 12, 10, 8, and 3. You can only imagine the varying results given their ages.
“Teamwork” was not remotely in their vocabulary in the beginning, but you’ll soon see light bulbs in their little heads growing from dim to bright-light-wow and it’s the most fun revelation ever. Ever. E-V-E-R.
I found myself saying out loud, “Come on now, YOU can do this!” and they aren’t even my kids! My favorite epigraph Kay uses is: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” V. Sassoon
Chapter/“Task” Nine is “Team Players – The Benefits of Working Together.” Kay says, “Really, who wants to go it alone?”
She reminds us of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
Hubster was way better at teaching teamwork to our boys than I was. When we lived on River Hill, we had nearly five acres of land with very tall trees. Every time a storm blew thru’, those trees translated into a mess of sticks covering our yard.
John was constantly rounding up the boys. They all got out there and picked up those sticks. We were all rewarded with a family lunch at Austin’s. (Those of you from Louisville, are you missing Austin’s like we are???) Yes, they worked well together, but to this day they all say they have no desire to have a lot of land!
Kay’s team/family learned these wonderful benefits from real-life hard work and teamwork: “efficiency, combined skills, strong relationships, creativity, and self-esteem.” I love this: Kay says, “Our overall family goal is to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and Man.” (Our precious Lord did this in Luke 2:52. STELLAR goal for one’s family!)
Process this from Henry Ford:
“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Each of Kay’s twelve chapters end with two not-to-be-missed sections: “What They Learned This Month.” And “What I Learned This Month.” She also includes several “light bulb” moments from other authors and contributors, adding excellent quotes from books that have all been added to my “to-be-read” list.
This book is a treasure trove of pearls you’ll want to return to, and consult, time and time again.
Kay closes her book with, “If there is any truth or wisdom in this book, it isn’t mine. I’m just along for the ride. All wisdom within is supplied by the Author of truth. He has so much more to share and gives generously without finding fault (see James 1: 5).” Kay’s family’s version of choice is the NIV.
If you’re brave enough to try any of these experiments, please comment! If you’ve already done some things along these lines, please report in as well! These are sure-fire ways to dive into the whole concept of Spring Cleaning!
‘Til next time!