One of my goals for this is year is to read 15 books and write reviews of them. Here are two of my more recent reads:
Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma
Our culture no longer practices the responsibility of training children in the skills of hard work, service, hospitality, and basic etiquette. We have exchanged this duty for enabling which, in turn, has resulted in generations of self-entitled individuals. The author of this book has pulled back Oz’s curtain upon entitlement, revealing the root cause of this corrosive epidemic: parental enabling in the home.
The author’s journey began when she realized how little her own children were willing to do for themselves. It wasn’t because they were incapable; it was because she had not provided them with the necessary opportunities to cultivate the skills and confidence necessary for initiative and hard work. They had become conditioned to their parents doing everything for them. Mrs. Wyma determined to spend twelve months re-training her children’s attitudes toward work and service, reshaping their work ethic, and ridding her home of entitlement. She focused on twelve key areas: Beds and Clutter, Cooking and Meal Planning, Yard Work, Employment, Housecleaning, Laundry, Home Repairs, Hospitality, Teamwork, Running Errands, Service, and Etiquette.
During her experiment she discovered that having critical responsibility within the household is vital for the development of a child’s character and healthy view of self. This is also supported by ample research. She also learned that parents can make or break the youth entitlement epidemic. It is usually the best-intentioned parents who are the worst enablers, and their enabling is often fed by society’s urges to nurture and protect our children’s self-esteem. The key to ending entitlement, she discovered, is cultivating an awareness of others that leads to selfless service.
While I disagreed with some of the mouthiness she allowed from her kids, I appreciated her candid family anecdotes. I learned about the pervasiveness of youth entitlement and the relatively simple, though not easy, remedy for it. I was reminded that the change of the future rests in the hands of our kids while gleaning some thoughtful tidbits for household organization. I think that it would be beneficial for all parents and youth educators to read this book and be reminded that the key to successful youth education is being consistent to the values you believe in.
For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldham and Lisa A. Rice
I read this book while keeping in mind my roles as wife, mother of a son, middle school teacher, and young ladies’ mentor. Having read For Women Only I was familiar with some of their information, but it was beneficial to gain an inside peek into the young male brain. These brains are less mature, more unruly, and quite vulnerable to the feedback they receive from the world. Perhaps the most important thought I gleaned from this reading is the necessity of providing a secure, supportive environment for our young men. From many avenues they are hearing about how crude, clumsy, and clueless they are. It is assumed that they are egos without hearts, and only one thing is on their minds at all times. This isn’t the case for all young men.
The truth is that many young men are trying to live honorably, are quite sensitive but feel the need to hide their emotions, and want the opportunity to be heroes. The women in their lives can support them by seeking their help and advice, dressing modestly, and showing them respect rather than questioning their abilities or mocking them. This is a message that must be promoted and heeded by all who have men in their lives. I would certainly recommend this book to all females who wish to improve their interactions with the men and boys they care about.