I just received what looks like a very timely resource: Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma. Lots of contemporary books (like this one and this one, which both influenced this other one) have highlighted a sense of entitlement among young adults in our day. The theory is that it starts in childhood.
From the publisher’s press release for Cleaning House:
While today’s well-intentioned parents are doing all they can to facilitate their children’s rise to greatness, parents are realizing that the hovering is backfiring. Now, if or when, kids even leave home–they are increasingly helpless and dependent. Parents’ attempts to boost their kids’ success are instead enabling their failure with the unspoken message: “I’ll do it for you because you can’t.”
Wyma has found that what kids really need to hear is, “I believe in you, so I’m going to make you work.” From making beds to grocery shopping to disinfecting a bathroom, her family experienced for themselves the ways meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others.
“Parents, take note: Kay Wills Wyma’s experiment could change your life, especially if your kids suffer from ‘me first!’ syndrome. If you want your children to be more responsible, more self-assured, and more empathetic, Cleaning House is for you.”
—Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family
“At last! Enlightenment about entitlement in our kids—and not just what it is, but also what to do about it.”
—Elisa Morgan, author of She Did What She Could, president emerita of MOPS International, and publisher of FullFill
“With unique creativity and wry humor, this sensible, determined mom herds her five distinctly different offspring into an acute lifestyle change; namely, learning to master the inevitable demands of life.… With ‘a spoonful of sugar,’ Cleaning House cools the dangerous ‘me first’ fever weakening our American culture.”
—Dr. Howard G. Hendricks, distinguished professor emeritus of leadership and Christian education, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Jeanne Hendricks, speaker and author of A Mother’s Legacy
“Here’s a book that is designed to help parents get their kids a one-way ticket to reality about responsibility, but I was thinking it would be great to get voters to read it and apply these simple, but brilliant principles to members of Congress!”
–Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas Governor and host of Fox TV’s Huckabee and radio’s Mike Huckabee Show
About the author:
Kay Wills Wyma has five kids, ages four to fourteen, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. She holds a bachelor’s from Baylor University and an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). Before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, she held positions at the White House, the Staubach Company, and Bank of America. She and her husband, Jon, live with their family in the Dallas area.
Update: Bill O’Reilly of FOX News takes on the subject of youth entitlement.