Monday, December 18, 2017 | site map | contact | FSJ

Subscribe to Salvo magazine today! Take a look at an issue online and if you like what you see, SUBSCRIBE at a discounted rate.

You Can Be Part of Salvo By Supporting Its Mission Today

We depend on all our great readers to keep Salvo going!

Follow Salvo online

Join Our Email List
Enter your email below:

Further Reading

Home Front

Raising Generation Me

The Domestic Battles of Entitlement

by Marcia Segelstein

Texas mom Kay Wills Wyma had an epiphany one day while driving her 14-year-old son to school. Pointing out two luxury cars nearby, he asked her which one she thought he'd look better in. Taken aback, she thought to herself, "Who's raising this kid?"

She realized that her children had no real responsibilities, no appreciation for hard work, and an outsized sense of entitlement. And it was her doing. Her children expected their beds to be made for them, they expected their dirty laundry to be washed, they expected dinner on the table every night, they expected the house to be clean—and they didn't know how to do any of those things themselves.

A Twelve-Month Experiment

Thus began a year of redefining her approach to raising her five children and the launch of what she calls "The Experiment." Over the course of the next year, Wyma, with the support of her husband, assigned a new task to her children each month. The goal was to replace an "I'm here to be served" attitude with a "Look what I can do through work" outlook.

Wyma took notes, kept a blog, and at the end of it, wrote a book called Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement.

The first month's task she named "Operation Clutter Control." Her goal was to have her children form a habit of tidiness. Their assigned job was to make their beds and keep all clutter off the bedroom and bathroom floors.

The next month, the children were put in charge of supper four nights of the week. They had to plan, shop for, prepare, and clean up after family suppers Monday through Thursday.

Other monthly projects included cleaning bathrooms, doing laundry, running errands, and finding ways to serve others.

Lessons Learned & Passed On

Along the way, Wyma learned a lot about herself and her family. For instance, she often had to fight the urge to step in and take over a task she'd assigned to a child. Many times it would have been easier (and faster) to do so, but she realized it would have sent a message that said, "I'll do it for you because you can't." Jobs that involved teamwork were especially gratifying for her to watch, as she saw siblings begin to help each other. She came to understand that giving children meaningful work fostered not only personal responsibility but also emotional health.

Wyma's faith played a part, too. She writes that

the deeper my intimacy with God, the more often I'm called to serve, the greater my peace and contentment. The lesson for me, and the one I'd love for all my kids to grasp? Be the go-to, uncomplaining, submitting, teachable worker. In a counterintuitive sort of way, peace and freedom accompany that path of surrendered obedience.

Wyma's situation is one many parents can undoubtedly relate to. It's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to make everything okay for one's children and in the process make it harder for them to become truly independent. Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls, wrote this in the Foreword to Wyma's book:

As a parent myself, I have often felt the temptation to "do for" and constantly "give to" my children. I have had to constantly remind myself that each boy and girl in our care is asking us to challenge them to their strongest, most loving potential. This challenge is a challenge toward purpose and life service, so it can't be met by parents doing for and only giving to kids. Kids must do for the world and family; they must give to the world and family. 

If you enjoy Salvo, please consider giving an online donation! Thanks for your continued support.


A Boy's Life: 5 Recommendations for Shielding Our Sons from the Anti-Culture—And Setting Them Towards Manhood by Anthony Esolen

Revolution 101: How the 'New Civics' Is Fomenting Civil Unrest by Terrell Clemmons

Up for Grabs: In Science, When 'Anything Goes,' Everything Goes by Denyse O'Leary

Optimal Optics: Evolutionists Don't Know a Good Eye When They See One by Jonathan Wells


The Darwin Tales: It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

Engendered Confusion: The Chaos of Postmodern Sexuality by Laurie Higgins

Zombie Killer: The "Icons of Evolution" Have Joined the Ranks of the Undead by Denyse O'Leary

My Favorite Zombies: Can We Let Them Rest in Peace? by James M. Kushiner

Eye Openers: Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

Tuning Out the Universe: How Naturalism & Post-Fact Science Ignore the Evidence We See by Denyse O'Leary

Deep-Seated Rights: What They Are & Why You Have Them by Steve Jones

Improbably So: Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

The Long Red Shadow: Mike Shotwell Has a Message for Millennial America by Terrell Clemmons

The Good Life: It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth, Not the Pursuit of Happiness by James Altena

Taking Polls Apart: Human Complexity Foils Electoral Predictions by Denyse O'Leary

Morality as Story: The False Charity of Modern Journalism by Rebekah Curtis

Can We Talk?: It Is Crucial That We Put Our Minds to Contentious Issues by James M. Kushiner

© 2017 Salvo magazine. Published by The Fellowship of St. James. All rights reserved. Returns, refunds, and privacy policy.