In my ongoing quest for household order and kid cooperation I have purchased yet ANOTHER book(sigh). But on the up side, this may be the RIGHT book. It's called Cleaning House: A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement, by Kay Wills Wyma.
Even if a clean house doesn't excite you like it does me, ridding your home of "Youth Entitlement" should thrill for a number of reasons, the number one of which is that entitled children are annoying. Not "the neighbor's are mowing at 6:00am" annoying but "over-perfumed airline passenger reclining in your lap annoying." And who needs that kind of misery in their own home? Not us.
Wyma is a mom of five who is a self-professed enabler and procrastinator who is lacking in organization skills. She's a real mom like many of us. She's funny, and her self-deprecating style puts you at ease and really makes you think that this can work for you, too. Her plan is a good one, giving her kids a new task each month with the goal of teaching them skills and independence as well as reducing her own frustration level at being treated like the family's drudge.
The assignment of each task is preceded by a family meeting, and the kids are rewarded for their efforts. This woman is by no means a slave driver, she truly wants what is best for her kiddos: acceptance of personal responsibility, maturity(commensurate with age), and problem solving skills. If your kids could use a boost in those areas as well as some practical skills, and you could use some encouragement, a good laugh, and the knowledge that "you're not alone," this book is one you should pick up. And you should finish it.
Note: Wyma is a Christian, but the book is not heavy-handed and doesn't proselytize.