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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 19, 2008 / 13 Adar I 5768

Not just a game to lunatics in stands

By Marybeth Hicks



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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Did you hear that woman screeching in the stands?" my girlfriend asks. We're lingering on the bleachers after a basketball game in which our sons and their teammates' valiant effort couldn't overcome a 15-point deficit.

"Yeah," I said. "You have to wonder what she's thinking."

"I don't think we have to wonder," my friend said. "She didn't seem to let any of her thoughts go unexpressed."

I crack up, because no matter how fervently I deny that I'm a hypercompetitive sports mom, the truth is, when it comes to basketball, I have to be careful. I don't want to be known as a parent with a problem.

Actually, though my friend and I are avid fans, even we would never yell at our boys the way this woman yells at hers: "Get in his face. C'mon. Get in his face and get the ball."

Ouch. Apparently, she wants to see her son's best rendition of a thug. Did I mention her son's team is up by 15 points?

If bellowing from the bleachers is an obvious no-no, a more subtle parental error is the new trend toward overzealous praise.

I figure I have attended more than 350 youth basketball games, but in all honestly, there's only one game that I'm certain I'll never forget: Amy's last game in the fourth-grade community recreation league.


To be clear, rec league instructional basketball for 9-year-olds doesn't look much like basketball. In fact, it looks a lot like soccer, which is to say a bunch of kids run in a pack chasing after a ball. Sometimes they dribble the thing, sometimes they just pick it up and start moving. Traveling calls are appropriately few and far between.

Given that this is beginner basketball — and as well that it is played at an ungodly hour on Saturday mornings — I tended to sit with a friend on the sidelines drinking coffee and occasionally shouting out encouragingly to my daughter.

Most folks yell, "Good job" and "Way to hustle." I usually shouted things like, "Amy, honey, you're on offense now" and "Sweetie, tie your shoe." The parents on my daughter's team — all friends from her school — exhibited a similar level of enthusiasm, which is to say, enough to prove we were watching the game while chatting among ourselves. This is what I expected to be doing at my most memorable game of youth basketball. But right from the tip-off, the screaming began.

It was the screaming that seared this game into my consciousness; the overwhelming and unrelenting volume projected by the voices of about 30 adults on the sidelines. No matter what happened on the basketball court, this group of parents went stark raving wild.

Jump ball? Shrieks of "Jump. Jump. Get it. Get it."

Inbound the ball? Roars of "Way to go. All the way."

Pass to a teammate? "That's it. You did it. Great pass."

The praise for simple execution of elementary skills was ridiculous. Could the girls really believe they were doing something so extraordinary?

As you can imagine, whenever one of their daughters tossed the ball anywhere in the vicinity of the basket, these parents reacted as if they'd just been told they had won the Mega Million lottery. They actually made yipping sounds as they slapped high-fives and jumped up and down. I'm not even kidding — grown adults, both men and women, jumped up and down at a rec league basketball game for fourth-grade girls.

The more they squealed and yelled and carried on, the more I felt I had been transported to some distant, oddball planet: the planet of lunatic parents.

Their team won the game, which mattered deeply to them. Afterward, they hurried onto the court to make a human, parental "spirit tunnel," through which their players gleefully walked before collecting more hugs and hollers from their parents. Then their team had a meeting with the coach while the parents stood around the huddle.

Amy's team ate doughnuts.

It turns out all this enthusiasm on the part of parents may have an ironic consequence. According to the National Alliance for Youth Sports, 70 percent of children quit organized sports by age 13 and never play again.

The reason? It's just not fun anymore.

Go figure.

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MAYBETH'S FIRST BOOK!
"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


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