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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 June 14, 2010 / 2 Tamuz 5770

Foolish Risks of Youth, and Parents Who Can't Say ‘Wait’

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Most parents worry if their teenagers are an hour late. Just imagine if they were lost at sea.

For several tense hours Thursday, that was the case for a 16-year-old Californian named Abby Sunderland. Communication had been lost. Two distress beacons had been reported. Sunderland was in stormy waters on a yacht somewhere in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 miles west of Australia and 500 miles north of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

And she was alone.

When I first saw the reports, my heart sank, imagining the worst. A teenager, attempting an around-the-world solo sailing trip, lost at sea forever. Her body never found. Some piece of her boat washing up years from now, reminding her grieving family of her watery grave, her funeral without a body.

I knew her journey would be scrutinized, and I thought it would be a long time before any parent allowed a kid that young to try a trip that dangerous.

How naive.

YOUNG, YOUNGER, YOUNGEST
Do a Web search on "youngest person to sail around the world." It reads like a "Can You Top This?" competition.

In 1996, a 20-year-old Hawaiian named Brian Caldwell set the mark. A few months later, it was broken by an 18-year-old Australian named David Dicks. Three years later, Jesse Martin, another 18-year-old Aussie, did it with no assistance, thus upping the bar.

His mark was broken last year by a 17-year-old named Zac Sunderland. Yes, he is the older brother of Abby. You wonder what this family is feeding the kids.

Of course, Zac's mark was broken that same summer by a Brit who was -- aha! -- three months younger. And his record was bested last month (under some protest) by a 16-year-old Aussie girl named Jessica Walton.

Maybe Abby Sunderland, who has been at sea for six months, was trying to win back the family honor -- before stormy waves knocked her boat over and left her adrift. The ocean doesn't really care how old you are.

Her rigging was broken. Her sail was in the water. Luckily, her distress beacons were detected and the storm abated enough for rescue operations to locate her. Very luckily.

Because different weather might have meant a different story. And her parents would be answering some pretty tough questions right now, instead of posting the headline on her blog: "Abby is fine!"

Abby is fine. Can we say the same about Mom and Dad?

DANGER, WITHIN REASON
Let's face it. We're in a world of super-early achievement. A 13-year-old just climbed Mt. Everest. But no matter how much parents tell you "we don't push" and "this is my child's dream," no kid gets to these levels without Mom and Dad encouraging, if not prodding. Where else does the money come from? The organization? Dealing with school? Oh, and something we used to call "permission?"

The obvious question then is, why couldn't Abby's journey wait? If you want to see what sailing around the world is like, what's the matter with trying it when you're 21?

Because this isn't only about sailing. Abby's dream "since she was 13" (according to her publicity machine) was to be the youngest to sail around the world. She has a clothing product line called "Abby16." That wouldn't sell as well if it were "Abby21," would it? Of course, a year from now, when a 15-year-old beat her mark, it wouldn't mean much, either.

Which is where parents come in. A 16-year-old may want to be a stunt pilot, a racecar driver or spend a winter alone at the North Pole. This is why the words "not yet, honey" were invented.

Instead, her father, Laurence, said, "You obviously don't know Abigail," when asked by "Good Morning America" about criticism. He also said: "Let's face it, life is dangerous. How many teenagers die in cars every year?"

If he really thinks a drive to the movies and six months alone at sea are the same thing, he's hopeless. But instead of a network TV appearance, he and his wife should be on their knees right now thanking heaven they're not mourning a child in an empty coffin.

There are normal risks. There are foolish risks. And there are risks done in the name of fame, records and clothing lines. Kids may not know the difference. Parents should.

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