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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 8, 2010 / 26 Sivan 5770

Parenting On A Cellular Level

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's no question that modern technology has simplified life in a number of ways (72). But technology has unfortunately complicated life in one critical area: parenting.


Because unlike previous generations, today's parents are forced to answer difficult technology-based child-rearing questions like:


Should children be allowed unsupervised access to the Internet? (No)

Should children get to play whatever video games they want? (Yes, as long as they only want to play "Frogger" with Dad)

Is it ethical to surreptitiously implant your child with a sub-dermal GPS tracking device? (Only in extreme cases, such as if the child ever wants to leave the house).


Perhaps the toughest technological dilemma today's parents face relates to cell phones. By now cell phones have become commonplace among high school students, who can frequently be seen talking or texting away while waiting for the school bus, hanging out with friends, ignoring customers from behind the counter at retail establishments, etc.


But now cell phones are often in the hands of much younger kids, forcing parents to make the cell phone call (ha!) much earlier.


Part of the decision, I suppose, comes down to whether you're the kind of parent who wants to give your children all the advantages you never had. Then again, maybe like me, you figure, why should my kids get to watch DVDs on long car drives instead of playing boring license plate-spotting games, enjoy access to Internet smut when we had to make do with the JC Penney catalog, or have unlimited cell phone use when kids of my generation had to stretch the telephone cord all the way into the bathroom and close the door just to get a little privacy?


But the biggest argument for providing kids with cell phones is safety. That's why some parents will agree to give their child a cell phone, but only for use in case of an emergency. Which usually turns out to be a fine compromise until the first bill arrives and parents realize that there is some disagreement in the household about what constitutes an "emergency."


"But Dad, I had to use the phone when I found out that Zoe told Jaden that she liked him, but just as friends, and would go to the dance with him, but that was before Zak told her that he like liked her and wanted to go to the dance with her, but only if it was cool with Jaden. But then Jaden was, like, I only invited Zoe because I felt sorry for her, and that meant that Kylie, who has secretly been crushing on Jaden for, like forever, could go to the dance with him, but she had to meet him right after school before Ashlynn, who we are almost positive also likes Jaden, could ask him to go with her. So that explains why I had to send, like, 700 text messages in one day."


The other time-honored tactic kids will inevitably trot out is to insist that all the other kids have cell phones, so they should too. Naturally, we parents are wise to this gambit, and respond by saying, "Oh yeah? If all the other kids jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you too? Because water damage will void the warranty on a cell phone, and you're not getting another one."


But the greatest danger posed by cell phones in the hands of children is undoubtedly the risk of a mistake with long term consequences, the sort of consequences teachers and school administrators in my youth regularly threatened us with by saying that any infraction we committed would go on our "permanent record.”


"Well, Mr. Fleschner, everything seems to be in order, and I see no reason why you should face any opposition in the vote on your appointm- whoa, wait a second, what's this? I've just been handed a copy of your permanent record. Is it true that in junior high you broke into the principal's office and used your AV training to play Captain & Tennille's Greatest Hits on a continuous loop over the school's PA system? Well I'm sorry, but that's not the type of behavior we expect from a prospective Secretary General of the United Nations."


But unlike the phony-baloney "permanent record" files, cell phones today can contribute to a person's permanent digital record, much to the dismay of countless naive kids who've send out compromising photos of themselves and philandering professional golfers who believe that text messages magically self-destruct, much like secret agents' coded instructions.


So after weighing the pros and cons, I've decided my kids won't be getting cell phones any time soon. And in case of a real emergency, well, I guess that will be a good chance to test their independence and fortitude. Also their implanted GPS trackers.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:


05/27/10: Older? Yes. Wiser? Not Necessarily
04/19/10: The Bossman Cometh
03/25/10: The Rules of Interaction
01/09/10: A ride of passage
12/26/09: The Family Power Struggle Goes On… 10/26/09: Rapidly approaching fuddyduddy-hood
06/20/09: Waging a backyard turf war
02/20/09: The Sties Have It
04/30/09: Planning of the Apes
04/08/09: No more phoning it in
02/26/09: Tuning in to the English Channel
02/19/09: 25 AND COUNTING
02/13/09: A new life, dead ahead
01/29/09: NOW STARRING ... EVERYBODY!
01/15/09: You know the type
01/08/09: Just in time, here comes 2009
11/20/08: Hotels go for the green
11/06/08: Something does not compute
10/30/08: Early adopters tech their chances
10/21/08: Cyberspace invaders
10/21/08: Keeping up disappearances
09/17/08: Victims of math hysteria
08/07/08: My newfound sense of self (promotion)
06/24/08: Getting the brand back together
05/29/08: Phrased and confused
05/13/08: Take this job and love it
04/17/08: News you can (re)use
04/02/08: Commercial (over)load
02/20/08: An overdose of reality
02/14/08: A developing situation
01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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