In this issue

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 July 6, 2007 / 20 Tamuz, 5767

Only things plastered are walls of house

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Mom, you have to hear this message," Katie said, handing me her cell phone. What followed were 30 or 40 seconds of gibberish.

"Whatever ... [laughter] ... hello? ... [giggling] ... no, wait ... whatever ... give me the phone." The voices of three of Katie's high school acquaintances babbled and slurred their way through the phone line until one of them finished the call with this ironic announcement: "I am not wasted. Really."

"Wow," I said. "If that wasn't the sound of 'wasted' I'd like to hear the message after a few more beers."

The phone message, delivered at 1 in the morning, is one Katie will forget quickly. Unfortunately, the teens who made that call probably will have even less recollection of it, given their obvious state of inebriation.

But whatever.

In our culture, teen drinking seems to be a rite of passage, like getting acne or a driver's license. It's just something all youngsters do — part of the rebellious years we parents are supposed to accept as normal adolescence.

Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, displayed on the Students Against Destructive Decisions Web site (www.sadd. org/stats.htm), tell us that 75 percent of American teenagers try alcohol in high school. Partying begins for some as early as seventh or eighth grade, with more than half of all teens establishing regular drinking habits by age 17.

Teen drinking, it seems, is the norm.

Happily, however, this is one area in which my teenagers aren't normal. (As their younger brother would insist, there are many other areas as well. But I digress).

That's right. Apparently, it is possible to make it to your junior year in high school — and (gasp) even graduate — without getting wasted, trashed, buzzed, loaded or plastered.

Now, before you put the paper down and decide I'm just some naive ostrich-mother, obliviously ignoring my teens' age-appropriate experimentation, guess again. I'm a lot of things, but I'm not naive.

Besides, that sort of cynical attitude strikes me as one big reason why teens seem to have free rein to invade the liquor cabinet and mix up a refreshing batch of vodka and fruit punch (yuck). With adults all around them expecting them at least to try drinking, there's not much reason to refrain.

Instead of the attitude that teen drinking was one more thing we would have to face, my husband and I put out the challenge to our children to buck the trend. We don't demand perfection — in this or any area of behavior — but we figure just because the odds are against success, that doesn't mean we ought to drop the bar of our ideal.

After all, the statistic on teen drinking isn't 100 percent. Somebody, somewhere, is making it to 21 before imbibing adult beverages.

As with so much of parenting, I'm convinced that when it comes to drinking, we generally get what we expect. The new conventional wisdom about adolescents says we should count on them to rebel, to flagrantly ignore our parental commands and to talk back.

In fact, one child-development expert says teens need to talk back in order to assert their independence and explore their individuality. This guy says the job of parents is to help children talk back in ways that aren't destructive to our relationships.

No. Really. Read that again.

(I'm not going to include this guy's name out of concern for his safety. This kind of ridiculous assertion could get his house egged by a whole bunch of moms who are sick of being "dissed" by their own children.)

We shortchange our children when we drop our standards in this way. Instead of giving them ideals to reach, we give them excuses for failing to try.

Then we ought not wonder why teens talk back and later, with friends, toast their newfound independence with a case of beer swiped from mom and dad's fridge.

Setting an expectation of success is just one half of the equation, however. The other half is the decision on the part of teens that an alcohol-free youth is worth the effort.

At some point, our daughters simply decided that whatever the social rewards might be of partying, they weren't worth the commensurate loss of self-respect (and a hangover, to boot).

It turns out, according to my daughters anyway, that avoiding teen drinking isn't all that complicated. Because everyone knows who the partyers are, it's simply a matter of avoiding their parties. Once you decline an invitation or two, you get a reputation as someone who isn't interested. You gravitate toward others who share your social style. You hang out. You have fun. You stay sober.

I'm willing to consider the possibility that I'm oversimplifying this issue. Teens drink for a host of reasons, from feeling insecure and desiring to fit in to succumbing to peer pressure and even, sadly, escaping depression. Clearly, the current generation of teens drinking to excess is yearning to quench a thirst — one that seems to be generating from the heart.

That's a thirst parents need to address.

Then again, perhaps more of us should just decide not to give in to the prevailing assumption that all teens drink. When we stand confidently behind our children and communicate our belief that they can outperform the norm, they may take that challenge. It's worth the effort because success and genuine self-esteem are the best high of all.

You never know — for more teens, sober could become the new normal.

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"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
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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.


© 2007, Marybeth Hicks