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 Nov. 12, 2007 / 2 Kislev

This troubled world, and the kids who live in it

By Mitch Albom

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You give them life, they try to kill you.

That sentence should never apply to your children. But it does in the sad case of a Maryland teenager named Cory Ryder, who tried to hire a hit man to kill his parents.

According to reports, Ryder, who was 16 at the time, met with a man he believed to be an assassin — but who was actually an undercover police officer — in a hotel room last June. During their conversation, Ryder offered his stepfather's pickup as payment for the kill.

"Two bullets is all it takes," he allegedly said.

He was arrested and charged. Nine days ago, he admitted in court what he had done. He will be sentenced — as a juvenile, not an adult — later this month.

According to the Washington Post, his mother, who was at the proceedings, spoke privately with him afterward for nearly 35 minutes — as he wore handcuffs and leg shackles — and in the end, she was hugging him so hard that the officers had to pull her away.

"I didn't want to let him go," she reportedly said.

The son who wanted her dead.

By all accounts, Ryder was a troubled kid, but hardly unique to the teenage world. He lived in the suburbs with his mother, his stepfather (who married his mother when Cory was in kindergarten) and two younger sisters.

He had bad grades in school. His parents tried to do something about it. They grounded him. They took away his music. They took away his PlayStation.

Over time, his mother told the Post, they tried everything — so much so that there was nothing left in his room to take. In one angry outburst, the son threatened to cut his mother's throat in her sleep.

Eventually, the parents threw him out of the house.

Now, I am not naive. I doubt this was some Brady Bunch household that happened to get stuck with a bad teenaged apple.

Nor will I wring my hands and say, "This never happened when we were kids." Dysfunctional families have existed for a centuries. They just never had the label.

But I do know that we are living in strange times. There are forces that suck our kids away from us that our ancestors never had to face. It is no shock that Ryder was into rap and video games. I am not blaming them. I cite them as things that are wall builders in families. Parents never "get" them. They can't penetrate them. Kids slouched on the floor locked in some killing game, the noise blasting in their ears, is not something Abe Lincoln had to deal with.

And yet, despite all that, despite all the arguments, the discipline, the trouble, despite a potential murder plot, here was his mother, being a mother, hugging him, crying, telling a reporter she just wished things could go back to the way they once were.

"I miss him being at home," she said.

Something about that really struck me. I see it in so many families. Parents wondering where the "once were" days have gone. How does a child, under your own roof, grow so far away? How does a kid go from someone you feed and hug and kiss goodnight to someone who wants to kill you?

Why do the teenage years so alienate children from their parents? A little trouble, sure, you expect, but why does it sometimes seems that you are speaking two different languages, living on two different planets, breathing different air? Why is the simplest communication — "Hello, how are you doing?" — turn into angry snarls and sullen looks?

Luckily, most of us don't have to face our children talking murder. But we battle in our own ways, we battle letting go, we battle losing the ones we love. In Cory Ryder's case, something snapped. And now his parents, who will likely see him put away until he is 21 — the maximum — have to wonder, in the back of their minds, if their son, when released, might do them harm.

You give them life, and they try to kill you? How can anyone explain this story? The truth is, once you give them life, they are yours but they are also their own, and they are part of the world, and the struggle begins and never ends.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

"For One More Day"  

"For One More Day" is the story of a mother and a son, and a relationship that covers a lifetime and beyond. It explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives