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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 Dec. 24, 2004 /12 Teves, 5765

What if teenagers made the rules?

By Marybeth Hicks



David Clark
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Gallup Organization puts some interesting information into the marketplace of ideas, but it could save a lot of time, money and analysis if its pollsters just talked to a handful of parents.

Case in point: A survey done Aug. 8 through 19 says, "Teens plan to treat their own children differently." In this survey of 439 respondents aged 13 to 17, Gallup learned that 55 percent of teens plan to do things differently in raising children than their parents are doing with them.

Not surprisingly, Gallup says teens plan to be "less controlling and allow more freedom" when they're the ones making the rules.

Any parent who has ever said "No, you may not wear shorts and a tank top in mid-December, even if the mall is covered," could predict the answer to Gallup's question.

In our house, putting teens in charge would mean a boycott of the produce section, except for baby carrots, and a diet of Krispy Kremes and pizza. We'd all stay up for episodes of "Law and Order" until 2 a.m. on school nights, we'd shop for new jeans as opposed to laundering the ones we already own, and we'd all have nine pairs of sneakers.

Eighteen percent of the teens in Gallup's poll say they will cut their own children more slack, presumably preparing their offspring for the day when the boss invariably will say, "Hey, Bob, don't worry about the proposal for that big new account — we don't want any new business around here anyway. We'd have to work way too hard if we actually had clients."

Those teens probably are right — accountability is overrated.

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One 14-year-old girl in the Gallup poll says "I will allow my children more room to make mistakes and the right decisions." A boy of the same age says, "Give them more freedom and not shelter them, let them make decisions, but also make sure they know which ones are the wrong ones."

This seems reasonable on the face of it — except these people don't yet know what insurance premiums are and why they go up each time you have personal contact with "your friend the police officer."

Another 14-year-old girl offers what Gallup terms a "practical perspective." She says she won't focus on "the smaller things like being really proper, because we don't listen anyway."

This explains a lot, especially if you have been trampled by teens at a movie concession stand or have cleaned up after them when they have visited your home.

Gallup could have learned all this by taking a group of parents out for coffee. The short answer is, teens don't know what they don't know. And what's wrong with being sheltered in the first place?

A few years ago, some classmates of my daughter's told her she was "too sheltered" because she didn't have the freedom to channel surf without parental controls. Silly us. We were attempting to keep our 11-year-old from pornography, profanity and shows with adult themes and violence.

She came home from school lamenting her lot in life. "I'm sheltered," she cried, as if she had a disease. "Everyone else gets to watch whatever they want, and I don't."

That's when I explained the dictionary definition of "shelter."

"'Shelter' is a place you go for protection from the elements," I said. "When you are sheltered, you're safe."

She felt a little better, because it explained that our decision about television was in her best interest. It didn't, however, change the fact that she had never seen the MTV music video that had prompted the issue in the first place, and she wasn't getting the parental control code anytime soon.

I'm not sure how my teenage daughter would answer the survey, but I'm guessing she would not be among the 6 percent who said they plan to be stricter than their parents.

On the other hand, Gallup found that 44 percent of teens think they won't do things differently when they have their own children. Apparently, these teens are happy with things just the way they are.

These would be the teens known as "everyone," as in "Everyone is staying out all night," "Everyone has Internet access in their rooms" and "Everyone wears flip-flops in subzero weather."

Contrary to popular belief, not all teens wish their parents would vaporize into beads of humidity. In fact, 5 percent of respondents told Gallup they will spend more time with their children than their parents spend with them. Some others want their folks to stop yelling and speak more kindly. Others want a different kind of discipline.

Clearly, there are things teens can improve upon when they become parents.

Still, until you're holding your baby in your arms, it's all hypothetical. Perhaps the most profound discovery a new parent makes is that your capacity to love your child is matched only by the possibility of heartache that now occupies your deepest fears.

< What the survey participants don't know — can't know — is that the rules they endure are a reflection of a love that must be experienced to be explained.

Having the freedom to make mistakes is certainly important, but freedom has a flip side — responsibility — and this is the currency with which they buy their precious emancipation.

Looking back, I know that as a teen I probably would have answered the questions like the majority of those surveyed who said they would ease the reins.

That just proves that when you're young, you don't know what you don't know.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 17 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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© 2004, Marybeth Hicks