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 May 11, 2007 / 23 Iyar, 5767

Alpha moms vs. commonsense moms

By Betsy Hart

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In honor of Mother's Day, I'm enlisting with the "slacker moms," as USA Today described us this week.

In, "'Slacker Moms' Urge Other Mothers to Chill," Sharon Jayson describes the new version of the "mommy wars." She writes that this one isn't between stay-at-home moms and their professional peers, it's a skirmish between the controlling, super efficient, protective "alpha moms" and the more laid back "slacker moms."

Jayson writes that the latter "may forget to send back permission slips or lose track of their turn for team snacks." My own picture should appear next to that sentence.

Of course, the term "slacker" mom isn't right at all. I prefer the more accurate term of "commonsense" mom. Anyway, one commonsense mom confesses to Jayson (gasp!) that, contrary to the other affluent moms around her, she lets her 10 and 11 and 7-year-olds ride their bikes in their neighborhood. Ooooh.

In today's parenting world that is living on the edge. Especially for the mom, who may risk censure from the "alphas."

When I think of "alpha" moms, I'm reminded of those moms with healthy young children who announce with exhaustion they can't go to the bathroom alone. I think of the mothers who agonize endlessly with their child over every bruised knee or hurt feeling, and fear that if they don't get their children into the right preschool at age 3, their chances at Harvard are over.

Yes, there are "alpha" dads, though they don't seem to be quite as intense. Let's save that for Father's Day.

I'm guessing that the more kids you have, the harder it is to be an "alpha" mom. With my four, I couldn't be an "alpha" if I tried. Yes, I allow more than one child at a time onto my large (netted) trampolineand wow do they have a blast. If it's a beautiful day and my kids are a bit late getting home from school, I assume they've stopped at the park for a few minutes, not that they've been abducted. I don't worry about trace amounts of pesticides remaining on their fruit after I wash it. I readily tell them I'm not the entertainment committee. And sometimes after they scrape a knee or an ego and have gotten their hug, I tell them to stop whining and move on.

I want them to work hard in school because that's their job, whether or not they end up at Harvard. And sometimes if we stay up late on a school night to watch a movie together, well — so what?

I love my kids like crazy. I even have fun being around them. I'm also quite open about something alpha moms seem loath to admit: sometimes it's not fun. Sometimes parenting is just hard. Sometimes it's just a good time to send them all to bed.

Yes, I worry: about building my children's characters, helping them to deal with a world that wants to seduce them in every unwholesome way, teaching them to respect themselves, and me, and the principle behind "no, you can't have it, you can't do it, you can't behave that way." Teaching them to esteem others, not just themselves, and that it's my job to care for them and lead them. And that yes that they are precious and the world still doesn't revolve around them.

The helicopter parents who seem to live in a constant state of anxiety and fear, who consistently worry about building their child's all-important self-esteem in addition to their little one's resume, well I just don't think they can be having a whole lot of fun. Sure they love their kids like crazy too, but I have to wonder — are they raising "all about me" nervous nellies?

Yes, there's probably a lot of overlap in almost every mom between "alpha" and "commonsense." And look, I hardly think I get it all right. In fact, lots of times I don't get any of it right. For starters, I'm not necessarily happy about the fact that I'm raising children who are perfectly comfortable (occasionally) sleeping in their clothes. The list goes on.

But, if I could give a gift this Mother's Day to every mom in America, it would be this: Relax, give your children and yourself the freedom to fail, and just enjoy your kids!

Happy Mother's Day!

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"It Takes a Parent : How the Culture of Pushover Parenting is Hurting Our Kids — and What to Do About It"  

"Hart urges parents to focus...on instilling industry, frugality, sincerity and humility. She encourages parents to reclaim the word "no." Contrary to advice you may have received, you needn't give your child choices, or offer alternatives, or explain to little Suzie why she can't eat eight cookies right before bed-you're the parent, and sometimes you can just say no."

  —   Kirkus Reports

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