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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 Nov. 19, 2010 / 12 Kislev, 5771

What really defines being a grown-up?

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The family edition of the game "TableTopics" consists of a few hundred cards with conversation-starting questions like "What do you worry about the most?" and "What would you like to change about your school?" My kids and I can go at this forever. It's a fun way to dig a little deeper into each other's lives.

Every once in a while something really interesting gets put out there. One of the "TableTopics" questions asked at dinner this week was: "How do you know when you're grown-up?" Responses ranged from "You have to pay the bills" to, of course, it's when you "get to do anything you want to do."

I, for one, once had adulthood defined to me as "the first Christmas you are no longer a 'net receiver.' " That's a sure sign.

But what really defines being a grown-up? It used to be marriage. Yet record numbers of those in their 20s and 30s live what seems to be an extended adolescence in their parents' basements, remaining single and hooking up for sexual experiences. And not behaving very ... grown-up. Still, many others who take some of the more traditional steps -- like getting married, at whatever age -- don't behave very grown-up in how they handle those relationships, and often end up selfishly ending them.

So maybe marriage is no longer as reliable a bellwether as it used to be.

Anyway, as I thought about it all, it seemed to me that my youngest child's comment, that being a grown-up is when you get to do anything you want, is the key to, well, what being a grown-up isn't. In other words, of course that comment came from a child. "Doing whatever one wants" may be the ultimate childhood fantasy.

Which then suggests that becoming a grown-up means quite the opposite.

I think you know when you are a grown-up when you are increasingly able to put the needs of others -- and your commitments to others -- before yourself. And I don't mean necessarily in some global sense, by, say, recycling or sending money to relief efforts overseas.

Those might be fine things, but don't really "cost" us anything.

Being a grown-up costs something. In the day-to-day life of dealing with others -- most especially our marriage partners and children -- are we able to put their well-being -- not necessarily their wants and desires -- ahead of our own? Are we willing to pay that cost? Or do we more consistently focus on whether that person is meeting our needs?

It's clear to me that we live in an increasingly non-grown-up culture. One where our decisions are based less on what's right and more on what will make us happy in the moment -- even if it's at the expense of something or someone else.

Look, I fully admit that I'm perfectly capable of the latter. But I increasingly find that it's the former that brings me the most satisfaction, joy and sense of significance.

It seems that being a grown-up pays its own rewards.

I also think it's no accident that, at least for many of us, having children finally makes us grow up -- although sometimes kicking and screaming.

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.

JWR contributor Betsy Hart, a frequent commentator on CNN and the Fox News Channel, can be reached by clicking here.

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