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 16, 2006 / 18 Iyar, 5766

As cool as you want to be and the parents' nightmares begin

By Mitch Albom

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It wasn't so long ago that a teenage girl who wished she were prettier would parade in front of a mirror in her older sister's clothes. And in time, she'd be called downstairs for supper.

It wasn't so long ago that a teenage boy, wishing he were tougher, would do push-ups on his bedroom floor or mimic a movie poster on his wall. And in time, he'd be called downstairs for supper.

You'll notice a similarity in those fantasies: They began and ended inside the teenager's imagination.

Those days are gone.

Today, you can be as cool, as sexy or as old as you want to be. You simply put yourself on MySpace.com. You create a page; throw up some suggestive photos; make up lies about your age, experience or coolness; and bask in the idea that other people see you the way you want to be seen.

And you don't think about the fact that some of the people seeing you are creeps.

Last week, my newspaper, the Detroit Free Press, followed the story of a 13-year-old Harrison Township, Mich., girl who pretended, through her suggestive site on MySpace, that she was 18. A 25-year-old man drove all the way from Indiana to pick her up. They were in the car, reportedly heading back to Indiana, when police in Kalamazoo County, Mich., stopped them.

That was lucky — because something tells me they weren't going to see a movie. Let's say, for argument's sake, they had sex. And then they were caught. Several lives could have been altered forever, possibly ruined by trials and jail time.

For what? Boredom? Loneliness? These emotions have been around forever. But the Internet to loneliness is like fission to uranium. Suddenly, there's an explosive new world of possibilities. Most of them are bad.

Now, I know the easy reaction is to call the 25-year-old a pervert and to sweep the poor, confused young girl into our protective embrace. But before you do, you might want to wander through MySpace for an hour.

You will weep for the future.

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Many of the young faces are sullen, sunken or sultry. The nicknames they give themselves would embarrass a porn star. Their photos are often half-naked. The language of their messages can range from boredom to sex to violence to weirdness to sex again.

This is not the first generation to harbor fantasies. But it is the first to share them with the world. When we were kids, we never would have gone out with "I don't give a ..." on a T-shirt or Playboy decals on our heads. We wouldn't have walked through the school promising the best sex ever.

Why? Because we'd have been laughed at. We'd have been exposed. But if you don't need to come face-to-face with your clique, you can be anything. The fat and pimply can be trim and popular. The shy and awkward can be sexually dynamic.

As cool as you want to be.

As long as you don't leave the computer.

The problem is, even today's kids want to go outside now and then. They embolden themselves for a meeting — at a mall, at a gas station, at a coffee shop.

And the parents' nightmares begin.

So how do you stop it? Well, monitoring your kid's computer use is obvious. But the MySpace generation is way ahead of you, ready with fake-outs and secret tip-offs to their co-chatters. (POTS stands for "parents over the shoulder.")

You could lose the computer altogether. But as long as libraries and schools and Internet cafes exist, kids will find a way to log on.

The bottom line is that you must be more involved with your kids than ever. The world has changed: It's split in two, on-line and off-line. And that precious ninth-grader you think you know may be someone quite different to a lot of other people.

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