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 Jan. 17, 2007 / 27 Teves, 5767

Teen gets context of mom's message

By Marybeth Hicks

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The sound of Betsy's cell phone beeping from the family room signals not only the arrival of another text message from one of her pals, but also the reality that a determined teenager most certainly will find a way of getting around the rules.

Secretly, I confess I'm impressed.

Betsy is the most resourceful of our four children — the one I can count on to find obscure items in the grocery store such as pickled green beans or Greek black olives (not Kalamata).

So it should come as no surprise to me that our 15-year-old sophomore — known in childhood as "Little Miss Independent" — has developed a busy social life with the help of our cell-phone carrier's unlimited text- messaging feature.

First, some context: Our home, while equipped with one desktop computer and two laptops (one for mom, one for dad), apparently is unusual because it remains a place where instant messaging is not available or allowed.

Somehow, we are raising two teenage daughters, one middle school son and a fourth-grade girl without benefit of IM.

OMG. (In cyber-speak: Oh my G-d.)

Rather than send instant messages, our children must make phone calls and have actual conversations when they choose to communicate with their friends. (The older three have e-mail addresses and could send e-mail messages, but "nobody uses e-mail," so they don't.)

Without instant messaging, we have discovered, an adolescent's social life, especially a girl's, is likely to be — how to put this? — less robust than it otherwise might be.

We realize this is a bit of a hardship, but it has its upsides. For example, if you don't engage in instant messaging, you may miss a party or two, but you'll also miss the temptation to send instant messages about the mustache on the upper lip of a female teacher or the body odor of the person at the next locker.

This means it's impossible for you to be called to the principal's office when your unkind and insensitive messages mysteriously are printed out and taped to a chalkboard or to the locker of the smelly girl (with your screen name identifying you as the meanie who sent them).

Not to mention, if statistics are any indication of the hours spent by teens engaging in instant messaging, I can't fathom how my children would have time for really important things, such as making their beds, running the vacuum cleaner or reading books.

But maybe TJM (That's just me).

Despite our house rule, the issue of instant messaging sometimes comes up, so my husband and I occasionally have revisited its relative merits as a form of communication, but we can't think of enough reasons to invite this aggravation into our home.

In short, we think "IMing," as an activity of daily living for young people, is a CWOT (complete waste of time). But as I said, Betsy is nothing if not resourceful, and to be fair, we don't have a rule against text messages.

In fact, the reason we have unlimited text messaging on our cell phones is so I can send an unlimited number of text messages to my teenage daughters, especially when they're someplace where it's hard to hear the phone ringing.

This way, when they're at a basketball game or in the mall, I can ask "Are you on your way home?" (I suppose I could make it easier on myself and text "R U OYWH," but for a writer, old habits, such as using real words, die hard).

Like millions of teenagers across America, Betsy has discovered that "texting" — a new verb for the techno-generation — is a lot like instant messaging and is more convenient in some ways because you can keep your cell phone with you all the time (whereas it's inconvenient to walk around with your family's desktop computer in your pocket).

This is how Betsy is upholding the letter of the law against instant messaging in our home but seems to be violating its spirit just a bit.

Still, I'm not too concerned. For one thing, her messages are captured on her phone, and though the phone is available for her use, it really belongs to me, not to her. ("Her phone" would be one for which she pays.)

Also, while paying the cell phone bill, I have access to a complete list of all the numbers sending and receiving text messages to and from Betsy's phone. In this way, I can easily keep track of the activity on her line.

But the biggest reason I'm not too concerned is that I'm well aware that while Betsy and her buddy use the text feature to make plans about going to movies or meeting at a friend's house, they're more often making plans to go running or meet at the library.

One night, they even spent hours sending text messages while working together — remotely — on the honors chemistry study guide. Their fingers raced on the miniature keyboards of their cell phones while science questions flew through cyberspace like homing pigeons with notes tied around their necks.

Personally, all that typing on a phone pad would be 2MFM (too much for me).

If the text messaging gets out of hand, I can easily change our "unlimited" text service to "Sorry, kid, you had your chance."

BTA (but then again), for now, the message I'm sending is KUTGW (keep up the good work) — just don't KPC (keep parents clueless).

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 19 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.


© 2006, Marybeth Hicks