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December 2, 2014

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 March 17, 2014 / 15 Adar II, 5774

Girl sues her parents, but who owes whom?

By Mitch Albom




JewishWorldReview.com | I remember when my free ride ended. I had been complaining about doing my chores and the size of my allowance, and my father took me by the shoulders, pointed a finger and said, "No more allowance. It's time you pulled your own weight around here."

I was 11.

Shortly thereafter, I began my working life, selling programs at a baseball stadium. I'd work five hours and sometimes make $4, lugging a canvas sack of programs up and down the stadium steps, sweating in a smelly uniform that had been worn by other workers.

I might not have loved it. But I never thought about calling a lawyer. All I knew was that my father said it was time to grow up, and that's the way it was.

That's obviously a different approach than the one taken by Rachel Canning, an 18-year-old who left her New Jersey home nearly five months ago after her parents disapproved of her boyfriend. She then sued them for her tuition and living expenses.

Yeah. Like I might have tried that.

Most people from my generation — or any before it — read this story and rolled their eyes at the details: Rachel cutting high school, getting suspended, her boyfriend doing the same, her moving in with her best friend's so-called "concerned" family, then seeking high school and college tuition costs, and $654 a week in living expenses.

Six hundred fifty-four a week?

I know iPhones are expensive, but really?

LEGALLY BREAKING FROM YOUR FAMILY

In her lawsuit, Rachel claimed that she was "non-emancipated." That's a new one. I was just getting used to kids being "emancipated," which is another way of saying your dad is Will Smith. Used occasionally in cases of terrible abuse, "emancipation" is mostly accessed by young celebrities and movie stars. Macaulay Culkin wanted out of his family. So did Corey Feldman and Drew Barrymore. It enabled them to keep the money they were earning.

Rachel Canning did the opposite. She left and wanted her parents to pay for everything, while taking responsibility for nothing.

Something's wrong with that equation.

Now, we can't judge this case too strictly from afar. There are many details we can never know. But based on the legal process, certain things were determined: This young woman was not being enslaved, starved or physically abused. She went to private school. Was an honor student. She claimed she was emotionally abused (she complained her mother called her "fat," among other things), but an investigation by the state's Division of Child Protection and Permanency ruled the claims were "unfounded."

So, from a distance, it sounds like a fairly typical "I'm in love and you can't tell me what to do" dispute between a teen and her parents.

The question is, how did it get so far?

PRESSURE OR PARENTING?

The answer is media that now act as if reality TV is the barometer of what makes news.

The answer is a legal system gone haywire, in which anyone can sue anyone for anything.

The answer is a knee-jerk society that too quickly hears the words "emotional abuse" and immediately wants to imprison the parents.

The answer is kids who have grown up with all of the above.

And have figured out how to use it.

Whatever happened to "as long as you're under my roof"? And, while it's good and common, who says it's an obligation for parents to fund college or private high school — let alone living expenses for a runaway?


People say that kids today mature faster. I would argue that only applies to sex and the Internet. Beyond that, our kids strike me as far less mature than their predecessors. An 18-year-old today seems almost juvenile compared to the ones who went off to fight World War II. When my father told me to pull my own weight, I knew he had been taking care of my mother's family since her father died when she was 16. How could I complain?

Last week, after a judge had denied pretty much her every claim, Rachel returned to her family. Her attorney protested that she was being "pressured." Maybe she was. But if that pressure came from her mother and father, it's not called pressure, it's called parenting.

And while none of us has all the details here, I can't help thinking that this isn't more about the time we live in than real abuse. It should have been worked out with conversation and maybe therapy. The fact that it became an internationally watched lawsuit says a lot about our misplaced priorities.

As the judge in this case said near the end, a family is still "well worth the effort to salvage."

It's a shame that thought has to come from the bench.

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.

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