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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

Consequences of raising children in a bubble

By Aisha Sultan






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) I felt sabotaged by a second-grader when I overheard my daughter tell her friend she had to clean her room before she could play.

"I'm too busy to clean my room," her 7-year-old friend replied. "My mom does it for me."

We've all done our share of cleaning up other people's messes. But when did our children become too busy, too important and too special to pick up after themselves?

One short generation ago, household chores were expected — not rewarded or routinely outsourced. I learned to cook in front of a hot stove in grade school. I knew how to iron my dad's business shirts. And all of us would blast the radio while we vacuumed, dusted and mopped. Household chores were a way to create order out of chaos.

But I've seen few children entrusted to handle such tasks. One mother recently confided that her child had no idea where to find the sugar pot in the house. She had never had to explore the inner workings of the pantry.

Perhaps we have to change our own attitude toward household work. I don't enjoy it, myself, especially when I'm exhausted with the demands of work and children. But a messy space feeds an underlying persistent anxiety. A clean, ordered home feels like a sanctuary. It should be every family member's responsibility to contribute to creating that peace.

The difficulty lies in the follow-through: Who wants to repeat herself over and over again to get a child to load a dishwasher when she can do it herself in 10 minutes? It can be more a chore to enforce a chore.


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There's a danger in giving in to it, according to clinical psychologist Wendy Mogel, who has written "The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers." She's the anti-Tiger Mom and argues that too many parents overindulge, overprotect and over-schedule their children.

She cites a few disturbing examples: 5-year-olds who do not wipe their own bottoms; 7-year-olds who cannot adjust the hot or cold water in the shower; 13-year-olds who have never cleared the table after they've eaten.

When they're older, she says, children can say four magic words that makes any responsibility for chores disappear: "I have a test."

"We treat them like handicapped royalty," she said. And, it leads to scholar-prince and princess syndrome.

It sends the message the certain work is worthy of their attention — the practices, the homework, the college-application boosting service projects — but the rest of it, the "ordinary" work is not worth their time.

"The chores I'm talking about are not fancy," Mogel said. "It's about engaging in self-care and family citizenship."

What is it that turns well-intentioned parents into their kids' Sherpa, butler, concierge, talent agent and ATM? Mogel asks.

"We think there's a scarcity of future," she explains. Our fears and anxiety about the changing global economy, and all the scary, larger forces out of our control sublimate into micromanaging our children's lives. We worry that the slightest perceived disadvantage will take our children out of the running for a decent and prosperous future, she said.

But there are consequences to raising children in this sort of bubble. They lose touch with reality and the benefit that practical life lessons offer. Cooking a dish, for example, involves some risk and a lot of science and reading, and is infinitely better than an enrichment class after school in which fifth-graders are learning five words of Mandarin, Mogel argues.

We are quick to complain about an entitled generation, but how consistently do we expect our children to do even half as many chores as we did as children?

I enjoyed the humor and common sense in much of her book, although the author seems more liberal and permissive in some areas than my comfort level. (Although that's said from the vantage point of having elementary school-aged children not teenagers.) I especially appreciated the Jewish traditions and teachings she shares throughout the stories. It drives home the message that the so-called ordinary work in our life can be as much tied to our spirituality as higher-status work.

Mogel retells the story of a couple who ask the late Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, dean of one of the most prestigious American rabbinical seminaries, to settle a dispute. The husband studied the Torah all day and felt it was beneath him to take out the trash. His wife disagreed. The rabbi ruled that the husband had no religious or legal obligation to take out the garbage, although he ought to help his wife. The next morning, before services, the rabbi shows up at the house. The surprised husband asks him in. The rabbi responds: "No, I've come not to socialize but to take out your garbage. You may believe it's beneath your dignity, but it's not beneath mine."

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© 2011, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.