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

How parents create victims

By Julie Nelson

Three techniques that have long-term impact | I was in a hurry to leave one morning. After jumping into the car, I began backing out of the garage as the door slowly lifted. I didn't check behind because we never park any cars on our driveway. Unfortunately, on that rare morning, one of our kids had left his car there. Sure enough, I crashed into the front end of his car.

My reaction: "Why did you leave the car there when we've asked you not to?"

His reaction: "Why didn't you check before backing up?"

We're really good at passing the buck. Kids love to play the blame game. "It's not my fault, mom. He made me do it!"

A child learns early when he hears his parent yell at cars who drive too slow and make him late for work, or vents his frustrations at home about how a coworker ruined his chances for a promotion, or blames his 9-iron for a missed putt or a referee's bad call that caused the Portland Trailblazers to lose in the NBA finals.

Educator Bonnie Harris explained, "When more spirited children feel blamed, their focus turns inward with self-protection, and they defend themselves against the blame to keep from 'getting in trouble.' They act out and learn how to get sneaky and shirk responsibility ... Children with a more adaptable temperament take blame personally, plummet into guilt, learn that 'everything' is their fault, and lose self-esteem."

Dr. Neil Farber asserts that parents "must assume much of the responsibility for creating these harmful beliefs and attitudes in our children when we blame them for things that are beyond their control or within a normal range of childhood behavior."

Why point the finger at others? There are plenty of reasons: to deflect our own guilt or inadequacies, for misunderstandings, power and control, or unrealistic expectations. Some parents rush to blame teachers or any number of "unfair" circumstances to protect their child from discomfort.

Such was the case with one high school teacher who gave a failing grade to three students who cheated on a test. One parent responded, "Well, if your class weren't so hard, my child wouldn't have resorted to cheating!" Teenagers who are taught this "victim" attitude may not realize their full potential.

Overprotecting a child creates a "me against the cold, cruel world" mentality. James Lehman warns against this harmful parenting practice: "If you see your child as a victim, he will eventually see himself that way, too ... 'Since I'm a victim, the rules don't apply to me.' Herein lies the real danger. There are rules that accompany learning. There are rules that accompany individual change. Children who don't follow those rules often don't learn and don't change."

Parenting is about empowering our children, not victimizing them. Being grown up requires we grow up. The following are 3 approaches to end the blame game.

1. Avoid words that connect your emotional state to another's actions. "You make me so ..." Whether the ending of that sentence is positive (proud/happy) or negative (mad/angry), we communicate that emotions are not ours to control, but result from the actions of others. The latter is typical merchandise in the blame-shifting department. We pay a high price to discredit our ability to choose.

Try using these "I" sentence starters instead:

"I am so happy when..."

or "I feel angry when..."

In essence we are stating, "I choose to be (insert emotion) when you (insert behavior)." Emotional maturity requires honest humility.


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2. Be situation-oriented rather than blaming-oriented. When a problem arises, ask, "What happened here?" (gathering information) rather than, "Who did this?" (accusing). An understanding opener will help a child feel safer in sharing the truth. The parent and child acknowledge the wrongful deed rather than cut down the doer. They move forward. What easily follows is, "What should we/you do about it?" (fixing oriented).

3. Focus on taking full responsibility. If we come out shooting with both barrels, what child wouldn't want to duck for cover? Rather than "Why did you fail your exam?" calmly ask, "Whose responsibility was it to learn the material for the test?" Shift the conversation from fault-finding to responsibility-taking.

My neighbor teaches high school chemistry and was entering the final grades for the semester. She was surprised to see an exceptional student, who had always turned in every assignment, have one missing lab. That one "F" brought her final grade from an "A" to a "B+". The teacher was sure this student had done the work so she replaced the "F" for that assignment with an "A." The next day, this student came in and said, "There's something wrong with my grade." The teacher said, "I know. I changed it to an "A." The student said, "No. That's not it. My house burned down that week and I didn't do the assignment. I want you to leave the "F" because it is what I earned."

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Julie K. Nelson writes articles on the joys, challenges and power of parenting.

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