In this issue
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

Mothers who fall short --- by design

By John Rosemond

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) "Well, I mean, I'm the nurturer, right?" she said.

I was talking to a mother about a disciplinary issue she was having with one of her children when she made some comment concerning her overall approach to parenting. I asked why she felt the way she did, and the above remark was her response.

"Are you asking me a question or giving me information?" I asked.

That caught her off guard. After a few deer-in-the-headlights moments, she said, "Well, I guess I'm giving you information. I feel like it's my job to be the nurturer."

That told me why she was having discipline problems with her child. After all, The Nurturer doesn't demand proper behavior of her children. She nurtures. It occurred to me that this woman was speaking for many if not most mothers of her generation, women who have put themselves in a box that prevents them from being a disciplinary force for their children to reckon with.

Yes, mothers are supposed to be nurturing, but then, so are fathers. But being nurturing when nurturing is called for and being The Nurturer are two very different things. The former is all about being flexible, open, sensitive, adaptable. Courtesy of the latter self-definition, a mother paints herself into a corner.

My mother was nurturing, but she also was demanding (of certain things), intolerant (of certain things), inflexible (when it came to certain things) and even downright scary at times (about certain things). I knew she loved me, but I also knew better than to cross certain lines she had drawn in the sand. In that regard, my mom was like most moms of her time. I am a member of the last generation of American children who were afraid of their nurturing mothers. Today's Nurturer is afraid of her children. Most of all, she is afraid of their disapproval. She is also constantly afraid that she is not living up to some standard of good nurturing, which involves never being demanding, intolerant, inflexible and scary.

By the way, being scary is not synonymous with screaming or other symptoms of cerebral meltdown. It is communicating to one's children a calm and powerful determination to this effect: You ARE going to accept your responsibilities, do your best at all times, treat others with respect and dignity, accept "no" for an answer and control your uncivilized impulses. This is not accomplished by losing control. It requires control, which a mother who denies herself the right to make those demands of her children - that is, a mother who defines herself as The Nurturer - is likely to lose on a regular basis. Then she feels flooded by guilt because losing control is not nurturing. She atones for her guilt by doing some act or acts of Extreme Nurturance, meaning she lets her children know that she is available to walk all over whenever they want a doormat.

It is supremely ironic that over the past 40 years or so, women have stepped forward and claimed authority in the military, education, religious institutions, corporations, politics and the professions, and have been persuaded to all but completely abdicate their authority over their children. The further irony is that women enforce this ubiquitous state of maternal powerlessness on one another. Heaven help the mother who, in front of other mothers, focuses a calm scariness on her misbehaving child. She will not be informed of the next play date. Her exile will last as long as it takes for her to come to grips with what it means to be The Nurturer.

The last and most ironic of ironies is that these same mothers worry about the effect of peer pressure on their teenage children.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspirational material. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

We want your comments! Please let us know what you think by clicking here.

John Rosemond is a psychologist, family therapist and nationally known expert on parenting issues


To tell a child 'You can be anything you want to be' is irresponsible
Family 'democracy' can turn to tyranny
'Because I said so' signals strong parental leadership
It's time for parents to get their heads out of the '60s

© 2010, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.