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 Oct. 26, 2006 / 4 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Some real puzzlers regarding children

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "I hate logic puzzles," Jimmy lamented recently. "I stink at them. I'd rather just do math."

Logic puzzles, if you don't know, are those confusing story problems that give only enough variables to the solution to cause the puzzler untold hours of confusion, not to mention holes in the paper from erasing answers over and over, such as this:

Five parents pick up their children at the Parkway Elementary School every Tuesday to bring the children to their after-school activities. Each of the five attends a different after-school activity, and their parents always arrive at different times (between 3 and 3:30 p.m.). Determine each child's full name, the first name of the parents picking them up, the time each was picked up and the activity each child attends.

To exercise the brain, the puzzle includes a few key facts that (supposedly) are enough to answer the questions. Usually it feels as though there isn't enough information to fill in the blanks, but in reality, everything you need to solve the puzzle is there.

I actually like it when Jimmy is assigned a logic puzzle, but that's probably because I'm good at them. (Unlike Jimmy, I stink at math.)

Bring home a page of middle school algebra and watch me sweat. About all I remember is that you have to do the things in parentheses first. However, give me a logic puzzle with a graph to track my answers, and in no time I'll discover Colleen's mother's name, the time Susie is picked up for ballet, which child Mr. Jones drops at baseball practice, and whose mother drives a sport utility vehicle. I even could add a column for "likely fast-food choices on the way to practice."

Makes perfect sense to me, but maybe that's because the life of a suburban mom actually is a lot like a logic puzzle.

These assignments are great learning tools, and I'm glad my son's math teacher still uses them to promote problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Those are skills he'll need as an adult (probably more than algebra, at least until he has a middle schooler of his own).

Lately, though, I'm starting to think an entire generation of American adults may have missed out on the middle school logic curriculum. Never mind problems that resolve which child gets a ride to an after-school activity, at what time, from which parent. How about this puzzle:

The two top-rated new television shows among children aged 2 to 11, according to Nielsen Media Research, aired at 10 on a school night; were written and produced for an adult audience; and focused on sex, dysfunctional families, business corruption and the Hollywood media machine. If children aged 2 to 11 are sleeping at 10 on a school night, how are they able to watch NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" in such large numbers that Nielsen declared these the highest-rated shows among America's youngest viewers?

Scratch that puzzle. There is no logic.

There is this, however: According to Media Life magazine (www.medialife magazine.com), a publication for advertisers, "It's not too hard to figure out why 'Sisters' did well in the [demographic]. Its lead-in, 'Desperate Housewives,' is one of the top shows among kids 2-11, averaging a 2.5 in the demographic. And 'Sisters' is similar in theme, with family intrigue, back-stabbing and sexual shenanigans."

Well now, that makes more sense. The children who watched the first episode of "Brothers & Sisters" were already perched on the couch to watch "Desperate Housewives." For a moment, I thought maybe they actually had gotten out of bed for a drink of water and used that opportunity to tune in to an inappropriate adult television drama, but this explains it.

All exasperation aside, here's what puzzles me most: The evidence about the risks to children from unfettered media exposure — be it viewing or hearing about violence, sexuality or adult themes — through television, radio, movies, newspapers, magazines and via the Internet, overwhelmingly indicates that children absorb and imitate the behaviors they see and hear through these sources.

Studies already have drawn direct correlations between childhood exposure to media violence and sexual behaviors and the onset of aggression and premature sexual activity.

In addition, graphic content (real or depicted by actors) can cause children to be anxious and afraid.

Yet measurements such as Nielsen's television ratings prove parents aren't protecting childhood innocence in the family room, and statistics (not to mention recent headlines) about youth and the Internet show we aren't safeguarding their innocence in cyberspace.

I think there are enough variables to solve this puzzle, but there's a disconcerting lack of logic in the mix.

Incidents in the past few weeks, from school shootings to a congressional sex scandal, have sadly robbed children of their innocence. Those involved in these episodes — if they haven't lost their lives — have lost a part of themselves they can't regain.

Obviously, we're quick to respond with grief and indignation at the selfish, twisted behaviors of the adults who wreaked such havoc in the lives of their victims.

But there are other children — innocent victims, too — sitting at home, watching graphic stories about these events on the 11 p.m. news, right after they catch installments of their favorite adult-content TV shows.

That's also lost innocence, but where's the indignation? And where's the logic?

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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