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The Difference Between Austere and Harsh Parenting

The first thing I noticed about American boys and girls when we emigrated from Iraq through Greece, is how much freedom they had. We were shocked to see that girls in the fourth grade shaved their legs and wore make-up. Boys and girls held hands. Elementary school crushes, although a natural part of growing up, were never acted upon back in Greece and Iraq. Here, they were given full vent—and so the cycle of uniting and breaking up began very early. Children from an early age learned that relationships don't last. One week you like one guy and he's your boyfriend, but two weeks later you find someone else. This cycle continued through junior high, high school, and beyond. Read More

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