Prescriptive, Restrictive, and Taboo Behaviors
for Children and Adolescents
Children are central to Egyptian families; they are
treasured in the present and viewed as security for
their parents’ future. During their early years, they are
expected to be studious and goal oriented, respectful,
and loyal to the family. When they become adults, they
are expected to take care of their older parents. However,
second-generation Egyptians tend to blend with
other Americans. Their sense of responsibility toward
their parents is a topic of major concern among
Egyptian Americans. Egyptian children are not permitted
to use foul language or swear in the home or
in front of parents, although this is true to a lesser degree
in the United States. Answering back to parents
is not condoned and is seen as rude and disrespectful.
Some families adjust better than others to the Western
style of child rearing, which permits and encourages
the children’s rights to question their parents’ instructions.
Families that allow their children more freedom
to express their opinions and ask questions often end
up with better-adjusted children and better-preserved
family unity as their children grow into adulthood. Religious
beliefs and teachings forbid premarital sex and
adultery for both Egyptian Muslims and Christians.


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