Socialization of children is based on a host of norms and values drawn from Iranian traditions, Islamic morality, and historical communal ethics. Relationships between children and parents are framed within social ethics known as adab o ehterâm (discipline and respect). Although the rules of adab o ehterâm are vague and fl uid and might vary by subcultural values, parents are often clear as to their expectations from their children in specific situations. Good ethics are seen as a basis for strengthening family cohesion, communal solidarity, and the collective conscience. These ethical values often cut across ethnic and religious divides, thus influencing all, regardless of their communal or religious orientation. Although the Iranian culture is patriarchal, and men are granted much legal power over their wives, in the household, authority is shared between husband and wife, even though unequally. In recent times, children have gained more influence over urban parents than they ever had in the past. Traditionally, men had authority over the decisions related to the economic status of the family and the place of residence, and women over the living conditions, children’s affairs, household consumption, and the daily interactions with relatives. Although professional men are becoming more helpful to their wives with respect to child care since their work hours allow them late afternoon presence at home, women still play a much bigger role in child care than men do. Women who do not work outside of home spend a lot more time with their children than those who work. Men’s interactions with children remain limited to emergencies, evening hours, and holidays. In smaller towns and rural communities, women also depend on their relatives and other women in the community for help with child care and household work. Tasks requiring extra help are shared through a reciprocal relationship neatly woven in kinship and community networks. The traditional Iranian culture requires that once a girl reaches puberty, or starts menstruating, she must cover her body and hair when in the presence of males outside of her immediate family. While for traditional Muslims this means wearing a châdor (head-to-toe cover), more modernized Muslims require that their daughters wear a head scarf, a loose tunic, and long pants. In older times, the onset of female puberty would also prohibit young girls from interacting with their male friends—a practice still found in rural areas and among traditional families. In earlier times, when schooling was not prevalent and the major influence on children’s lives came from the family, parents had a tremendous impact on the lives of their children. Parents imposed many restrictions on their children’s activities. Children were not permitted to initiate any major activities without the consent of their parents. These activities might include the choice of play or a friend, and at older ages, an educational major or even a spouse, especially by girls. Although the relationships between parents and children have been subject to change in the course of time, children are taught at an early age that they are to remain obedient to and respectful of their elders in all places and at all times, related or not. They are to initiate the greeting to their parents and elder siblings and relatives—a rule pretty much observed in interaction with acquaintances, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Older people are to be respected in all situations, and priority should be given to them in initiating eating at the table, entering a room or house, speaking in public gatherings, and other settings. These restrictions were particularly stifl ing for young people and often, in educated families, led to subtle manipulations, resistance, or even rebellion, by children. As schooling has become prevalent and the media’s influence has become global, parents fi nd it difficult to impose these restrictions. In most cases, they have become counterproductive as more young people in today’s Iran make their own selection of careers, friends, and partners. The postrevolutionary period, especially since the 1990s, has seen a sea change in youths’ behavior. Despite increasing autonomy asserted by the youth in recent years, young people still face considerable pressure from their parents and society to conform to religious and social values. Many parents try to control their children into adulthood, and girls must endure especially intense scrutiny. Parental involvements in child raising and child training varies in different families, depending on social class, age, occupation, and children’s gender. Generally, mothers have tremendous influence in the upbringing of children at an early age because fathers are working outside the home and are often absent during the day. Lower-class fathers have less time and inclination to be engaged in taking care of their children’s affairs. As children get older, slowly the father’s influence on his children, especially boys, becomes more salient. In lower classes, especially farm families, boys are taken to work alongside the father, thus engaging them in work as well as influencing their behavior by exposure to the father’s personality. Fathers remain the real role models for boys, especially in traditional families. More modernized and educated families often raise their boys with a more idealized model in mind. Most fathers want their sons to achieve what they could not achieve in their own life. Most middle-class parents expect their sons to be engineers and medical doctors. In fact, one of the major complaints of youths is the imposition of career choices by parents. Daughters remain predominantly under the influence of their mothers because they are generally at home, unless they have reasons to be outside (schooling, shopping, visiting relatives, etc.). This is more the case among the poorer, less educated, and more traditional families in which mothers are predominantly housewives. Girls’ lives are undeniably connected to their mothers’ experiences and perceptions about gender roles, marriage, and social expectations of propriety. The mother-daughter bond occupies a special place in the family because the mother can provide a unique ally for her daughter as she has the shared experience of being in the same family with similar expectations, duties, responsibilities, and honor. Moreover, this relationship can buffer the husband’s influence over female children. This relationship often is one of mutual dependency because as most women’s mothers have been young mothers, the eldest daughter is often her mother’s closest friend and confi dant. A mother’s tribulations are often wholly passed onto her daughters, who serve as de facto therapists. This causes many girls to carry the burden of their mothers’ woes, a damaging psychological condition experienced by most women. Fathers’ interactions with and influence on their daughters are very complex and quite signifi cant. There is diversity in father-daughter relations, indicating that the nature of their interactions is not solely dictated by an unwaveringly stern patriarchy. Some fathers are very involved with their daughters, especially those whose occupation and education allow time for more family involvement. These fathers provide genuine love and positive support for their daughters’ career growth and maintain constructive relationships within the family. Others are aloof and limit their role to breadwinning. Yet there are fathers acting like despots, whose constant surveillance and restriction of their daughters’ activities causes them to run away from home in order to escape total patriarchal domination.