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Liz Humphreys and her family moved to Europe, eventually settling in Berlin where they found affordable living and great childcare options. In Berlin, children were allowed to resolve conflicts among themselves and had more freedom to explore and learn through play. The author’s son attended a bilingual German-English school where he formed close friendships and became fluent in German. However, they faced challenges when they returned to New York City, where the public school system was more structured and lacked the same level of supervision and safety they had experienced in Berlin.

One of the biggest differences the author noticed between raising a child in Berlin versus New York City was the level of parental involvement in disciplining children. In Berlin, parents and adults were more hands-off, allowing children to work out issues on their own. In contrast, in New York, there were more rules and expectations surrounding children’s behavior, with parents and teachers taking a more active role in guiding and correcting behavior. The author and her family also had to adjust to the shorter school days and the need for additional childcare options due to the limited hours of supervision provided by schools in New York.

Despite the challenges of readjusting to life in New York, the author found positive aspects of being back in the city. They appreciated the diversity and cultural opportunities available, such as museums and theater. While they missed the relaxed atmosphere and affordability of Berlin, they enjoyed the welcoming vibe and opportunities for children to make friends easily in New York. The author also noted a greater sense of parental responsibility and involvement in addressing unruly behavior in children, which was a contrast to the hands-off approach observed in Berlin.

Overall, the experience of raising a child in Berlin versus New York City highlighted the differences in parenting styles, childcare options, and safety concerns between the two cities. While Berlin offered a more relaxed and affordable environment for families, New York City provided a diverse and cultural-rich experience. The author and her family navigated the challenges and benefits of both cities, finding value in the unique opportunities each had to offer for raising children.

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