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What is the meaning of this sentence taken from this article?

Who wants to be the hardliner raising cowed, sullen kids?

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closed as general reference by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, aedia λ, FumbleFingers, onomatomaniak, simchona Nov 22 '11 at 18:58

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

For future questions please see the faq, especially regarding tools – Unreason Nov 22 '11 at 16:13
I read the faq, I do not see anything regarding 'tools' in a word search. My motivation is to learn the meaning of the sentence in the given context. This type of question does not appear to be well defined in the faq. So, what specifically makes the question off topic or otherwise of poor quality as defined in the faq? – P.Brian.Mackey Nov 22 '11 at 16:33
It seems that faq labels don't work well - it is under 'Where can I find answers to simple and basic questions?', here is a direct link. Very roughly speaking the current consensus is that you need to show that you attempted to use dictionaries. Btw, I did not vote you down - if you have ideas on how to improve things please head to questions on meta, such as this one. – Unreason Nov 22 '11 at 16:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Hard-liner means an extreme person. Cowed means being frightened. Sullen means unpleasant.

The article is referring to the fact that being overly strict may cause your kids to grow up the wrong way.

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