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In Whos Irish?

the grandmother, who tells the story from her point of view, thinks that

being harsh and giving physical punishments to her granddaughter Sophie will stop her rude

behavior. In fact, many parents believe that strict parenting and physical punishments keep

children in line and lead to much less misbehavior. However, through research, authoritarian

parenting has proven to have very negative effects on children. The grandmothers solution to

Sophies misbehavior is spanking: Still Sophie take off her clothes, until one day I spank her

The next day we go to the park and, like a nice Chinese girl, she does not take off her clothes

(Jen 5). Although this technique is successful for the grandmother, it may have some long lasting

effects for Sophie later on in her life. Researchers have explored the effects harsh parenting may

have on children by saying that harsh parenting unleashes so-called toxic stress in children

changing the structure and functionality of their brains, heightening chances for negative

behavior, and potentially condemning a child to a life hampered by heart disease (Lubrano 1).

The article goes even further to say that this stress can lead to damage to a childs amygdala,

the area that controls our emotions, causing children to become hyperactive, leading them to be

more likely to fight or develop attention deficits (1). This stress may also damage their

hippocampus, which controls memory, leading the child to have memory issues and harming

their performance in school (1). In another study done by BMC Public Health on child

maltreatment in Vietnam, they also found that all types of child maltreatment during life time

were associated with more emotional dysfunctioning (Tran et al. 6). Despite this finding, they

also noted that In contrast to our hypotheses, emotional abuse was related to better academic

performance (9). This finding was also in contrast to Western and Middle Eastern studies that

found that emotional abuse created worse academic performance (9). This finding is in line with

what the study calls tiger-parenting, a harsh parenting style that focuses on making children
reach high academic achievements and compliance with family obligations (10). According to

the study, this creates an achievement/adjustment paradox observed in Asian American

children, who both reach higher academic achievement and have more psychological problems

(10). Although in the story Sophie is only 3 years old, it is not wrong to assume that these

statistics may apply to her as well. Due to all of these results combines, it is easy to see that the

grandmothers approach was not the best in raising Sophie. Although it may have had one

positive outcome, all the negative outcomes combined show this style to be very damaging.