A respected author and clinical child psychologist, Dr. Beth Grosshans has gained a reputation for engaging with “out of control” children and helping parents deal with their misbehavior. Dr. Beth Grosshans’ book, Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm, provides an achievable pathway for families experiencing “mayhem and madness” to recover their balance. This situation arises when children are allowed to take control of the family power dynamic and is the result of four decades of poor U.S. parenting advice, in which the child’s self-esteem and feelings are considered paramount.
Taken to an extreme, this parenting advice can upset the natural hierarchy of power in families and sow chaos. Dr. Grosshans recommends a five step discipline strategy called “The Ladder” as a means to restore cooperation and self-control. Her practical advice warns against heavy handed control and harsh discipline such as parental bullying and spanking. Instead, she emphasizes a level-headed, five-step approach toward gradually asserting control in areas such as eating, sleeping, and toileting. The aim is not to punish but to work with children in creating a family dynamic that has appropriate levels of order, control, and peace, where parents are in the lead.