Separation Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Dr. Beth Grosshans, author of the parenting book Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm, has 25 years of experience as a clinical child psychologist. Over the course of her career, Dr. Beth Grosshans has worked as an instructor in the field of child development and also as a private consultant focused on young patients with development issues. Among the issues that affect children, anxiety disorders are the most prevalent.

In children between the ages of 18 and 36 months, separation anxiety results from the absence of a parental figure within a child’s line of vision. When the absence of a parent or the removal of a child from familiar surroundings incites excessive worry or episodes of distress in children past preschool age, the child may be suffering from separation anxiety disorder. This may also manifest itself in adolescents.

Children and adolescents who experience separation anxiety disorder are prone to feelings of irrational fear, insecurity, misery, and homesickness when separated from loved ones. In instances where these fears affect a child’s willingness to go to school or socialize, it may be beneficial to seek professional help.

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Grandparenting and Unruly Child Behavior

Retired from private practice, Dr. Beth Grosshans is a respected child psychologist who engages with educators and parents as public speaker. The author of the book Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm, Dr. Beth Grosshans emphasizes effective ways of addressing Imbalance of Family Power (IFP) dynamics. Her advice extends to grandparents who, as extended family members, may spend considerable time with the children.

Dr. Grosshans talks of many grandparents scratching their heads when it comes to grandchildren’s demands. In their generation, it was not acceptable to display rude and disruptive behavior to elders. Social changes toward “democratic parenting” led to parents holding back from asserting their authority. As a result, children’s self-esteem came to be seen as more important than discipline.

Grandparents may find it difficult to talk directly with their grown children about child-rearing methods and confront them with concerns. Dr. Grosshans’ book and the IFP model enable productive discussions with a factual basis to occur.