Dr. Beth Grosshans is a retired licensed clinical psychologist with a PhD in clinical child psychology from the Ohio State University. Beth Grosshans is working to update her 2008 book, Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm on parenting unruly children.
The thesis of the book is that many unruly children misbehave because children have far too much power in the family relationship. The advice of many parenting experts over the past 40 years or so, the book suggests, have made parents feel intimidated about disciplining their children.
Children need to know that parents are authority figures, the book argues, and though it can be uncomfortable, they must find ways to discipline their children gently and responsibly. When parents can do so, children will quickly calm down, relieved of the responsibility of too much power and able to trust her parents as authority figures.
One of the tools Beyond Time Out offers is the idea of the Ladder To Effectiveness. There are five steps, or rungs, to the ladder that parents can climb one at a time. Parents only need to go as high on the ladder as necessary to find compliance in the child. This technique teaches children in an action-based context, helping them to learn important lessons of self-control and cooperation, and thus restore the balance of power in the family.