A clinical psychologist, Dr. Beth Grosshans retired from her practice in 2012. Among accomplishments Dr. Beth Grosshans maintains from her career is the publishing of Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm. In the book, she writes about the imbalance of family power.
Imbalance of family power is the result of you lacking control in the parent-child relationship. Rather, a majority of the power has been transferred to your child, thus causing challenges when enforcing authority.
A good way to know if there is an imbalance of family power involves evaluating your child’s reluctance to act appropriately when you make an authoritative request. If he or she responds negatively with crying or tantrums, or attempts to undermine you, those responses indicate the power lies primarily with the child. Another way to measure imbalance consists of analyzing the amount of time spent handling specific situations. Consider the power in your favor if you spend less than 30 percent of your time managing adverse scenario.
Dr. Beth Grosshans, an experienced child psychologist, shares her professional insights and expertise as author of Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm. In this book, Dr. Beth Grosshans explains many of the reasons for childhood misbehavior and presents strategies for restoring family balance.
First and foremost, a child’s temper communicates something to his or her caregiver. Some children are testing limits to see if their parents’ authority is strong enough to provide a sense of safety, while others feel as though they have the power in the parent-child relationship and are acting on that dynamic. Regardless of motivation, it falls to the parent to reinforce rules for appropriate behavior and help the child manage his or her perceived crisis.
The first rule in mitigating defiant behavior is to maintain poise. Children need the adults in their lives to be the steady and reliable ones, particularly when the child is having trouble following the rules. In some situations, this may mean walking away from undesirable behavior and positively recognizing when the child has been able to calm him or herself down.
Similarly, it is important for adults to uphold expectations and enforce consequences if the child has broken an established rule. Otherwise, children will learn that they can find exceptions to normal rules simply by behaving badly.
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.