After 15 years of private practice, retired New Jersey-based clinical child psychologist Beth Grosshans has developed numerous strategies for dealing with a child’s problematic behavior, outlining them in her book Beyond Time-Out. During her years of private practice in psychology, Beth Grosshans worked with countless families, addressing issues such as child anxiety.
It is natural for parents to try to fix their child’s issues with anxiety. However, it is important for parents to help their child to develop coping strategies for managing emotions, especially when away from home. One method for effectively managing anxiety is maintaining a coping kit.
A coping kit empowers a child to work through his or her anxiety. It is a concrete list of useful strategies that can be utilized whenever anxiety strikes. Here are just a few examples.
- Deep breathing. This method involves “breathing the rainbow,” which is done by taking slow, deep breaths. While doing this exercise, children should think about their favorite items that match each color of the rainbow. As they continue with breathing the rainbow, their heart rate will slow and their muscles will become more relaxed.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. When we become anxious, our muscles tense up. This coping strategy teaches children to take a two-step process for relieving tensed muscles. First, they should tense one specific group of muscles; that is, either hands and arms or neck and shoulders. Next, after holding it for five seconds, they release that muscle group. They can then work on other muscle groups, one at a time, from head to toe, easing anxiety as they go.
-Worry journal. This technique involves jotting down all the negative things that happened throughout the day, ending on one positive note. This helps to break the cycle of negative thoughts that affects many children with anxiety.
Dr. Beth Grosshans is a retired clinical psychologist who focused her career on child psychology. A former member of the New Jersey Psychological Association board of directors, Dr. Beth Grosshans has shared her professional expertise as the author of the book Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm, wherein she provides parenting advice.
Sound parenting advice not only deals with how to raise and discipline a child, but it also involves what not to do. Nowadays, many people may hear and read the term “helicopter parenting.” But what does it really mean?
Many, if not all, parents want to be closely involved in the growth and development of their children, thinking that their unwavering support is crucial. While this is true to a point, too much of anything can be harmful.
Helicopter parenting was first coined in a 1969 book by Dr. Haim Ginott, Parents & Teenagers. It was derived from the way teenagers described how their parents would hover like helicopters, closely watching their every move.
Generally, helicopter parenting refers to the parenting style wherein parents tend to be overfocused on their kids and their activities. Helicopter parents have a tendency to be overprotective and overcontrolling. They can be perfectionists, too.
When these parents are asked why they do what they do, they will naturally say they just want the best for their children. However, despite the good intentions, this parenting style can backfire.
Children with overprotective and overcontrolling parents may grow up with lower self-esteem and confidence than their peers. They may also develop anxiety, fearing that they will make a mistake along the way. They may further have lower coping and adjustment skills, and may exhibit self-entitlement.
Experienced Psychologist Beth Grosshans Lectures on Child Development