Educated at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Beth Grosshans has become an expert on issues involving parents and children. Dr. Beth Grosshans coauthored Beyond Time Out, From Chaos to Calm.
Dr. Grosshans contends that many families have gotten out of control, engrossed in a battle of wills. From breakfast through homework, dinner, and bedtime, family life has become conflicted. Parents in such families are aware of these problems, but often don't know what to do about them.
Current parenting philosophies that over-promotes self-esteem and time-out punishments lead to IFP-imbalance in family power (IFP), Dr. Grosshans observes. In IFP, children exercise too much power and parents, not enough. The result is kids unhappy with the amount of power they have been given. Parents are often surprised by the negative effects that IFP has on their children.
The answer is a return to parental authority, along with love and good intentions. Parents should draw on their greater knowledge of the world and their superior judgment when disciplining their children. Living in a situation of well-guided power can help children be happier.
Dr. Grosshans uses a step-wise procedure called the Ladder to deal with IFP situations. Parents should move up the Ladder's increasingly powerful stages. For example, recalcitrant children should be addressed directly, rather than asked to follow a request. If a child refuses a verbal request to go to his or her room, for example, he or she should be carried there.
Experienced Psychologist Beth Grosshans Lectures on Child Development