A graduate of Harvard University and The Ohio State University, Dr. Beth Grosshans has 25 years of experience as a psychologist and clinical child psychologist in Princeton, New Jersey. Now retired, Dr. Beth Grosshans spends her time supporting a variety of local and national organizations, including Planned Parenthood.
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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.
Since retiring from her private practice, leading New Jersey-based child psychologist, clinician, and author Dr. Beth Grosshans continues to educate parents, educators, and researchers on her innovative principle of Imbalanced Family Power (IFP). Methodically described in her 2010 book Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm, Dr. Beth Grosshans explains how IFP stems from inappropriate boundaries between parent and child.
The struggles that often plague families with imbalanced power dynamics usually involve the setting and following of boundaries. While the boundaries themselves may differ with the child’s age, the underlying issue is the same. Due to inconsistently or poorly defined boundaries, the child doesn’t view the parent as an authority. This can be an anxiety-inducing situation for children, who feel safer when reliable, firm boundaries are in place. Parents can follow a few guidelines to set and maintain appropriate boundaries with their children.
Don’t Seek Validation - Many parents are afraid to set boundaries out of fear of upsetting their child. Effective parents set limits to protect the child’s safety and well-being, not to gain their child’s approval.
Be Consistent - When setting a boundary, it is normal for a child to push back and argue to get their own way. Rather than negotiating, parents should present their children with the option of following the limit or dealing with the consequences.
Allow Discomfort - Children may feel frustrated or disappointed when their parents set limits, and this can make some parents loosen their boundaries out of guilt or worry. While setting limits can be a difficult process, it is necessary to help children regulate their own behaviors and make better choices in the long term.
Beth Grosshans, the writer of Beyond Time Out, practiced child psychology in New Jersey for more than 25 years before retiring. Based on her experience, Beth Grosshans guides parents on disciplining their children in an ordered, positive manner, without giving up their parental power.
Below are several mistakes most parents make when disciplining their children:
Not being consistent
Most parents make the mistake of being inconsistent when it comes to disciplining their kids. This usually occurs for one of two reasons: either parents are tired from all their responsibilities and become lax with discipline, or parents are not on the same page in regards to discipline. Regardless of the reason, consistency is key when it comes to discipline.
Scolding in public
Dangerous behaviors, such as running into a street, often illicit an immediate response from parents. However, scolding kids in public may result in them worrying more about who is overhearing the conversation than listening to what they did wrong. To avoid this, parents should either find a private area to discipline their kids or let them know the issue will be discussed at home.
Giving into bad behavior
When parents give into their child’s bad behavior, they may be making the problem go away in the short-term. However, doing so creates more long-term problems by teaching children that they can get what they want by throwing a tantrum. Rewarding misbehavior in children may result in with authority and peer relationship struggles later in life.
Dr. Beth Grosshans obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Ohio State University and is the author of the parenting book Beyond Time-Out. Working in both outpatient and inpatient settings, Dr. Beth Grosshans has provided psychotherapy treatment to numerous children. Now retired, Dr. Grosshans supports educational institutions by continuing to draw upon her expertise as a child psychologist.
In the course of their practice, child psychologists typically encounter a diverse range of situations, such as learning disabilities, abuse, bullying, and psychological disorders, which require specific skills to manage. Practicing as a child psychologist requires being enthusiastic, trustworthy, and having an ability to communicate clearly with children.
Enthusiasm is a key skill, since it can help children enjoy their therapy, which in turn is critical for helping them make progress. Trustworthiness is equally valuable for a therapist to develop confidence in the child and parents they work with, since sensitive and personal information is typically shared during counseling sessions. Child psychologists also need to communicate effectively in a way the child understands, and to work with the wider network of those supporting the child.
Based in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Dr. Beth Grosshans is a retired clinical child psychologist. She spent 25 years in the field as a clinician, as well as 13 years as an instructor at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education in Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to her clinical and academic work, Dr. Beth Grosshans authored the parenting book Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm.
Beyond Time Out focuses on the central struggles of today’s parents despite the depth of parenting information and resources available. The book maintains that the ultimate cause of friction, and ultimately chaos, involves parents and guardians ceding too much control to their children. Issues of imbalanced family power (IFP) have steadily increased over the last four decades, as parents offer unconditional love and frequently attempt to shield their children from any kind of disappointment.
Parents should, of course, demonstrate love and strive to protect their children. However, this behavior can allow children to assume a powerful position in the household, to the detriment of family dynamics. Furthermore, children in IFP households do not enjoy their powerful position, but rather demonstrate a wide array of clinical behaviors, from oppositional disorder to chronic anxiety.
Beyond Time Out offers parents practical insight into managing and, eventually, overcoming instances of IFP. The book contains an entire chapter dedicated to various parenting styles and how they can be effectively implemented without exacerbating IFP. The book also includes a five-step strategy to be applied to disciplinary measures as a means of both altering negative behavior and resolving IFP in the long run.
Now retired from private practice in New Jersey, Dr. Beth Grosshans provided clients with psychological assessments, interventions, clinical training, and consulting services. She also taught at the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. A child development specialist, Dr. Beth Grosshans co-authored the book Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm.
Written in answer to the lack of discipline causing children to become out of control, Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm argues these problems arise from the self-esteem parenting culture that has arisen in the past few decades. The book also highlights the power struggle within the family that often leads to unhealthy behaviors.
The first section tackles four different types of parenting approaches that have a negative effect on child's discipline: the pleaser, the push-over, the forcer, and the outlier. Explaining these parental responses in detail provides new understanding of issues with children and how to address them.
The second section concentrates on disciplining children, focusing on how parents acting confidently in their role as authority figures can restore power to the parents and allow each child to develop into a mature adult.
Dr. Beth Grosshans offers clinical training and seminars in New Jersey as a private consultant to schools on child development issues. Drawing on over two decades of experience as a child psychologist who has worked with parents and children, Dr. Beth Grosshans authored a parenting guide titled Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm. The book identifies power dynamics in families and provides guidance to parents on how to create boundaries and become more effective leaders.
According to the book, children often demonstrate unruly behavior due to Imbalanced Family Power (IFP), which occurs when parents become too focused on protecting their children's feelings by always giving in to their wishes. These habits reflect a shift in parenting advice over the last 40 years, during which time parents have been encouraged to emphasize a child’s “specialness” and to offer unconditional love instead of discipline. However, this advice inadvertently transfers power from the parent to the child, creating behaviors that mimic the symptoms of psychological disorders. Children may exhibit behaviors such as anxiety, insecurity, and hyperactivity.
Beyond Time-Out provides parents with practical solutions for resolving parental mistakes that contribute to IFP and addresses the resulting behavioral and emotional challenges among children. The book contains chapters on parenting styles designed to identify dominant relationship patterns and a five-step disciplinary strategy.
Dr. Beth Grosshans, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is an experienced New Jersey clinical psychologist and school consultant. Beyond her professional activities, Dr. Beth Grosshans is an active philanthropist with a history of supporting community organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is a national leader in sex education, operating with the overarching objective of supporting reproductive self-determination and providing access to quality health-care services, such as birth control.
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Experienced Psychologist Beth Grosshans Lectures on Child Development