The covers of such magazines as Time and Newsweek have described parents as living in “mayhem” and “madness” with their children. TV’s Supernanny regularly captures kids wildly, unbelievably out of control. How did our families get to such a state? Child psychologist Dr. Beth Grosshans has the answer. And mothers and fathers everywhere are listening. In what is sure to become a much-discussed blockbuster, Dr. Grosshans reveals why she believes nearly a half-century of parenting advice—with its emphasis on talking, exalting children’s self-esteem, and time-outs—is largely to blame for today’s lack of discipline. Her innovative ideas and techniques challenge this prevailing culture, proving that power and authority are as essential as love and good intentions to effective parenting. She persuasively explains why kids can only grow up healthy and strong when firmly led by their parents’ experience and better judgment, and provides a clear, easy five step program to follow. She enables parents to look at themselves clearly and identify their child-rearing style; they are often shocked to discover how their own behavior has inadvertently caused an imbalance in the family’s structure. Reading Beyond Time-Out is akin to sitting with Dr. Grosshans in her clinical office—and her core truths about healthy parent-child relationships are timeless.
Child psychologist Grosshans has worked with hundreds of families during the past 15 years. With the help of Burton, a clinical social worker with 35 years of experience, she outlines a plan to address the mayhem and madness of families that are out of kilter. The problem, as Grosshans sees it, is an imbalance of family power. The kids are running the show, Grosshans claims, and making a royal mess of it. Ineffective parents fueled by the past 40 years of advice that emphasizes talking, feelings and children's self-esteem have relinquished power, setting the natural hierarchy of the family on its head. The result is anxious, unruly children who run their apologetic parents ragged. Grosshan's solution is to help parents combine love with leadership; to that end, she offers a five-step program to restore order, self-control and cooperation. Taking time-out a step further, she guides readers through a method of calming children she calls the parent hold. The author also addresses common problem areas, including sleeping, eating and toileting. Though readers may find some of her advice a bit stern (e.g., she nixes the family bed and disapproves of transitional objects), Grosshans emphasizes that spanking or bullying are not options. Her carefully scripted, levelheaded technique aims not to punish but to help kids graciously step down from their thrones.