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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. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.