Parenting is often called the most difficult job in the world. So it is no wonder that it is such a common and recurring topic of conversation.
Recently Tammy Zacchilli, associate professor of psychology at Saint Leo, was quoted extensively in an article for parents looking for more guidance on the art of disciplining children. The September 30 article, “The Most Common Discipline Mistakes Parents Make,” was published on the recently launched digital site FamilyMinded.com.
The outlet is supportive and upbeat in tone, which fits Zacchilli’s style well. Not only is she a married mother of three children, she developed a course called “The Psychology of Parenting” after discussions among her colleagues about the probable appeal and relevance of such a course. The faculty members were apparently right, as the junior-level course fills up when Zacchilli schedules it, which is every other fall at University Campus.
The FamilyMinded article quoted a few different expert sources, and reported that there was agreement on some foundational issues among the interviewees, such as the importance of being consistent.
Zacchilli was quoted about the importance of making discipline appropriate to the age of the child—and what the child can understand at their current stage. She noted that giving two children the same consequences can be a mistake if they are different ages, something she has learned from experience. Parents really have to explain to their children the “why” part of the consequence because it may not be clear or obvious to children why their actions were out-of-bounds or dangerous.
She also favors being open to the observations and experiences of others who know your children such as teachers or caregivers, or family members. Watching carefully for the way your child reacts to discipline is important, she added, if you wonder whether the technique or consequence is effective or not.