Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What if my kids are already picky eaters?
Rene Hackney: If your children are already picky, the idea is to count what foods they eat, maybe for a lot of families it s pasta, cereal, cheese and yoghurt. I have heard that list so many times when parents will say this is all my child will eat, pasta every night.
The first question is well, who is making that pasta? The parent goes, Okay, I am making the pasta and that is it. You are in charge of what is offered. So, you take out your monthly planner, your calendar and you put your whole menu in for the month and you write pasta twice and cheese twice and yoghurt twice and it is spread out with a lot of other wide range of healthy -- eating healthy food.
The idea is kids are not going to go from Tuesday morning breakfast to Friday night dinner without eating. They are going to be miserable, they are going to be hungry for a couple of days, but most children will start to eat what is put in front of them after a day or two. The idea when you are doing this is not to give it with a lot of emotion, you don t want there to be battles over, you don t want there to be lots of tears and crying at least on the parents part about this. So, you just put out those wider ranges of healthy choices and you say. Well, this is what is for lunch. If you are hungry you can eat it. For the first meal or two they may push it away because they want their pasta and their yoghurt, their pasta and their yoghurt. The idea is to do with less emotion and just know that they will start to eat when they get hungry.