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 the child seems immature for kindergarten?
Dr. Rene Hackney: Likely if the child is motivated and curious and ready for learning, it is good to send them on to kindergarten. If they are more emotionally immature or socially immature there is a lot that families and school can do to help that child along the way. Getting that child involved in social skills training groups; often the guidance counselor provides this for your child at the public school. Having them go on lots of play dates in the year leading up to kindergarten, so they get some practice at that. Having parents just actively coach them on social and emotional interactions, that can easily be done by just reading books about emotions or that involve emotions and having discussions with children, so they can learn about those things. Also, if a parent to actively teach turn taking, and sharing, and things like social entry, how to get in the ongoing play can be really beneficial for that child s maturity level.