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: Is there anything parents can do before the child begins potty training?
Rene Hackney: There are things you can be doing early as young as 12 to 18 months, letting children observe you going to the bathroom. I know that sounds really uncomfortable for a lot of people, but children are designed to learn best from modeling and so if you can allow them to come in to the bathroom with you and watch that process and you are comfortable talking about the process with them, they are going to that much ready to pick it up.
Other things you can do is read out the story books, there is lots of good story books on the market about going to the potty or videos. There are several good videos on the market about the potty training process and getting kids excited about potty training. So you can mix those in with your other story books and with your other videos at other times.
Another thing, that is suggested is that before you start potty training that you are using the correct terms with children for their body part being label a vagina and a penis rather than, what families tend to do, the funny names, they tend to make up. The problem is for young children when they are potty training is that if they use funny names, they may not be able to communicate with everybody around them, their babysitters or their pre-school teachers and you want everybody to understand the child and lessen that sense of frustration.
If parents though are already using family names, when they start potty training they do not want them to correct it then because that just adds more confusion by changing the names in extremes so&