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 are some easy activities children can be asked to do?
Rene Hackney: Easy activities for the younger children, things that even preschoolers can be doing, we talked about getting ready for mealtimes, matching cups to lids and asking everybody what they want to drink. So, maybe later in the day getting ready for bed they can tuck in their doll babies, they can pick the story, they can pick their pajamas.
In the morning, even younger children can match their socks, can pick out a shirt and shorts that match. They can help by saying whether they want to do the shirts first or the shorts first even if they can t get them on themselves. So, it is just asking them to contribute in little ways throughout the day.
Older children at those times, at bedtime can be getting toothbrushes ready, can be sure everybody has a cup to use, it can be reading stories to younger children as opposed to always the parents and they are still contributing to the nighttime routine. In the morning they can be pouring the cereal, they can be pouring the milk, lots of things to get breakfast going as opposed to being relying 100% on the parents.