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 the different types of potty training methods?
Rene Hackney: There are four different methods available for potty training that tend to be written about and talked about. The first is the Baby Track method which you don t hear about so much in the United States anymore, but if you ask a great grandmother and they say, Oh, you were to potty train a fifteen months old. They are talking about the baby track method and this is where the caregiver is really in tune with the baby and starting at about four months old they look for signs that the child needs to go potty. The grimacing face or the muscle movements and when they see that sign they will take the baby over and hold them over the pot or over the bowl, where they want them to go and the caregiver will make a sound like shh or while the baby goes.
Now, what happens is gradually, I know this sounds crazy, but by the time the child is about nine or ten months old and they start to feel that need they will point to needing to go potty. So, the baby starts to signal the caregiver. The caregiver also can take the child to the potty, to the board or to the potty at regular times and make that noise. Since the baby has been conditioned to go, they really then go. So, you gradually by about 12 to 15 months get a child who is pretty much potty trained.
Now, you don t hear about that these days so much because we have got diapers and we have got into our plumbing and we have got all kinds of great things. But there are books about potty training your baby and it seems to be almost a growing thing these days. There s also the potty practice method. The potty practice method says, when you are ready to potty train, you take your child at very regularly times throughout the day. It maybe when they first wake up in the morning, maybe after lunch, maybe before bath and you have them just sit and try.
Now, what can happen here is that children get pretty well potty trained. They are going at regular times, they are having success, but the downside is if they are not learning about that sensation in their tummy, they are not learning about when they need to go and to get themselves there. So, you can have the child who is potty trained but they are very reliant on that caregiver to tell them when it is time to go.