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 can parents do to lessen whining before it starts?
Rene Hackney: There are lots of things parents can do, proactively. One is just address your children earlier, children are usually whining the first time, they ask for something, they are whining the third time they ask, so just answering them more readily. When they do start to whine, catching it on the first sentence rather than letting them whine for six or seven sentences, that s just then practicing whining.
A lot of parents try to ignore whining, they think if I ignored, it will just go away. Whining is not costly to children, they can whine all day. They will outlast that parent who is trying to just ignore them. So the idea is, ignoring doesn t work. Parent should also notice the nice voice. Whenever their child does ask for something in a pleasant way that parent should really reinforce that asking by saying, Wow what a lovely way to ask, that sounded so nice. Yes or no to the thing they were asking for, which sounds horrible, but the idea is teaching the children to ask in a nice voice so that they can be heard rather than ask in a nice voice and the answer will be yes. So, it's just noticing and describing that good voice back to them, Wow I heard you, what a lovely way to ask. Another thing parents can do is be sure that they are addressing whining, when their children are really young. Many parents when they have got a two year old, they just ignore the whining, because oh! They are juts two or oh! It s just a cookie, or isn t that cute they are asking for something. When you really want to get in there, right away because what happens is by the time that child is three and half or four years old, they are whining a lot and it's been a whole year of a parent reinforcing that whining is an okay thing. You want to address it earlier rather than waiting until later.