Parenting Playgroups

People often joke that kids don’t come with user’s manuals. How great would it be to know that if you have a question about your child, you could just flip to the right page of the manual and get the answer? And if you browse the parenting section of any bookstore, you can see that the number of questions parents have is almost equal to the number of answers from the experts. Which is why many parents turn to parenting classes to get help with some of the bigger questions that come from having children.

Parenting Playgroups offers classes to help in just these sorts of situations. Classes are taught by Rene Hackney, PhD, and cover a wide range of topics like positive discipline, bedtime routine & sleep issues, social skills, and separation anxiety. They also offer a “Play & Workshop” series, a weekly workshop for parents with fun play for children, as well as various programs just for kids. Parenting classes are held in the evenings and weekends, though Parenting Playgroups is offering several weekday afternoon classes this summer that also include childcare. All classes are taught in their bright and friendly preschool classroom.

I was invited to attend one of their workshops, and jumped at the chance to attend one on potty training . My daughter, who is almost 3, is just starting the process, so the topic is one that I knew I would benefit from. There were 10 participants in the session I took, and there was a nice mix of ages (of parents) and both moms and dads.

I was very impressed with the class. Dr. Hackney gave a brief overview of several potty training methods, then focused on the AAP recommended “potties without pressure method.” We discussed early and real readiness signs (as well as signs your child is NOT ready), how to go about the actual business of potty training, and other issues such as travel, preschool, and bedwetting. Dr. Hackney answered questions from the class throughout the presentation, and tailored her talk to the participants. I really liked how positive she was, and how thoughtfully she answered each and every question. I also liked that she didn’t just teach us the signs and process – she explained the WHYs for each step.

Not only did the class give me lots of good information, it gave me several things that I could do right away – my husband and I started doing some of Dr. Hackney’s suggestions the next morning with great success. I also came away from the class feeling good about where my daughter is – all of the behaviors my classmates and I described are a normal part of the process, and Dr. Hackney did a good job of being positive about each and every concern we raised.

Would I take another class at Parenting Playgroups? Yes. Especially as my daughter continues to grow and we face new challenges, I like knowing that this resource is available. I got a lot more out of the 2 hour class then if I had bought several books and taken the time to read them, and I was able to ask specific questions about my daughter. I am looking forward to putting the rest of the techniques I learned into practice in the next few weeks, and I feel much more comfortable and confident with the potty training process then I did before the class.

Upcoming Classes and Workshops

  • Drop Off Summer Camp is available. Camp runs from June 24 to August 29, 2013 from 9:30am to noon.
  • There are many upcoming Parent Workshops to include: Grandparenting Issues, Positive Discipline Workshop, Birth Order, Sibling Rivalry & Getting Along, Bedtime Routines & Sleep Issues, Separation Anxiety, Fears and Worries and more! For a complete list of classes, both for adults and children, please visit the Parenting Playgroups at
  • If you need help, but can’t make it to a class, consider joining the Ask Dr. Rene program. Listen and learn in the privacy of your home and at times that work for you.
  • Sign up to receive Dr. Hackney’s free parenting newsletter.
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OK Editorial Team

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