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Potty training and car rides

Accidents in the car are almost inevitable, even for kids who are independently potty trained. Even though they are able to hold for a little while, they are not able to know 30 minutes in advance. Before you leave your house, make sure that you are having your child try to use the potty. Most parents do this by asking the child, "Do you need to use the potty?" 99.9 percent of the time they are going to say, no. Parents should not really ask that as a question. What they should do is direct their child to the potty, they needs to go and sit on the potty. Once they are in the car, parents need to make sure and schedule breaks to make sure they are giving the child the opportunity to use the potty. They may also want to carry along a port-a-potty, so even on the side of the road they can stop. Something that is a strategy -- Maybe not the best strategy in the world, but you can use a pullup. If the child ends up needing to go in the pullup, it prevents the accident. As soon as that trip is over, the pullup is gone.

Board certified Clinical Neuropsychologist Peter Stavinoha, PhD helps parents minimize accidents while on road trips by preparing children and communicating with your child about potty training.


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Peter Stavinoha, PhD


Peter L. Stavinoha, PhD, ABPP, is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist in Dallas, Texas.  He directs the Neuropsychology Service at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and he is Professor in Psychology/Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He was named Distinguished Psychologist for 2005 by the Dallas Psychological Association. Dr. Stavinoha specializes in the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional aspects of developmental disabilities and acquired brain injury in children. As a general parenting expert, he is regularly interviewed in the media, Dallas morning television, Parents and Parenting Magazines, and numerous parenting blogs. Together with Sara Bridget Au, he is co-author of Stress-Free Potty Training. He has also authored several chapters in scholarly texts on subjects ranging from pediatric concussion to brain tumors in children. Dr. Stavinoha received a BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Stavinoha completed a residency in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Neuropsychological Society, and the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Dr. Stavinoha has a 16-year old son named Joe.

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