Gender and potty training

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Gender and potty training

There are subtle differences when potty training boys versus girls. And some of these have been overblown a little bit to where I think parents get a little too concerned about some of the differences. However, we do know that boys on average are going to potty train just a little bit later than girls. And then there is the whole issue of standing versus sitting for boys. And so, the standing versus sitting, what I always tell parents is you do what your child prefers. So if a boy wants to sit, that is fine. If he wants to stand, you are going to have a few more messes to deal with but that is fine, too. If your child is having trouble with aim, you can always throw a few cheerios or fruit loops in the potty and just teach him to aim at those and that may reduce some of the clean ups that you have to deal with. Then, you have got the differences between how girls are going to clean themselves versus boys. And again, a lot of this is really going to be guidance from a parent in showing them the right way to clean and then making sure that they are overseeing that process. Outside of some of those kind of subtle differences though, the process really is not all that different for boys and girls. And I think parents need to recognize that and not feel that they need a completely different skill set if they have got a daughter now after a son or vice versa.

View Peter Stavinoha, PhD's video on Gender and 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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