Poop resistance

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Poop resistance

For kids who will only poop in a diaper, the first thing parents want to understand why that is happening. For some children, bowel movements are very painful and they may need to talk to their pediatrician, if that's the case that the child is retaining and only pooping in a diaper. Other kids, simply that's just what the routine is, so it is just a matter of steering the child in a different direction on that routine. Parents can place conditions on that child where they are still allowing the child the comfort of pooping in the diaper, which is what they want to do, but the parent can bring in conditions like, "You can only poop in your diaper in the bathroom." Then the parent may move that to the child sitting on the toilet, in the diaper, and they can poop there. You are still giving into the child and making them comfortable, but you are moving them closer and closer to actually pooping in the toilet. You'd go on the potty with the lid closed. Then still in the diaper, with the lid open. Then slowly, we move to the point where the child is taking the diaper off and pooping in the potty. For some kids, this takes quite a long time and parents need to be patient with it.

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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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