Potty training regression

Peter Stavinoha, PhD Author & Neuropsychologist, shares advice for parents on the causes of potty training regression and the best strategies for stopping it
How to Overcome Potty Training Regression
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Potty training regression

Regression in potty training is really a common thing. Kids will seem to be pretty independently potty trained and they are going to take a backslide. Parents need to consider any changes in the household that may be contributing to that. Things like a new baby at home or a move or a change in the family, or any other stressful event can cause a child to regress from their potty training skills. In those cases, parents need to be patient and give them time to regain those skills. They will given that stressful situation will go away. The child will be back on track. There are other situations where a child will regress and the parent is kind of scratching their head wondering what is going on. In those instance, parents need to step back and think if there is any factors causing this regression. Is there a fear issue? Is it a stubbornness thing? Is it that the child is bored with it because they feel like they've mastered it? We always recommend that parents revisit those strategies that they were successful using the first time around. That may be scheduling, scheduling session, making sure they are giving lots of praise and positive reinforcement. Over a period of time, the child will potty train again.

Peter Stavinoha, PhD Author & Neuropsychologist, shares advice for parents on the causes of potty training regression and the best strategies for stopping 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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