Resistance to potty training

Why are some children opposed to potty training? Neuropsychologist and professor Peter Stavinoha, PhD advises parents on what to do if their child is resisting the potty training process.
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Resistance to potty training

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When a child refuses to potty train, the first thing we recommend is for the parent to simply back off. If the child is really refusing, the natural inclination of most parents is to push harder. If my child doesn't do what I ask them, I'm going to ramp it up. I'm going to ask them more intensely, I'm going to push them harder. Usually, what that's going to provoke from the child is a stubborn reaction. Now we've got me pushing harder and the child getting more stubborn. Our first advice is to always to back off, assess what is going on. Why might the child be resistant? For some kids, it's a fear. Sometimes it might be the noise. Sometimes it might be the smells. Sometimes it is simply because it is something new. For some kids who have a strong nature, it is simply because they feel controlled. They don't want to do it simply because they know that the parent wants them to do it. By investigating the factors that might be leading the child's resistance and deal with those appropriately, so it is not the same way for every child. Parent's will then have a better result when they push it into high gear.

Why are some children opposed to potty training? Neuropsychologist and professor Peter Stavinoha, PhD advises parents on what to do if their child is resisting the potty training process.

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Peter Stavinoha, PhD

Neuropsychologist

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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