Toilet-training power struggles and refusing to poop

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Toilet-training power struggles and refusing to poop

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If you let your child decide when it's time to toilet train, you'll end up avoiding a lot of power struggles where the parent is ready but the child isn't. And there can be some negative consequences for strong arming your children into potty training. I've seen it in my practice where children hold onto their stool and refuse to go. And as a result, this can lead to some medical problems, one of which is called encoprecis, where the stool stays there and it stretches out the rectum, and as a result it's hard and it hurts when the child needs to go. That makes them hold onto it even longer. And then you get caught in this vicious cycle of children not wanting to go. So my advice is avoid the power struggle because you don't want to end up with a medical struggle for your child. Let your child decide when it's time to potty train and you'll be much less likely to have these sort of issues.

View Alanna Levine, MD's video on Toilet-training power struggles and refusing to poop...

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Alanna Levine, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York-based pediatrician and a mom of two children.  As a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Levine frequently appears on television and in print speaking about breaking medical news and common parenting topics.  Dr. Levine is also a contributor for BabyCenter.com, on the board of advisors for GetSweaty.com, and on the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Communications and Media.Dr. Levine sees patients at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in New York and is on staff at Nyack Hospital and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.   She completed her internship and residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital, received her medical degree at Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

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