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Child's Temperament Affects Potty Training

Temperamental Differences, Not Parenting Style, May Explain Toilet Training Difficulties

Strategies for Potty Training Success continued...

Schum says it's also important for parents to remember that no two children are alike, even within the same family, and what worked for one child may not necessarily work for another.

In an editorial that accompanies the studies, David R. Fleisher, MD, of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, says more research is needed to learn about the many psychological, physiological, and social factors that may affect potty training success.

But he says it's clear that toileting skills are acquired through several distinct and simultaneous processes: toilet training and education by the parents, and toilet learning by the child.

"From a child's point of view, 'poo-poos' can be nice or scary," writes Fleisher. "Parents need to understand that toilet training differs from training in most other areas of behavior because they cannot oblige their child to perform bodily functions their way."

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