Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

The Potty Wars

Potty training can be frustrating enough without the challenges of potty training extending past the toddler years into pre-school, kindergarten, and beyond. Typical struggles of near misses, soaked sheets, and poopy pants preparing for pre-school are messy, time-consuming, and frustrating, but when the challenges extend into school years, the resulting power struggles are easily fueled by anxiety, shame, and humiliation. This is when parents may panic as they imagine the consequences of these problem accidents at school played out with teachers and peers.

We are so fortunate to have here in Northern Virginia our very own, self-proclaimed “Poopy Doctor”! Dr. Libby Robbins, a practitioner at Child and Family Counseling in Fairfax, has written a fabulous book; The Potty Wars: Understanding and Helping Your Encopretic Child.

If this is something your family struggles with, I encourage you to take a look at the summary below and then head to Amazon to pick it up.

“Encopresis and chronic constipation are distressing conditions that affect many children, and their families. When a child cannot master toilet training, it is upsetting for the child and parents alike. Children feel frustrated, embarrassed, and confused. Parents can feel angry, guilty, incompetent, and worried. Parent/child relationships are negatively affected as power struggles over toileting dominate the household. Most parents start by consulting a pediatrician or pediatric gastroenterologist and beginning medical treatment. In some cases, medical intervention takes care of the problem. In other cases, despite laxatives and stimulants, colon cleanses and sticker charts, the soiling or refusal to use the toilet continues. In The Potty Wars, Dr. Robbins addresses these stubborn cases. Based on her experience treating over 100 children with encopresis and toilet refusal, Dr. Robbins clearly explains why some children struggle with the basic developmental task of toilet training. She also presents strategies that parents can use to help children become masters of the potty. The Potty Wars provides hope and help for families dealing with this challenging problem.”

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