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2 Reasons a 3 Year Old Won't Potty Train. Difficult Toilet Trainers!

Most toddlers by the age of 3 are potty trained, the age most toddlers learn to use the potty are between 2 and 3. There are two major reasons why some toddlers are difficult toilet trainers that will not learn to use a potty. The two major reasons are that they are either constipated or have difficult temperamental traits. Parental toilet training style does not have any effect on the toddler.

The toddler may be constipated, feel pain with defecation, and begin to withhold and refuse to use the potty. While temperamental toddlers that are difficult toilet trainers are found to be less adaptable, more negative in mood, less persistent, and lower in approach than other toddlers. Difficult toilet trainers are a more difficult group temperamentally. Parental expectations and reactions combined with peer humiliation may cause the toddler to feel even more overwhelmed. Toddlers in return can develop habits such as hiding stool.


Below are 9 toddler temperamental traits.

1. Temperament Trait: Activity

Description of Trait: Motor component of functioning

Toddler that is More Difficult: Moves quickly
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Moves very little


2. Temperament Trait: Adaptability

Description of Trait: Ease of modifying child’s response to new situation

Toddler that is More Difficult: Difficulty adjusting even with exposures
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Copes with new information after initial response


3. Temperament Trait: Approach

Description of Trait: Nature of initial response to new situation

Toddler that is More Difficult: Withdraws from new situation
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Readily accepts new situation


4. Temperament Trait: Distractibility

Description of Trait: Ease of diverting child from ongoing activity

Toddler that is More Difficult: Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Not easily distracted by extraneous stimuli


5. Temperament Trait: Intensity

Description of Trait: Energy level of child’s response to stimuli

Toddler that is More Difficult: Great deal of energy in response to stimuli
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Low energy in response to stimuli


6. Temperament Trait: Mood

Description of Trait: Amount of optimistic versus pessimistic behavior

Toddler that is More Difficult: More negative demeanor with crying, whining
Toddler that is Less Difficult: More positive demeanor with laughing and smiling


7. Temperament Trait: Persistence

Description of Trait: Continued maintenance of activity despite challenges

Toddler that is More Difficult: More easily frustrated and likely to give up
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Keeps at a task despite obstacles or instruction


8. Temperament Trait: Rhythmicity

Description of Trait: Predictability of biological functions

Toddler that is More Difficult: Patterns of eating, sleeping, defection are irregular
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Eats, sleeps, defecates with regularity


9. Temperament Trait: Threshold

Description of Trait: Intensity of stimulation that evokes a response

Toddler that is More Difficult: Highly sensitive to sensory stimuli
Toddler that is Less Difficult: Less responsive to sensory stimuli


Reference:
Schonwald, A., Sherritt, L., Stadlter, A., & Bridgemohan, C. (2004). Factors associated with difficult toilet training. Pediatrics, 113(5), 1753-1757.

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