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7 year old nephew poops on our floor

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I don't know whats going on here. The last three times we have taken care of our nephew, he disappears into the bathroom for at LEAST 20 minutes, longer if we don't ask him if he's ok. When he comes out, he leaves behind a poopy mess, sometimes smeared on the toilet and sink, sometimes just on the floor. He comes out very nervous, won't look us in the eye, and tries to get out of the room as fast as possible. Last night DH found poop around the base of the toilet, and the poor kid had tried to cover it up with the bathmat. It's hard for us to get him to talk to us about it, and we have to try to have the conversation when his older sister isn't around because she would give him such a hard time about it if she found out. So far his mom hasn't asked him about it, although I think she's going to talk to him after this last time (last night). The weird thing is, he's old enough to clean it up, so why does he leave it there if he's ashamed of the mess : The other weird thing is his mom swears he doesn't do it at home. He likes hanging out with us, is a little intimidated by my DH, but just because his mom is single and he's not used to men.
Has anyone got any insight on this one?
post #2 of 14
I wish I had answers for you, but all I can say is that this behavior seems very strange for any child, especially one this age. It really would alarm me if a child I cared about did something like this repeatedly. How did his mom react when you told her he was doing this? Have you let him know that you are not angry, but you just want to know why he did it? Could anything bad be happening to him at home or at school? You said he seems intimidated by your dh and is not used to men...does his mom have boyfriends? Does he spend any time alone with any other men who could possibly be doing something harmful? I don't want to freak you out, but I would be very concerned if I were you. If I am totally off-base and out of line here, forgive me, but your story really disturbed me and made me worried about your nephew.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
We (DH and I) both think it's very strange and bothersome, but his mom tends to let things like this go. I could go on and on postulating about why she won't talk to her kids, but that's another thread.
She has had a boyfriend in the past, but not since this started happening. He does stay with his dad and dad's girlfriend every other weekend. I'm not sure what that situation is like for him, his dad isn't a very good role model and often leaves the kids with his girlfriend while he works.
I don't think you are out of line at all, peacemama. I just don't know what to do since he's not my kid and his mom seems to be avoiding talking to him about it. I don't know when I will see him again, much less get time alone with him to talk about this. I guess I will just have to try to make it happen.
I hope this isn't a bad question to ask you all, it's just that I don't know anyone else to ask about this behavior, and you all have such good perspectives.
post #4 of 14
Maybe you could put newspapers down before he goes in? Just kidding.Bad joke.Ummm..that does not sound like normal behaviour.What does he say when asked about it? Does he maybe have a control problem with his bowels? That's really odd.I'll ask around and see if anyone has ever heard of this.
post #5 of 14
Our nephew was doing this around the age of 7. He did not do it at home- only at other people's homes. Parents were seperated (not divorced yet) dating, and he lived w/ mom who was living with an alcoholic guy who she met during a stay in a mental ward and moved in as soon as he got out of jail. :

We tried talking to the parents, but nothing changed and 6 months later he told us his mom burned him with her ciggarrette. We took photos and called CPS.

Not that your nephew is in that bad of a situation exactly, but CPS (and the family law attorney we met with prior to calling them) told us that a child of that age having bowel movements and making messes with them (our nephew would smear it on the walls) was a sign of severe stress or abuse in the home. You might document things and suggest to the mom that he could use someone to talk to about stuff in his life (therapist?). If you can't do that I would seriously cpnsider talking to a family law attorney, therapist, or CPS for advice.
post #6 of 14
It seems very disturbing to me. Two different things can be wrong (and something is wrong, this is not normal) he is sick and makes a mess when he goes and the more he tries to clean it up the worse the mess gets, but that seems unlikely since it doesn't happen at home. OR he is crying out for something. I mean you don't just poop on someones floor and not get some kind of attention. Have you or your dh tried to talk about what is going on in his life ("Is something bothing you. . .") If it continues and his mom still refuses to take it seriously I would call cps and I am truely the last person to call them but there is something just wrong here.
post #7 of 14
I agree with Yammer,

Go for the simple obvious solution first. Perhaps he waited too long?

Talk to him though, and make sure he understandes thet you are not angry or disgusted.

post #8 of 14
Do you have an update for us on this?
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
My computer has been down, sorry for the long silence. SIL says she talked to him, and he says he is constipated, using his fingers to move things along, and making a mess.
Why only at our house? Maybe he gets nervous and tries to hurry out, but personally I'm not sure I buy this explanation. If it happens again I will just take him to another room and see if we can't talk about it. I hope she's right, but she's never been very open with her kids about how they are feeling. I don't even know that she actually talked to him.
Thanks for the concern, I'll go with my gut, which still isn't settled.
post #10 of 14
I'd back your intuition on this one - can you make a chance to talk to him? It's you guys he wants to talk to, not her - and not really about the poop either...
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Very good point.
post #12 of 14
I'm curious about this, too. (I know, it's only a whole month since you posted!) I'm amazed that there's anybody with such a similar experience. I should know by now to expect a wealth of experience at this forum!

Just this last month we had a family party at my home and I found a small plop of poop on the toilet seat. My seven year old nephew was the last to use the toilet. My sister and her husband wondered to each other if it could have been their son (implying to me that it wasn't out of the question that he had done it.). They gently asked him if he'd had an accident using the toilet, did he need help cleaning it up? He denied it of course. We left it at that and I haven't thought anything of it till now.

Nephew isn't abused, by any means, but their home is kind of stressful, in that his parents both have demanding jobs and high expectations for their kids. They've got a packed scheduel of sports and music and dance and everything. Nephew is the youngest of three kids and he's had to be tough in order to "survive" and keep up with his agressive older sister and brother. This is the same nephew who bit my dd twice when they were toddlers, one time making it bleed. He got in trouble several times in day care for biting and fighting. It really seems clear to me that he needs a slower paced, less demanding life. (I don't know if all these aspects of his life are related, but it seems logical. )

Sahara, I'd be curious to know more about why your sister won't talk to her son.

Yammer's probably right. We're over analyzing this...

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think she avoids dealing with tough issues with her kids because she's a single mom, and whenever they go see their dad he is all fun and games. She wants to be as fun as dad, and lets a lot of things slide at times when the kids could use a little guidance.
Her son has hydrocephalis (sp?), and has been told he has to have the shunt replaced, so I have let the issue drop for now. If it happens again I'm just not going to be shy about it, even though he's not my kid.
Not to say that you aren't right, Yammer
post #14 of 14
Just wanted to add that my friend experienced a similar problem with her stepson. I can't remember if it was the 7 year old or the 10 year, but he was basically pooping in his pants, but only when with them. The common thread seems to be separeted or divorced parents, surely not a coincidence.
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