or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › "Poop is bad"
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Poop is bad"

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
DS (almost 3yo) has been having constipation issues for quite some time now. I finally figured out that he has been withholding it -- I thought it was because he's had some painful poops. But I guess it is because he thinks it's dirty. He does have a personality where he doesn't want to get dirty. I've been trying to convince him that dirty is okay.

Yesterday, in the midst of needing to poop, he told me that he didn't want to let it out. Finally he told me "Poop is bad." I asked "Why is it bad" He said, "Because it is dirty" So, I told him it isn't dirty. Then he said, "Oh, it's clean?!? I can eat it?!? I can touch it" Gah. So then I said that he can't eat it and shouldn't touch it. I think I confused him and confirmed his belief that it is dirty. Then I said that poop is the way your body cleans itself out -- thinking that would help... I'm a totally confused mommy. I've told him that everyone poops and that it's natural. I'm not really making an impact or being consistent with my facts. I'm just not saying quite the right thing, I'm not sure what the right thing is to say.

Do I need to say something specific, any ideas? Do we just need to be positive about poop for a while longer so that he can change his mind about it? I appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks + sorry for the long story!

Also:
We have two books:
Everyone Poops!
+
It hurts when I poop.

They are great, but neither quite hit on the head the issue my son is dealing with. Any other book recommendations out there?
post #2 of 20
I'll be watching this thread.

Our DS has decided poop is "dirty" and "gross," even though DH and I never say that. We know our daycare provider doesn't, either, but I think some of the other kids say that.

Also, he peed on the floor the other day while brushing his teeth and was so sad and seemed so ashamed-- I have NO idea why, we have NEVER shamed him for anything like that-- I held him and told him it was an accident and it was fine, etc. etc., but he seemed inordinately upset. Poor guy.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Snuzzmom - Hopefully someone can give us some advice. We haven't said that it is dirty either, although I know DS has heard others say that or similar things. Seems like our sensitive boys have picked up on it. Like your son mine is also very upset about any potty accidents and we have never shamed him either.
post #4 of 20
I don't actually have any experience with the situation you are describing, but I'm thinking that maybe you just need to be very "ordinary" about poo for a while - like taking him with you to the bathroom when you're having a poo yourself, etc. - or just leaving the door open when you're going to the bathroom? I don't know, maybe you're already doing that.

I don't know if you are ok with poo jokes and the general poo talk that kids that age usually love? Maybe it would be good to be completely relaxed around everything to do with poo for some time... laugh at his poo and fart jokes etc. Of course, you might be doing that already, too!

In situations that are "locked" I usually think it's a good idea to let it go for a while, and not talk about it. But that might be easier said than done in this case, of course.

Sorry, I'm not much help. Good luck anyway!
post #5 of 20
Can you talk to him about poop being, not bad or dirty, but just a by-product of our body getting the energy and nutrients that it needs to function well...something along the lines of we peel a banana, eat the banana and compost the skin, and then our body takes the little bits of banana, and extracts the vitamins and minerals and energy from it, and there's still some 'packaging' left over, and that's what poop is, just the bits that our bodies could not find a use for.

Really, it is kind of amazing that our bodies can take a banana or a bagel or a bunch of peanuts, physically and chemically break them down to get the building blocks we need for bone, muscle, brain cells, and energy to move all that around. Maybe you can find a kid-friendly anatomy book like this? or this? about how the digestive process works, and he can go from being grossed out by poop to excited about how his body takes care of itself.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
I don't actually have any experience with the situation you are describing, but I'm thinking that maybe you just need to be very "ordinary" about poo for a while - like taking him with you to the bathroom when you're having a poo yourself, etc. - or just leaving the door open when you're going to the bathroom? I don't know, maybe you're already doing that.

I don't know if you are ok with poo jokes and the general poo talk that kids that age usually love? Maybe it would be good to be completely relaxed around everything to do with poo for some time... laugh at his poo and fart jokes etc. Of course, you might be doing that already, too!

In situations that are "locked" I usually think it's a good idea to let it go for a while, and not talk about it. But that might be easier said than done in this case, of course.

Sorry, I'm not much help. Good luck anyway!
Good advice... we're doing all of that already, though. When he gets sad I also point out how EVERYBODY poops and name all of his favorite people and animals who poop. And as I'm changing him I usually talk about how nice it feels once you've pooped, it makes your tummy feel better, etc.

Last night, for the first time in a long time, he actually told us he pooped instead of denying it.

I think letting it go completely for a while may be key. I don't want him to feel pressured into it either, because we're SO! ENTHUSIASTIC! ABOUT POOPING! , you know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcparker View Post
Can you talk to him about poop being, not bad or dirty, but just a by-product of our body getting the energy and nutrients that it needs to function well...something along the lines of we peel a banana, eat the banana and compost the skin, and then our body takes the little bits of banana, and extracts the vitamins and minerals and energy from it, and there's still some 'packaging' left over, and that's what poop is, just the bits that our bodies could not find a use for.

Really, it is kind of amazing that our bodies can take a banana or a bagel or a bunch of peanuts, physically and chemically break them down to get the building blocks we need for bone, muscle, brain cells, and energy to move all that around. Maybe you can find a kid-friendly anatomy book like this? or this? about how the digestive process works, and he can go from being grossed out by poop to excited about how his body takes care of itself.
This is all good, but I'll have to find a way to make it compresensible to a 2.5-year-old mind. I like the idea of an anatomy book that shows what happens to the food, especially since DS is very interested in machinery and how things work.
post #7 of 20
do mommy and daddy poop, how often, how does that look, how do they feel about poop... how do mammy and daddy deal with poop being dirty, does it hurt mommy and daddy..

Let him on in for a full interview during one of your movements... start it off with, hey Im making poopy, do you have questions.
post #8 of 20
Will do.

He has definitely seen our poop... in fact, there are major tantrums if he knows we've used the bathroom and flushed our own.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
He has definitely seen our poop... in fact, there are major tantrums if he knows we've used the bathroom and flushed our own.
Hehe, this made me laugh. And reminded me of the period we had when both our little ones (son and granddaughter) wanted to comment on every poo, whether it was a cute little mouse poo or a HUGE ELEPHANT POO etc. (They never got to see my husband's, he's English and a little sensitive about such matters. )
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
I'll be watching this thread.

Our DS has decided poop is "dirty" and "gross," even though DH and I never say that. We know our daycare provider doesn't, either, but I think some of the other kids say that.

Also, he peed on the floor the other day while brushing his teeth and was so sad and seemed so ashamed-- I have NO idea why, we have NEVER shamed him for anything like that-- I held him and told him it was an accident and it was fine, etc. etc., but he seemed inordinately upset. Poor guy.
Our sons share their birthday!

That said, we had a similar incident. DS had started using the potty at night and then talked a lot about wearing underwear. So we put him in underwear on a Friday, and he was dry all day. The next day, he woke up from a nap and I told him he should use the potty but he didn't want to. Sure enough, five minutes later he had an accident. He immediately started screaming and crying that he wanted to put his diaper back on. I explained to him that accidents are okay, that's how we learn, everyone has accidents, but he wouldn't listen -- he kept screaming "I want my diaper!" and "Don't talk to me!" Finally, I pulled him on my lap and told him about specific times that a couple of his friends had had accidents while learning to use the potty (one of them on my foot) and that immediately calmed him down and he insisted on getting a clean pair of underwear. Somehow, hearing "everyone has accidents" was very different from "X had an accident and he urinated on my foot!"

DS also went through a phase where he wouldn't take a bath and then he'd hold onto his bottom the whole bath long because he didn't "want to make a dirty diaper in the bathtub." No idea where this came from, but he only stopped after two or three weeks of cosntant reinforcement that it would be okay if he did "make a dirty diaper in the bathtub" and I would not mind and if that happened we would just come out of the bath and clean it up. Lots and lots of repetition.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
Will do.

He has definitely seen our poop... in fact, there are major tantrums if he knows we've used the bathroom and flushed our own.
Ha! DS does that too, but with him it's because he loves to say "poopy" and I told him he should only say it when he has a poopy diaper or when he's talking about poop -- that it's not polite to call people "poopy." So at first he would say out of the blue "I have a dirty diaper -- poopy! Poopy! Poopy!" and I'd go change his diaper but it would be a "pretend dirty diaper." (He only started wearing underwear last week.) Now he waits until there's actually poop in the toilet and then he goes crazy shouting at the toilet "Poopy! Poopy!" until he's blue in the face and has had enough.

Toddlers are so strange!
post #12 of 20
I'm subbing too.
I know my ds is withholding but I'm unsure whether he's doing it because of constipation (which seems unlikely now since he's always had pretty average to loose bm's) or because of seeing his first poop in the potty.

What about diet? I've gotten lots of advice about changing diets. But he's still withholding with such tenacity. Poor guy. When he does go, it's once a week and it hurts him. I think that makes it worse.

Is there a game we can play?
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzzmom View Post
This is all good, but I'll have to find a way to make it compresensible to a 2.5-year-old mind. I like the idea of an anatomy book that shows what happens to the food, especially since DS is very interested in machinery and how things work.
The "It hurts when I Poop" book has a very basic spread with illustrations of food going into the body and the intestines where the poop comes out. My son has seemed to respond well to that. Not sure if there is something better out there, though.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maymorales View Post
What about diet? I've gotten lots of advice about changing diets. But he's still withholding with such tenacity. Poor guy.
I think changing diet is probably helpful. We see success for a limited time with a change of diet which is a huge effort for me to convince him to eat things (most of the time I'm sneaking purees into food). But just when I think we've resolved it, I think the withholding kicks in (for us the problem was likely originally diet and then that started the withholding and then the hypersensitivity about all things poop/dirty). We've started pointing out foods that "make poop soft" -- DS seems to respond to that (it was from the "It Hurts When I Poop" book, too). DS seems to relate to the main character in the book somewhat and responds in real life to topics covered in the book.

I'm so sorry that these little one's have to go through this but it is somewhat comforting to know that I'm not the only one trying to figure this out!
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm happy to say that we're on an upswing now (after the use of a suppository )

I'm going to try hard to stick to my sneaking fruits and veggies into his diet and limit the dairy intake.

I'm just so sad that he thinks it's dirty. We are being positive about poop (as always) and his DCP is, too. Hopefully that will convince him that it is okay and make him more comfortable with it.

I'm thinking that maybe a previous poster has a point about being *too* enthusiastic about it. I'm going to tone down the fanfare for poops and hopefully that will help, too.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by show&tell View Post
I'm thinking that maybe a previous poster has a point about being *too* enthusiastic about it. I'm going to tone down the fanfare for poops and hopefully that will help, too.
That was me... sometimes I think we're being so positive that we're adding to the pressure instead of lessening it.

Our sweet boys! They'll get it eventually. Uh, I hope.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by show&tell View Post
I'm happy to say that we're on an upswing now (after the use of a suppository )
.
We used a suppository last week. But he has not gone since. Is it too much of an abuse to use it again?? I can't imagine all of that excess waste building up in his little body. can't be good for him. fwiw, I make him fruit smoothies with prune juice or added fiber. When I drink it, to the bathroom I run. It baffles me how he's able to hold it.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maymorales View Post
We used a suppository last week. But he has not gone since. Is it too much of an abuse to use it again??
I'm not sure how often is too much. I don't feel good about giving DS one, ever. But I agree that whats in there needs to get out. Has it seemed like he's struggling to keep it in or get it out?

Maybe someone has some natural remedies for constipation, atop of a diet change? Like you, DS is seemingly unaffected by prunes, fiber supplements, etc.

We started the day with no BM (he usually has a BM in the morning if he's going to have one)...hopefully we aren't going downhill already.
post #19 of 20

Thanks for sharing your story Show and Tell.  I'm looking for advice for helping my son (27 mo.) think that poop is good, and I think "The Human Body" book might be helpful.  For a month or two he's been saying "poop is bad", but tonight, while sitting on the toilet to pee, he said "I am bad".  I just about cried.  I can't exactly figure out where this attitude came from but I'll guess it's either from performance anxiety, talk about not touching poop, overhearing parent's talk, a painful poop (I only know of one), or trying elimination communication early on.  He poops 2-3 times a day regularly, mostly with well digested, formed stools, and walks with his legs wide to the toilet.  Though it's pretty obvious, he always tells me and we change it while he stands by the toilet, look at it, make it go plop, and he leans over my leg to get wiped.  When I've tried to get him to the toilet, it had interrupted the process and he doesn't poop, so I decided to wait longer (maybe until 30 mo.) before trying to toilet train, but he's beginning to ask to go to the toilet for pees in the evening.  While writing this I think I'm realizing that he might be more ready to toilet train than I think.  Maybe he doesn't want to poop in the diaper and that's what he thinks is bad.  Anyhow, please let me know if you have any more advice for helping the very sensitive sort of boy develop a very positive attitude about poop!

post #20 of 20
Ok so I have an idea to explain poop. It may not be good or you may not like it but I will toss it out there, take it or leave it.
I would explain about household waste and how daddy (or whoever) has to take it out of the house do it can go where it's supposed to go. Garbage is not clean or safe to touch but it's part of life and we have to deal with it. Take him along when dad (or whoever) collects the waste, puts it out to the curb and comes inside to wash his hands. Now explain that poop is the waste from his body and it needs to go out too the same way. It's not clean or safe but that's ok because we wash our hands after and then we are clean again. The house would. E in very bad shape if we didn't take out the garbage. The same way it's not good for his body to hold on to the poop.
I don't know, it may be too complex, but I thought there is no harm in offering the idea :-)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › "Poop is bad"