Hi I have 2 boys aged 6 & 7. The older boy has suffered from constipation as a baby and the younger one is in my opinion (a bit naughty or young for his age). We have been struggling with this and seeing doctors who gave nutrition advice and lactulose for years. Then we have seen the incontinence nurse around the 3 & 4 year time. She gave the nutrition advice, toilet time advice, reward charts etc. Then ages 5 & 6 we started to see the doctor who prescribed movicol. Fantastic! cleared out the bowels (needed to wear pull ups). But it gave my older son time for his bowels/rectum muscles to come back to normal. They both are on a little bit of Movicol each day which softens up their poos so something comes out daily. We have tried many things (toys, lego, scrubbing undies, etc). The doctor said if the boys still did poos in their pants, they would have to come to hospital and stay for up to 3 weeks, with one of the parents to do a 24/7 toilet training regime. I was not looking forward to that, because I have to work! So during the last school holidays, we cleared out their bowels using the movicol and toilet time after breakfast & dinner. It was the holidays from hell, a lot of poo but none in the toilet... grrr. My husband has been getting more involved this last year of it, which has helped me. They have this computer game they like, but in order to advance even further ahead you need game gold. Which you have to buy with real $$. So we used that as a bribe. We have used multiple bribes over the years so why should this be any different. But it has worked. Now we have 2 boys that race to use the toilet after breakfast after school and whenever they 'FEEL LIKE IT'. And within 30 seconds of sitting on the toilet are yelling at the top of their lungs "mum and dad, I did a poo in the toilet!".
What I think has worked; is the medicine (so poos are not painful), the younger brother really wanted this "game gold". The older brother (who has the real constipation problem) didnt want to be shown up by his little brother, DAD got involved more. The younger brother who has been a bit slow in developing his speech has grown up more and become more aware of his actions.
Another thing, lately I have been doing a meal-replacement drink in the morning for my breakfast which is mainly milk. Owweee I now have a little bit of constipation. I wasnt aware milk could do that but now I do. I wonder now if that was the issue for the kids. That's all they drank as babies & toddlers, didnt like juice or water. And I couldnt get any veges or fruit in them.
In my heart of hearts I knew they would grow out of it, I just didnt know when. But I was fully prepared to go to the hospital to do their toilet training regime. They were going to cleanse out their poos by a medicine given by drip which would have cleared them out in a day. Then a nurse would come and have set times with them to use the toilet. This could take 2-3 weeks. But the doctor assured us that it does work. With the medicine Im using, I can give more if we dont get any poos and less so they have daily poos. But it has only been 3 weeks and whats happening at the moment is like a miracle. They go on their own now. Lets hope it continues!