5 yr old and regular toilet accidents - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 05-10-2012, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I am hoping that some of you can offer some advice. I haven't posted on mothering in ages... I have always been more of a lurker. I am sure there most be some older threads by moms with similar problems. I just feel really desperate this morning because my son pooed his pants on the way to school and then DH (who was taking him) called me, upset, to say that we must get this under control... and I need to be more "on top of him" to make sure he goes...


My son is 5 1/2 and regularly doesn't get to the toilet in time (usually with poo, and sometimes wetting). And I don't know anymore what to do. I think I have probably done all the wrong things. In the past I lost my temper and scolded him a lot.  And as my DH said, probably what he needs is more attention from me.  I can give him that. But I don't know how else to help him.


He has had a lot of difficulty in learning to go to the toilet, particularly with poo.  He is a very bright, imaginative child, and most of the time I get the sense that he is so involved in his play that he does't want to stop what he is doing and go.  He puts it off until it is too late, denies and refuses if I try to ask him to go and try.... and only when it becomes obvious because he has had a small accident will he consent to go and sit down and finish the job.  He tells me he doesn't know it happened and I wonder if he has ignored the cues for so long that he doesn't feel it?


I was worried when he started primary school this past autumn.  Fortunately he used the toilet every morning there on his own and had no accidents. He was very proud of himself.  But in time as he got more comfortable I guess the accidents started happening again.  In February he went through a bad spell with them happening every day, and this teacher suggested she would try a sticker chart where she reminded him to go very frequently and he got a sticker every time he went..... this seemed to help and we started to doing this at home as well... but over time it has seemed that he delayed going at school, and then would have an accident immediately afterward - we often stay so the boys can play with other children at the playground after school and despite my reminders he will often not go - or run in quickly, pee, then come back and have a poo accident not 10 minutes later.


Things seem to improve for a while, then this week we are back to having one everyday - and yesterday was mid-morning at school which hasn't happened in months. I have made an appointment to take him to the doctor tomorrow - I don't know how that will go because we talked about this and he said he doesn't want to talk to a doctor.  I should probably mention that despite the fact that I think he holds it, he has never had issues of constipation (it is not painful for him). And that nighttime has never been a problem - he was dry very early on at night compared to my older son.


I spoke to someone last year on an incontinence support line who helped me see that I needed to build up his confidence about this, and take all the emotion out of it.  I stopped getting angry - when it happened I just helped him get cleaned up - now he can mostly do that himself.  But I feel like I am obviously failing here..... I don't know how to help him. :(

Mommy to two wonderful boys
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#2 of 2 Old 05-14-2012, 11:24 AM
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Try to find out if anything is bothering him at school. Is there a bully in the class, change of schedule, smelly toilets etc. etc.


I am no doctor, but digestive issues are often related to stress & anxiety, it is our job as parents to find out what my be causing the kids anxiety.


Best of luck.

Mom of 3 working from home doing 
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