I am having the same problem with my 7 year old boy. It has at least been reassuring to read other posts by people with the same issues who have tried the same things.
His problem started last March when we went to FL. We go to FL every year and he is really excited about it always. We do see my MIL there and that is someone who he used to be very close with, but she has grown more busy with her life and not as interested in him (I wonder if this has something to do with it). At that point, he just seemed to be holding it because he was busy. Then he would say urgently that he had to go and go to the toilet, but would have some streaking in his underpants. It happened regularly, but not every day necessarily. His doctor said that it was really normal for boys his age to do that. I was still concerned. And I was still cleaning up a lot of poop. Sometimes poop would drop on the floor and I would make him clean it up. Sometimes I was very patient and loving about it when he would make it late and sometimes I very frustrated and exasperated. One time we talked about consequences because I was sick of doing so much extra laundry. We agreed that if he made it on time, he would get some kind of reward, if he didn't, he would have to rinse out his underwear and throw them in the laundry. He did this fine when he had to. Recently, like in the last few weeks the problem has been getting worse. He is pooping more in his underpants and not wanting to go on the toilet at all. He seems afraid. I can tell in his face when he is holding it or going and I practically have to drag him to the bathroom (but while trying to be encouraging and nice) to get him to go. If I get him to sit down, he will often say that he doesn't have to go, even though he started going in his pants. He has some sensory issues and is telling me that he isn't feeling when he has to go, but I am not sure. For him it seems to be emotional and physical. I am really worried about why he has grown this extremely anxious about it. He has also wet himself a couple of times now and says he didn't realize it. This is totally unusual for him. I don't think he has damaged his pelvis or anything.
I took him to a Naturopath and she gave him a homeopathic remedy and recommended positive retraining. IF that doesn't work, she said we could look into neurological testing.
To make matters worse, I mentioned to my mom how I had had him do the laundry and clean up after himself a few times (over the last 9 months) and she is just aghast. She keeps bringing it up to me and telling me that I am going to have to get him psychological help now because I did that to him that that is THE worst thing I could have done to him and this will effect him for life. I agreed with her it wasn't the best approach and she is acting like it is child abuse. She said that it is SO MUCH worse than my husband's step dad hanging bed-wet sheets out for all the neighbors to see. In fact, it wasn't even in the same ball park that it was so mortifying what I did to him and that this is why the problem has gotten so bad. Ugh. I mean, I already feel like a terrible mother for not understanding why this is happening.
I am at a loss of what to do. we are trying the positive retraining. I take him in and read books to him and just have him sit there, but he doesn't want to be in there. I act silly and sing songs in there. I even have his four year old brother do the same thing even though he doesn't have a problem. He says it hurts when he goes, but I don't know if he is just saying that or not. He starts school again in a couple days and I don't know how it will be. Right now this is like an all-day long occurrence. He will go a little, we'll clean him up, he won't poop on the toilet so he will go more in his clean undies and on and on and on. He will even cross his legs on the toilet right now so he won't go! This has really just been since the day before the holiday break (happened once at school). I can't figure out why such a shift.
Thanks for listening and if anyone has any ideas, it would be appreciated!!!
I never thought I would have to deal with so much poop in my life!