DS 5 is having "accidents" again - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 09-08-2003, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Please, please give me some help/advice! My DS is 5, has been using the potty since about 2 1/2 yrs old. Sorry if this is a little gross but...last spring he started having trouble wiping after a BM. It got the the point that we basically had to throw out all of his undies because I couldn't get them clean anymore. At the time I blamed it on stress, my finacee had just moved in, the school year(K4) was almost over etc...He's been fine all summer, and just started all day Kindergarten last week. He's had problems again all week! Yesterday we went to the Zoo (just him and I) and when we got home I could just smell him I just don't know how to go about helping him without hurting his feelings...I actually thought he had stepped in something at the Zoo and I told him to take off his shoes, then when I realize what had happened, he was very embarassed, he wanted to be alone for a while and he cleaned himself up...the thing that worries me is this wasn't just a wiping thing, he had a full BM without going to the bathroom (sorry to be gross again...) He told me it happened because there weren't any bathrooms near where we were at the Zoo??? I explained there are bathrooms EVERYWHERE and I'll help him find one any time he needs one! I don't want this to happen to him at school and for him to be teased, I know "yelling" at him won't help, and I don't want to shame him into anything (you won't have any friends if you smell like that, which is what a co-worker just suggested I tried positive rewards earlier this week, I told him each day he was "clean" we'd play a board game, but now he just says he doesn't want to play any how....Help please!!!
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#2 of 6 Old 09-16-2003, 12:58 PM
 
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I was just going to post about this myself! My 6 yo ds has the same issues exactly, and started having "accidents" when school (first grade) started. He doesn't have them at school, but at home he just won't go to the bathroom until it's too late . I think it's definitely stress related; any time there's a change in routine we go through this. Yelling and shame are definitely not the way to go and Dh and I differ in our opinions on that--he ridicules poor ds whenever it happens, then I get mad at dh and the whole thing escalates, which does nothing to solve the problem.

One thing I've been wanting to try, but is difficult because I work full time and I'm not there when he comes home from school, is to have him go to the bathroom every day at the same time whether he says he needs to or not. Maybe his body could be "trained" to go at a certain time. I think physically some kids just try to hold back if they're nervous about going to a public bathroom, then the pressure just builds up to the point where they can't control it.

I wish I had a sure solution for you, because I know how frustrating this is!
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#3 of 6 Old 09-19-2003, 09:22 PM
 
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My 6yo son had the same problem - for over a year! We have had clean underpants for about three months. We used a calendar with stickers for clean days that built up to a reward of his choice (video, toy, etc.) Also, I stopped working and took him out of daycare- not for that reason, but I think it helped. He may have just been ready too. I don't know the real reason - if there is only one.
In our case stress definitely contributed, but constipation may have also. One painful BM can cause a child that age to refuse the toilet. They cannot understand that holding makes it worse, they are just trying to avoid re-experiencing that pain.
I did feel better once I talked to my mom and she mentioned three other kids she has known of with similar behavior. Mine was not the only one in the history of the world!
Good luck!
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#4 of 6 Old 09-20-2003, 11:56 PM
 
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I just read an article about this in Brain, Child magazine - it sounds like a medical condition called encopresis! See these links:

http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/welco...ncopresis.html

http://www.medicine.uiowa.edu/uhs/enco.cfm

http://www.people.virginia.edu/~smb4...on/encopre.htm

http://aafp.org/afp/990415ap/2171.html

http://www.angelfire.com/biz4/Encopresis/

This is definitely not something to yell at your kid about - it's something to see a knowledgeable doctor about.

HTH!

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#5 of 6 Old 09-22-2003, 03:31 PM
 
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One of my boys had this problem last year. His doc said that it often initially is triggered by stress, but then it becomes not only a behavioral habit but an actual physiologic habit of bowel function. You have to re-train their behavior as well as re-train the bowel so it remembers how it's supposed to function. We gave him a tablespoonful of flax oil before breakfast & before dinner. After each of those 2 meals he was to go & sit on the potty for 10 minutes. After 3 weeks he was okay, but I do still have to watch him any time I think there's something potentially stressful (like starting back to school) or anything that might cause him to ignore the urge to go (like going to a birthday party or something).
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#6 of 6 Old 09-23-2003, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your responses! If nothing else it makes me feel better knowing that he's not the only one. I will try some of your ideas, and I also have an appt with the Dr next month. I'm sure we'll be able to work through it.
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