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