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4.5 year old toilet (poo) regressing - HELP

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1 TheRightChoice

    4.5 year old boy. Sweet kid, great older brother. Picks up lots of things and quick to remember and can converse well

    Fully understand it's because of Covid and I think he's become very lazy with the toilet overall but he was never GREAT at going for a poo, or at least telling us he needed to go, so he would hold it then go every 3-4 days and of course it would be massive and would hurt his bum. He didn't want to go then. We put him on kids movicol a year ago so we decided having accidents was getting bad again so decided to put him back on it.

    At our wits end. Today, 4 accidents which resulted in me exploding the last time. You ask does he want to go repeatadly and he says no. Then you eventually say, come on we go into the loo. And then he tells you he's had an accident
    Soul destroying. Trying to be patient and calm but I lost it a bit on the last go when he soiled his pj's.
    Put him on the toilet and I think he knew I was angry so he went then.

    Tried the reward charts. Tried to let him take the lead and watch for his cues.
    It's starting to really worry and upset me and my wife.

    Any help or tips or anything at all. Thanks


  • Is he holding it again? If he’s constipated it could be causing overflow leakage?

    Have you tried the poo goes to Pooland app?

  • Talk to your doctor for a referral to a specialist
    No way a kid should be going 3-4 days without going to the toilet - is there an underlying condition that is making him not want to go. Could be an habit that has built up that makes him not feel comfortable going for a poo and then he has no control over when the inevitable happens further strengthening that idea.
    Getting angry about it is not gonna help the situation and maybe ingrain it more
    There are books you can buy, with the current situation - the great kid specialist on Newstalk was talking about them a few weeks ago

  • We have been dealing with a very similar issue but seem to have it under control at the moment. We give one movicol sachet every day and that appears to keep on top of it.

    From what you describe I’d be going back to gp for a chat about it again.

  • I would talk to the GP alright.

    But also, stop asking repeatedly does he need to go. My eldest went through this. I mean she could be bent double with legs crossed and she would still say no when I asked. You have to let him work the cues from his body out for himself and also to realise that it has to come out, it won't stay in. You could buy some books - we like the Usborne body book here, it has a zillion lift the flaps on different parts of the body - and try and use them to explain look this is how poo is made, and it has to come out, it has nowhere else to go.

    I know how annoying it is, believe me, it took a good 2 years here for the penny to drop and we went through some very bad phases. A major problem here was fear of missing out - REALLY bad. She absolutely would not leave what she was doing to go.

    Best advice I can give is stop asking, and try encouraging him to go when he feels it coming the first time. Sit and read a book with him again if needed. Occasionally use language like just sit up and see do you have to go. But be prepared to give it lots of time. It is totally frustrating, but he will get there.

  • It sounds like you've got yourselves into a real mess here.

    Unfortunately all of this can be a real vicious cycle; he holds it until he can't bear it, so it hurts to go, which makes him not want to go the next time. The next time, he holds it, he has an accident, everyone gets stressed and angry. Makes him not want to go. And the cycle continues.

    Going to the toilet becomes a source of fear and stress for him, so he avoids it as much as he can. It's quite a common thing.

    First up, you have to make a big, super-enormous effort to keep yourself in check. It is so incredibly frustrating and stressful to deal with, but exploding and shouting doesn't make anything better. You are not going to scare him into learning how to poo.

    A child soiling themselves is actually quite upsetting for them. They know they're not supposed to, they know it's not a "grown up" thing, and they don't know how to fix it. It's at this point that they need an adult to be calm and reassuring. However difficult it is to have them soil themselves after repeatedly claiming they don't need to go, you need to just take that deep breath, smile, tell them it's OK, it's no big deal, you'll sort it out.

    By being relaxed about it, you're not going to teach the child that it's OK to go in their pants. Like all animals, humans want to put a distance between themselves and their waste. You won't override this natural instinct, you don't need to make it a big deal because it's already a big deal in their mind.

    Outside of that, rather than asking him if he needs to go, it might be worth bringing it back to basics; sit him on the toilet every few hours. Give him a book or something to distract him, tell him to just try and poo if he needs to, and come back to him in five minutes. Don't make a punishment. If after five minutes he's done nothing, it's all light and "grand, up you get, let's go", rather than pestering, "Are you sure...". If he does poo, give him a high-five, tell him to call you when he's done and then a little celebration afterwards; a jelly or whatever. No big fanfare, you just want to retrain his brain to associate pooing with "good" feelings. At the moment, pooing is sore, and the experience is stressful because everyone gets tense and shouty.

    When he starts asking to go to the toilet or just voluntarily going then you know that he's getting it and you can stop "forcing" him to sit on the toilet regularly.

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  • If only there was some sort of a school we could send them too that would fix this problem for us. I'd pay any money at this stage