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Mum seeking help !

I have just signed up for the eric website because I am totally at my wits end. weekend I dread and school holidays I want to stay at school and not come My 7 yr old son has a bowel issue where he holds poo then gets severely compacted and continually soils during the day especially at weekends. No matter how softly I approach he will never admit that he has done this and then follows major shouting screaming refusal crying and just an awful hour. Which I keep saying I know it is not his fault he has soiled but once it is in his pants he has to deal with it. He just point blank to admit it is done and is incredibly stubborn and then he literally sees red and ends up getting himself into all sorts of trouble whilst telling me he hates me and anything he can think of. He is just so angry and no one seems to understand. He is seen by a pediatrition who we see every 6 months over the last 2 years, we use a tens machine every day and we use picosulphate when he has not been for three days. But he is going and soiling. It feels like no matter what I cant help him. We have had early help to try and help us manage him at home, he has a school nurse who has recently started working with him and school have a play therapist that he sees every week. This is not helping him stop every home because I know what happens next. How can I turn this situation around without my family falling apart. His 10 year sister finds this all very hard even though she has been to the hospital with us and seen for herself his x-ray she hates the anger and seeing me upset. I feel as a mum I have failed them both. Just need some more advice what else can we do?

7 Replies

Your post makes me cry tears of understanding and recognition. It’s so easy to feel like a failure as a parent. Unless you have had the experience of a child who withholds and soils constantly, you can’t understand the frustration and distress it brings out in you. It literally takes all my energy to remain positive and not react emotionally when my son is soiling and unable to poo (and I mean completely unable to poo). However I believe that staying positive and unemotional is the thing to strive for. I also believe the advice of having a daily sitting on the loo ritual after meals or one meal a day is a really good tactic, maybe combined with a hot bath. We now have a squatty potty and a liquid 10 minute timer and electronic toys in the bathroom to help my son sit. I also encourage him to clean himself up as best he can himself with me only helping him if he really needs it (and he has pads in his pants all the time) it sounds as though there is lots of emotion in your home around the soiling and using/not using the toilet which I completely understand but maybe try as much as possible to reduce the emotion and make it a more matter of fact part of life with incentives (my son likes being allowed to play on our mobile phones on the loo) whatever works! Good luck x


Hello Iks1402, and welcome,

Fabulous answer from Robina, I totally agree.

When a situation or experience totally overwhelms a child they tend to go into denial, for example "I have no control over this, nothing I or anyone else does seems to make it any better so I am going to pretend this is not happening to me". From my own experience and from reading numerous posts I have found this is really common in slightly older children. The fact that he reacts so strongly to you when you force him to consciously face the issue shows how deeply he feels about this situation. Please make sure you stress this to his specialist - this is hugely stressful situation for him and you and for your family too.

Re the sitting on the loo, our regime is sitting for 10 minutes, twenty minutes after breakfast and the evening meal. Our specialist explianed that kids with these issues don't get the same signals from their bodies that most people do. This timing after meals is because basically the body works on something in something out, so sitting in the toilet positions helps their body to relearn that prompt. I never thought this would work and have been really surprised at how often me 12 year old achieves a bowel motion in the morning and consequently fewer accidents during the day using this method (along with daily Movicol).

He can also try 'rocking and popping' while stating on the loo. Sitting tall, rocking forward and back from his hips, about ten times, then 'popping' just a gentle push like he's pushing wind out.

Take strength from the knowledge that you are not alone and the fact that you are here seeking more help and information for your son makes you kind of wonderful. One day both you and your boy will be in a better place and will realise what an amazing parent you are.

The Laundrymaid xx


I’ve been at my wits end too so totally sympathise with what you are going through!

We were at this stage last year, agree with the other advice/comments about establishing a routine - I recently put a post on my page on the things we’ve done to improve the soiling you might find some hints/tips there that might work for your son

We had to stop making a fuss about it in our house and keep things relaxed this have stopped my daughter feeling anxious or getting upset when she has soiled.

Good luck



With you all the way on this one! My daughter is 6 and soils from overflow. Often denying or refusing to go when shes had an accident. We got her the dry like me pads again last week. When we tried before she treated like a nappy. But shes a bit older now and 4 days in shes a bit happier as majority of the time the pad has caught the worst of it and she can deal with it herself. We do 'poo time' 20mins after dinner. Shes often there for half hour merrily colouring, but sometimes its a battle to get her there. She has laxido. I gave her senokot last night as she needed a bit extra and I couldn't get any her to drink any more laxido. She did 16 poos earlier! We counted as I had to bribe her with prizes to get the painful plug poo out. So keep going, try things that maybe u tried a while ago again. Hugs!!


Right , firstly buy yourself the book constipation withholding and your child ... fantastic book ... please read my post to break cycle of witholding with 5mls of senna and movical . Your child could be like mine and lost sensation in bowel from withholding !!! My child is doing so so so well two week into treatment . God love the little pets , it’s not easy x

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I can't give practical suggestions as my son suffers from a different issue but I would say, please don't think you are failing. You care and you are doing everything you can and you are accepting all the help you can for them both, so you are certainly not failing them.

I can relate to the frustration and anger you have to cope with from your son. I try and keep things calm and low key (easier said than done, I know) and offer as many tools for my child to deal with things himself. Rather than give instructions, I try and use questions or suggestions, so he feels like he is in control and making the decisions himself, while making sure he knows, that he is absolutely not the only boy with this problem i.e. Following an 'accident', "Don't worry, this happens to lots of people, its not a problem. Would you like me to show you a really easy way of cleaning up? What would you prefer pull ups or bed sheets, its up to you? Would you like me to help?"

Good luck - Chin up :)

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How’s he getting on now?


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