HELP!! I need advice on the appropriate punishment.

toilet - toilet training issues
@CanadaGal (4307)
Canada
October 16, 2008 6:47pm CST
I have a toilet training problem with my 9 yr old. He holds in his poop for days at a time, and I have to tell him to go to the bathroom. It's absolutely ridiculous, I know. He's physically fine. He's eating a well balanced diet. He's been to counseling over the years to help with this issue, and all sorts of tricks and methods have been used, to no avail (calendar systems, rewards systems, timing systems, etc). Part of me wants to stop reminding him altogether to go, but that is so unhealthy, and he could end up with septic poisoning. It's pretty serious stuff. His poops regularly clog up the toilet. I've NEVER seen such a thing before. NEVER! And tonight, it took over 20 minutes to get the toilet unplugged. Lucky me, I got that lovely job. There was overflow. Nasty nasty overflow. And I made him clean that part up, including bringing all of the bathroom mats and things down to the washing machine. I told him that this isn't over. That he will be punished more for this, because I have had enough! But I don't know what else to do. I've been at a loss for years. And now I'm turning to all of you for help. What should I do? What can I do? Have you ever experienced such a thing? What would be an appropriate punishment for such an odd behaviour?
6 people like this
30 responses
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
First off you don't punish a child for not having a bowel movement. You reward him when hes successful. Does he ever sit down to eat a meal? If he does have him take time out after the meal to go and sit on the toilet. Chances are he will have a bowel movement after he's eaten.
4 people like this
• United States
17 Oct 08
HE'S NINE YEARS OLD. HE SHOULD SH!T WHEN HE NEEDS TO, NOT HOLD IT IN. DUH! NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, GENIUS. If he was 3, okay, fine, I get it, my own son is 3 and has been potty-trained since Christmas. But he's nine! She shouldn't have to "REWARD" him for his "natural bodily functions". He KNOWS they're natural, but he is INTENTIONALLY not going! PLEASE grow the hell up and exercise the sense the Good Lord gave you! And btw, she's not punishing him for NOT having one--she's punishing him for INTENTIONALLY HOLDING IT to the point where she may or may not have costly plumbing repairs due to the stress of regular clogging.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I see your point FaerieAnne... but you're being too harsh here. :) barehugs, my son can go on command. We've tried that method in the past for months and months on end, having him go immediately after dinner every night. The counselor's plan being that he will get used to that routine, and start doing it on his own. That didn't happen. And I grew beyond tired asking him to go. Obviously, I'm still at that point now.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I think you have the right idea. If it becomes a habit with him you have the problem solved. Surly its easier to send him after dinner, than it is to clean up his mess? I'm the father of 4 grown boys, so I've learned a few tricks. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@tessah (6638)
• United States
17 Oct 08
punishing a child for biological function (or lack thereof) really isnt wise and rather counterproductive. making the situation more stressful is only going to make it harder for him to go. yes, hes 9 years old and should have a grip on himself by now.. but theres got to be a deeper problem at the root of this. id suggest feeding the boy a more fiber rich diet thatll make it easier for him to go.. constant constipation is rather painful, whichll also compound the problem and make him not wanna go, which makes him hold it longer..proving his theory that when he DOES go.. its gonna hurt. see the vicious cycle? talk to his pediatrician.. get some input on how to adjust his diet to make his body a little more "poop" friendly.. he might even suggest a stool softener. i know the situation has got to be stressful for you as well.. but i bet its worse on him. try to find the patience to help him.. itll all work out in the end (no pun intended )
3 people like this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I've tried to make it a no big deal thing, but I was angry today when the toilet clogged so severely. Yes, I see and experience that vicious cycle all too well. :(
@psspurgeon1 (1110)
• United States
17 Oct 08
Have you tried putting some fibercal or stool softener or even a laxative in his food/drink? Maybe the stool softener will make it so that he doesn't have a choice but to go on a daily basis. The laxative probably wouldn't be great but the stool softener wouldn't hurt him. Hope it works/helps. Good luck...
3 people like this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
My best friend is telling me to try a product called "Fibre Sure".. .something like that. It's a tasteless powder I can add to his morning juice or milk, and it's all natural, and not a "laxative" per se, although it has the same effects. I know the results will be messy. :(
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
17 Oct 08
I don't' know what you should do to punish him, but do you know why he doesn't poop? Is he afraid that it will hurt or something? Honestly, I would be sneaking extra fiber into his food (like that benefiber stuff) and giving him chocolate laxitive and passing them off as candy!
2 people like this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I'm going to try adding something called "Fibre Sure" to his morning juice and milk. My best friend uses it for her and her son, b/c they are on medications that cause stool hardening, and this is apparently an all natural product as opposed to a man made laxative.
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
17 Oct 08
That's a good idea. Is there fiber added products available there? Here you can get fiber added granola bars, bread, juice, etc. Oh, if he will eat it feed him yogurt (even that go-gurt stuff), 1 apple a day and cheerios. Anything whole grain as well. That will get him moving quick!
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
He's not a fan of yogurt, but he does get a good amount of fibre in his diet.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
17 Oct 08
My brother has been through this with my nephew when he was five. They had to give him pills and put a hose up his butt to get it out. I can see how holding it for such a long time can produce a massive amount of poop. It should hurt him, too. He kind of outgrew it though, especially when they made less of a fuss of it. I don't think though that this is a psychological matter but a matter of not being able to get it out. I mean have you ever tried to hold it and hold it? Eventually you just really can't anymore. I know males don't go as often as us females. Most I know go every other or only every three days. You should research this matter online. He is probably not the only one with that problem. But to me it appears to be more medical than anything else. Pooping is a natural reflex and being able to hold it is trained. Maybe what we call a balanced diet is still not good enough for him. Maybe he needs to eat lots of fruits and stuff to soften it up. But at this age, punishing him is probably not the way to go anymore but might make matters worse. Same for any rewards or such. My guess is he is actually ashamed of his problem and doesn't want to have it discussed anymore. Research it, see what you can come up with. Although his doctor might say there is nothing wrong with him medically doesn't mean that it is true. It's not always all in the head, you know, just because the doctor doesn't have an answer;)
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
17 Oct 08
Wow most guys you know must be low on fiber and must not eat any yogurt.
1 person likes this
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
17 Oct 08
What kind of dumb statement is that?
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
It's not a physical problem. The boy can literally go on demand if I have him sit on the toilet. I saw him go every single night after dinner for months and months on end, so I know there's enough in there for that. My issue is that I shouldn't have to tell him to sit there in the first place... not at this stage. Yup... the rewards system doesn't work... the punishment system doesn't seem to work either. I asked him (again) tonight what HE thought would work, and what kind of punishment he should get... but he doesn't know.
• Canada
17 Oct 08
WOW!!! I don't know, but making him clean up the mess is a good start. On the other hand, maybe he's punnishing himself for something. Who knows? Did the councellor touch on any inner fears and upsets that he may have that may be causing him to do this? I really don't know what to say.
2 people like this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
If he's punishing himself for something, he hasn't told me about it. The counselors he had weren't able to get any information out of him that might explain his issue.
• United States
17 Oct 08
WTF?! That's so funny and so sick and so...weird, all at the same time! I personally would lock him in the bathroom with a slot at the door for food and a cup (there's water in the faucet) until he learned not to do that sh!t anymore! My s-i-l had a similar problem with her stepson (he would just use his underwear, not even bother with the toilet) and her husband (the kid's dad) finally had enough of it. He went into the bathroom while the kid was in the shower, just to use the toilet himself, and found yet another pair of sh!tty underwear on top of my s-i-l's clothes in the laundry basket. My b-i-l went apesh!t, yanked open the shower curtain, starts screaming at the kid that he WILL stop doing this RIGHT NOW, my s-i-l will NOT be washing any more sh!t-filled underwear just because the kid is too d@mn lazy to go to the bathroom when he knows he needs to, and from THIS MINUTE ON he will wash the sh!t out of his OWN underwear until he decides he's grown up enough to use the toilet. It hasn't happened since. My s-i-l's stepson is 10. I know your problem is different, there's just an account of something similar anyway. I'd smack the snot out of him and lock him in the bathroom for a few days. Should get your point across, esp. if he poops a few times and has to clean the entire mess himself. (Okay, don't REALLY lock him in...but it sounds good, anyway!)
2 people like this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I'm tired of making him sit on the toilet, so your suggestion isn't something that would work. I've tried it already. Loss of all privileges until he gets it out, making him stay on the can until it comes out, etc. When I've left him to hold it in and haven't prompted him to go, and he's stained up his pants, you can be rest assured I have made HIM do the clean up. That started at the age of 4.... 5 YEARS ago. It wasn't enough to work, obviously.
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Oct 08
What a sad problem. I don't think punishment is the way to go. My son had a similar problem when he was that age. It began with his not wanting to use the bathrooms at school. Teachers didn't like to give time during class, and there really wasn't enough time between classes to 'go', and still be on time for the next class. The other problem was that the boys bathrooms were filthy and did not have privacy doors. There was never any soap for paper towels either (have you looked at his school bathrooms?). So, he would hold it all day, then he would be unable to go when he got home. We got plenty of miles out of our plunger too. I solved it by putting things in the bathroom (comic books, mad magazine, gameboy) that he could ONLY do while he was there. It helped him to sit longer, relax and get the job done. His time slot was immediately after school, before he got involved in other activities. And, when he got done, he could have a snack to tide him over until dinner. Try the after school time slot, see if that works better. You may have to remind him, but I can't believe that is worse than having to unstick the toilet. If you choose to add fiber, do it in the morning, since most take 6-8 hours to work and should help the after school routine too. My son, 25, still doesn't like to use public restrooms...and he still reads in the bathroom.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I have given him permission to bring his gameboy or books or action figures into the bathroom when he's going. I never thought to allow for some of those things ONLY when he's on the toilet though. I've tried the immediately after school routine as well. That ended up taking longer for him than after dinner. And it became an issue because I was doing some home based child care, and just like in public washrooms, he didn't want to do the deed when they were in the house.
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
Oh what a GREAT idea. Having something special in the bathroom for him. Good one catdla1!! In fact I have a special book in my bathroom to read as well. LOL. I am not one to sit and relax much. I even knit, cross stitch or quilt while watching tv because I don't want to be unproductive. So reading in the bathroom makes me ummm well not rush myself so much.
1 person likes this
@catdla1 (6005)
• United States
17 Oct 08
LOL...I'm the same way. I usually have more than one book going at a time, because one I carry around with me, the other is my 'bathroom book'. We have a hectic household, so sometimes it's the only place I can find peace and quiet.
1 person likes this
@emarie (5455)
• United States
17 Oct 08
Punishing him and getting upset over the matter could just make it worse. you said you've seen the doctor about this issue of his right? well, it may not be a physical thing because if he's holding it in on his own then it is more of a mental problem. it may need more therapy then counseling. first you have to figure out why he's doing this. with this you have to find a way to calmly talk to him about this matter, he may be 9 but he still gets scared of mommy when she gets mad. this makes them not was to talk and because is about something like 'pooping' he might get embarrassed. now, you don't always HAVE to have a bowl movement every day. i kids don't, hell i don't. so its normal to go a day or two without one. as far as diet wise goes, you may have to push more of the fiber foods. my son had serious constipation for about 4 days where he was in pain and frustrated that it wasn't coming out. the doctor told me to hydrate him more and lots of bananas. you could try something like that. make sure he drinks MORE the 8 cups of water a day and plus some with other liquids. reduce milk intake if he drinks a lot of milk and cancel out all artificial juices and sodas. that may help, but it could also be a possibility that the kids just poops a lot. my husband's poops are massive and does clog sometimes. my sons are young but could be headed towards a similar route. but seriously, please don't punish him, it will make him feel worse about just pooping. talk with him and ask him why he holds it in, when he feels like he need to go tell him he should go. talk with some child therapist if you can get through to him. its possible that something traumatic happened to him which makes him not want to poop as much. take it slowly and he should eventually get better.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
We've had numerous talks about why he may be doing this, and he hasn't been able to give any answers. The most I've gotten from him is that he doesn't want to miss out on play time to sit on the toilet and clean up. He's old enough now that we can discuss it logically, and he admits that it does feel better to go every day.
@emarie (5455)
• United States
18 Oct 08
have you thought about setting aside a specific time in the day for him to try to do it? that may help if he's just worried about losing some playtime.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
Since yesterday, it's back to going every night after dinner time.
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
17 Oct 08
There isn't an appropriate punishment. If you punish him for this it will only make it worse. Boys more then girls have a thing about holding it till they cant any longer because they do not want to stop whatever they are doing to go to the bathroom because they might miss something. Over the summer I had to deal with a child that wouldn't go unless you almost forced him into the bathroom. I know this is going to sound a bit odd but have you tried laxatives? There are times when a child is so used to holding it in that the only time they can go without being told to is when they know if they don't they will well be sitting in their own crap. Load him up on fruit and fiber is what my sister says. That is what she did with one of her boys when he refused to go except when told to. Once he realized (even though he knew) that it wasn't supposed to hurt ( i do think the pain had a lot to do with it) he started to go without being told. Heck he woud announce "I'm going to poop now." Good luck
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
I would LOVE to hear that announcement from him on a regular basis! It would be music to my ears at this point. I'm back now to telling him to go after dinner each night, and on Monday will be purchasing some "Fibre Sure" to add to his drinks. I won't tell him about the addition, and I'll just look for the results.
1 person likes this
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
18 Oct 08
Very good idea. Just don't add to much or you will have a worse mess then a clogged toilet. Yuck!! A little mineral oil at night so he will have to go first thing in the morning is another option. That can also take a few days to a week to work though.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
the instructions on the container say one tsp a day, and to gradually build up to 4 a day if need be. I'm hoping the one a day will be more than sufficient.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
17 Oct 08
There is usually a reason that kids do that, it could be many problems, my son did that for while, it started with being scared to use the bathroom at school, then carried over into home life. What I did, and make sure he is at home for a few days if you decide to do it, is I added more fiber to his diet --- this literally forced the issue. I made brownies with prune juice instead of water, I made kool-aid (grape) and again used part water and part prune juice. I gave him high fiber cereal. He could not physically hold it in no matter how hard he tried. I kept up the fiber thing until the pooping became a habit. And I went to the school and explained how the older kids were terrorizing the little ones in the bathroom as a result the bathrooms were divided by grade level. Hope this helps. Making him cleanup is good - that is a consequence - but don't punish him or make a big deal, when the event is done it is done. Have you considered a power flush toilet?
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
17 Oct 08
ALso, tell him to flush while he is pooping....spread the poop out.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
I rent a townhouse, so getting a different kind of toilet isn't an option. And I do have him flush a few times, specifically after the deed and before the toilet paper, and then again after the clean up. The "Fibre Sure" will be bought on Monday, and I"ll start giving it to him in his drinks. He won't know what's going on.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
18 Oct 08
Can he flush at the 1st plop?
1 person likes this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
17 Oct 08
Can he rally decide this himself? Maybe there is something other than his will that controls this? It sounds like there is a serious problem though that needs to be handled. Doesn't the people that counseled him have some suggestions for you? I'd think that would be a part of their job with him - to cooperate with you on how you should react. My first thought is that I do not think punishment will help - but then I do not know the boy or what have been tried before either. If you are sure he does this on purpose for some reason and punishment is the way to go I'd try taking away a privelege or something that he loves until he cooperate. make bathroom visits part of a daily routine and failure to follow the routine will result in something taken away - like tv-time. I hope you'll be able to solve it. I do not think this can be a good situation for him neither. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
It's been a few years since he saw the counselor. I've called "Tele Health" (an Ontario toll free number to get advice from RN's) to get suggestions and advice. I've talked to our family doctor. Other than making him sit there until it comes out, and/or making him clean up his own mess, there hasn't been much punishment for him not going.
1 person likes this
@teison2 (5924)
• Norway
17 Oct 08
I read now that he does not want to take time out of his play time to go to the bathroom. I think that the best way to go is to give him even less play time when he refuses to go. I understand that it is really not good to have to remind and tell him every day for a long long time, but what else could you do? I imagine he knows very well that you are really in despair over this, so talking to him and explaining it might not do a thing to solve the problem either. A very very difficult issue I think.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
He never refuses to go when I tell him to sit on the toilet. And obviously, the longer he takes, the less play time he has. Yes, it's very frustrating.
1 person likes this
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
20 Oct 08
give him a swirly everytime he clogs the toilet... I am kidding before I get flamed for that suggestion. I don't really have advice other than making him unclog the toilet when he clogs it and clean up any spillage.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
20 Oct 08
What's a swirly? Is it like a wedgie? I had him do the majority of the clean up, and told him that it wasn't over. I've been making him go after dinner every night, and there have been no issues, because he's not holding it in for it to be able to clog. But just in case, I bought some "Fibre Sure" today when shopping at walmart. I'll start adding it to his morning (or lunch) drink, and see how long it is before he does the bathroom break on his own without me reminding him.
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
20 Oct 08
A swirly is when you stick the victims head in the toilet and flush.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
20 Oct 08
Even if I were to threaten that, he wouldn't believe I'd follow through (and he'd be right). However, maybe if I told him that YOU would administer such a consequence, I am pretty sure he'd believe it. Hahha... talk about scaring the sh!t outta him!
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
17 Oct 08
Ok, after reading your discussion and seeing all the tags that have been left about this being a psychiatric problem it makes me sad. You see as a child I was the exact same way and had the same problem. But, mine wasn't because I wanted to be that way. I just often didn't feel the "need" to go. And by the time I did, we had plumbing issues. Like your son I was "punished" for this issue. And I was humiliated. I didn't want to do this, its just the way my body was. I did eventually outgrow the issue. Is it possible he isn't doing this on purpose? Maybe like me he just didn't feel the urge to go until its too late? Mom would remind me, made me drink prune juice, anything and everything. But my body just didn't need to go for days at a time. I'm thinking your son may be the same way. As for how to change it rather than letting him outgrow it, I don't have an answer. All I have is understanding for how he feels.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
You say you didn't feel the urge to go, but could you go on demand like him? If I tell him to go after dinner each night, he will do the deed. How long did it take for you to outgrow this? I let him go for about a week last year, without reminding him. I told his teacher about it (he was in grade 3), and warned him that there may be some sort of accident. After 6 days, it was me who couldn't take it any longer, and I made him go.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
17 Oct 08
No, I couldn't go on command. LOL No command preformances for me. I think I was around 19 or so before I outgrew the problem. And for me it was a problem. Because like your son I often got sick to my stomach from it. Have you tried supplying him with a book, comic book or hand held game for those times? Reading in my "library" was what helped me relax enough to do what needed done. Even though its no longer a problem for me, yea I still like to read. Sorry for TMI for anyone out there. LOL
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
I've found he takes longer sometimes when playing with games or reading. He focuses on what's in his hands instead of relaxing and getting the deed done. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience in this discussion... it means a lot to me, and gives me hope that whatever my son is going through, he will outgrow.
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
Wow that is a tough one. I know laxitives 'can be' hard on ones system if they are used on a long time basis. I also know that holding it in is not something your body should naturally allow you to do. I think you are right in having him in a routine to go to the bathroom after dinner or before bed so he doesn't have the mess to have to clean up afterward. I have no idea what to say about punishment. I used to not go to the bathroom to go pee when I was extremely young, up to about 9 or so. I had a lot of problems because of it. And now I have many bladder infections that can last months. I am convinced it is partly due to the fact that I 'held it in' when I was younger. Does your son know and understand the consequences to his bowels becoming obstructed? Maybe if he knew a bit about it this may sort of 'scare' him into going??? I don't know just a guess.
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I have explained to him how by holding it in can cause it to become poisonous, b/c it is the body's waste product; all the good has come out of it already. I've told him that it could land him in hospital and he would be cut open and operated on and have to stay there for at least a few days... and how I wouldn't be staying there with him, b/c I'd have to be home with his younger brothers... and how in hospital he wouldn't have tv or ps2, etc.
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
Oh my and that did not put the fear into him?? What does he say as to why he won't go? Does he have any sort of reasoning for it at all? There must be something. This is not a natural behaviour. I believe anyway.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
Nope, it didn't put the fear into him. And all I've gotten from him as to why he doesn't go when his body first tells him to go, is because he doesn't want to miss out on play time.
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
17 Oct 08
IS he intentionally holding it?? Did he have a constipation problem in his younger years that caused him pain?? Has he express why he doesn't want to go??
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
Yes, he intentionally holds it in, although he is getting better at masking his discomfort when doing so. I don't recall him having constipation problems as a toddler, but I do remember him pooping his pants. Once he was 4, I would make him clean it up while I overlooked. And the only reason he's given me for not going is because it will interfere with play time.
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
19 Oct 08
Then I would check the internet for a picture of caustic bowel syndrome. It's disgusting. Tell him that this will happen to him if he doesn't stop holding his bowels. For the rest of his life, he will not be able to hold his bowels. His bile will fill his stomach and he might end up vomiting poop. He's nine. He should grasp the gravity of that situation. Tell him that if he ends up with a bag to catch his bowel movements, he will be confined to his house for life. In other words, scare the sh it out of him, pun greatly intended. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Oct 08
This is a crazy discussion! I have never heard of this problem before. Have you ask him why it bothers him so much to go. Maybe it's a issue where he doesn't feel clean afterwards. Maybe you could suggest he "do his business" before he gets in the shower each day.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
Crazy? But true. I know it's odd, and I've been dealing with it for many years. I finally decided to come to the mylot community to seek some suggestions and guidance, because I'm stumped. He doesn't shower every day, but I do suggest to him he does the deed before shower times, so that he's extra clean. It doesn't always happen though.
@lynnemg (4540)
• United States
17 Oct 08
This may or may not help you, but it sounds to me like your son is doing this only for your attention. Before you get upset, read what I have to say. My daughter is 6, and she can be very stubborn at times. I have learned to deal with her stubborness by simply ignoring her, because when I don't give her attention for the wrong behavior, she changes it on her own to gain my attention. My husband has not grasped this concept yet, and he has a lot more troble with her stubborness than I do because when she refuses to do something that she is told to do, he immediately responds instead of following my lead. My 7 year old son is similar, except he whines. I ignore the whining, he stops, my husband responds, he whimes more. My oldest son likes to talk back to me. When I igore him, he stops and apologizes. When my husband responds, he keeps doing it. It is not that my children lack attention, it is just that they want my sole attention when they want it, no matter what I am doing. I think your son is holding it in because he knows that you will give him attention and try to get him to go, and he holds it in for so long that when he has no other choice but to go becausew his belly hurts so badly, he can't possibly hold it in anymore, it all comes out and thus, clogging your toilet. Maybe, just maybe, if you bite your tongue for a while, and ignore this behavior, he will change it on his own. Don't say one word to him about going, don't say anything when he clogs the toilet (except maybe "clean up your mess"), no matter how bad you want to. Then, when he begins to change on his own, and you notice him going as he should, tell him that he has done a good job, and you are glad he went. Once he sees that he will not gain attention from the negative behavior, he just may get the hint. Whatever you chose to do, I hope it works out for you. I am sure that this is a very challengiing thing to deal with each day. Keep your chin up, it will all work out.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
I've done the ignoring thing, and that didn't change his patterns. I praise him for positive choices and behaviours, both big and little things, on a regular basis. I truly don't think he's doing this in an effort to get more attention from me.
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
17 Oct 08
I think the most important thing to do is to figure why he is holding it. Frankly when I gotta go, I gotta go, so imagining somebody being able to hold it for days is shocking to me. But there must some reason he is doing that. We as human beings do not do things unless there is something rewarding or comforting about it. Perhaps when he does go that it hurts him. Possibly his stool is very hard and it is painful, and therefore he avoids going for as long as he can to avoid the pain, in that case taking stool softner might be very helpful. Perhaps he just does now want to take the time because he does not want to give up any time on activities he loves. Perhaps he never feels like he has enough time to sit and take his time and be comfortable. The key to this is communication not punishment. You really, really need to find out why he feels the need to hold it in. Then the two of you have to work out a way to make that more comfortable for him. It sounds like his poop is very hard since it will not flush down. I would ask him if it hurts, and then possibly talk to his doctor about getting him on some type of age appropriate stool softener.
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
18 Oct 08
I'm at the point where my biggest issue is that he doesn't go on his own... that I have to tell him. He admits he gets the urge to go, but he holds it in anyways.
@p1kef1sh (45647)
17 Oct 08
Blimey, you opened a hornets nest here. Thank goodness, what's left of my brain was atrophying! LOL. So long as the punishment is focused to him making a mess, and not to his pooping then I see no harm. However, he needs to see that what he is doing is unhealthy for him. I am not sure that punishing him will make much of a difference and might make him resent you. He does need to understand that the consequences of his reluctance is mess and that is neither attractive or healthy. Clearly he should clear up his mess with Mom standing over him. Personally I would be wanting to find out from him why he feels that it's necessary to hold it in. Perhaps his "punishment" is the introduction of a regular routine when it is expected that he will "perform". You can't stop him from going outside that period. But if everyone else is going at about the same time then maybe he will see it as the norm. Sorry that I can't be more help. I'm pleased to see you again though. XX
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
17 Oct 08
I did ask him last night what he thought would be an appropriate punishment, but all he came up with were the usual losing of privileges such as ps2 and computer for at least one week. I asked him how that was relevant to the issue, and he couldn't answer, because it's not. I made him go again tonight after dinner. And I'll do the same tomorrow, and every day following. After months and months of doing that in the past, he still didn't catch on on his own, and went back to holding it in. I have my usual routine of when I go, and he sees that. And his brothers go when they feel the need without any problems. He and I have had the talks about what happens when it's held in, and what can happen, and the severe physical consequences. But none of that has been enough. :(