My son is four next month and due to start School in August. However, he clearly has poo phobia and witholds from doing a poo. He has been doing this for several years now and I am terrified that this issue is not going to resolve itself by the time he starts school.
This phobia began as an infant after constipation caused a number of painful poos and fissures. I can remember him using the potty to poo at the age on around 18 months however never since. He constantly has overflow diahorhea and dirty pants and you cannot even talk to him about the toilet or a potty without him becoming very distressed.
I have tried to let things be in an attempt not to compound the problem but with school 8 months away I feel that something has to be done. I have tried stickers, reward charts, bribery, talking Pooe's all to no avail. He can see through all of it and asserts that he will continue to poo in his pants for as long as he wants.
Please help, I a mother on the edge.
Answer: Dear Kelly:
I would try massaging him before it is time to go to the bathroom. Massage lowers anxiety, lowers the physiological systems in the body which keep anxiety high and stimulate the intestinal system. I would also make sure he is drinking plenty of water.
Next, I think you should agree with him that he can poo in his pants as long as he wants. Let go of the rope. The more you disagree with him the more determined he will become.
Then I would make sure you do the massage in the bathroom. Put on peaceful music, diffuse peaceful oils like peace and calming, play with him in the bathroom (his favorite games). In other words make the bathroom a fun place to be. Make some sort of a game out of who gets to sit on the toilet (not for going to the bathroom right now). Anything you can do to lower the anxiety around the toilet will allow him to CHOOSE to use the toilet when he no longer associates it with pain.
M Kay Keller
Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness
10 10 10