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My Ngala • View topic - Poos in jocks

Poos in jocks

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Poos in jocks

Postby NeedSomeHelp » Sun 23 Jan, 2011 9:45 pm

Hi there, can you help?

My 3 year old has been wee trained for 6 months but is still pooing in his jocks all the time. I know he is being lazy because some of the time he can do it in the toilet, no problems. I am getting so frustrated with him, and I am really worried because he is meant to be starting kindy soon. He has had lots of issues with constipation so I guess this might be part of the problem as sometimes poos hurt him. Help!
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Re: Poos in jocks

Postby NgalaOnline » Wed 26 Jan, 2011 1:08 pm

Hi NeedSomeHelp

Thanks for your post. Although it can feel isolating to be struggling with toileting issues in a three or four year old, it is quite common for children in this age to not be fully toilet trained. The issues you are experiencing, regarding a child being dry but having difficulty establishing bowel control is especially common.

Constipation is commonly linked with this issue. As you have identified, if a child has experienced pain previously when passing a bowel motion he is likely to be scared to pass another motion and may hold on. This can exacerbate constipation. Children who have experienced constipation can also have stretched the tissues and nerves in the rectum and as a result may not have full sensation that alerts them to having a full bowel. If your child is suffering ongoing constipation, in addition to encouraging him to have plenty of water, grains, fruits and vegetables is his diet, it can be beneficial to have him relieved by a medical practitioner. Some children will require medical assistance to prevent ongoing constipation. It is worth waiting several weeks after the constipation has cleared up and the bowel motions are soft before continuing with toilet training, in order to allow fears to pass and full sensation to return to the bowel.

Many children of this age, even in the absence of previous constipation, can have fears associated with passing a bowel motion on the toilet. The sensation of a poo dropping from them, the resulting splash of water, or the feeling that a poo is a part of themselves that is being flushed away can be overwhelming to a child. Some parents have success with using a potty rather than a toilet, explaining how waste is not a part of the child, or allowing the child to gradually get used to the idea of using a toilet by encouraging the child to pass a motion sitting on the toilet whilst wearing a nappy that is gradually loosened over time.

Toddlers are driven to try to be independent and autonomous and to assert their own desires and opinions. Toddlers also like to be in control of aspects of their lives and can quickly realise that toileting is one of few areas that they have full control over. For these reasons it is best to avoid conflict or putting a lot of (positive or negative) pressure on the child to toilet. Conflict over the issue can result in the child feeling ashamed, and having a lot of pressure (even positive pressure such as excessive praising, encouragements or bribes) can increase a child's anxiety regarding the topic or make him more determined to exert his own opinion about the matter. Having brief, casual discussions every couple of days with your child about the matter at a time of no conflict (such as "next time it would be great if you decided to do your poo in the potty" or "poos go in the toilet"), allowing him to witness others using the toilet, and keeping a potty accessible may just encourage the child to take control over the issue himself and use the potty when he feels ready, in the absence of any pressure from others.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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