6 Year Old Pooping on Himself.

Updated on June 09, 2010
Y.R. asks from New York, NY
16 answers

Hi i am 18 year old mother with a 6 year old son. i am having a serious problem. he is always pooping on himself. everyday from the morning to the night i have to be cleaning him. i've taken him to the school psychologist and she has told me that she doesn't know why he keeps on doing this. i've tried putting him in time out, spanking him,. even talking to him calmly but nothing seems to work. i even asked him if he felt embarassed to be like that in front of other kids and he said no. i don't know what else to do. can somebody please tell me.

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So What Happened?

he can't stop. can somebody please help me or ill will go crazy.

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answers from Honolulu on

He may have "encopresis." Look it up online... it is a medical condition... and it is involuntary...

I would, take him to the Doctor.
Don't scold him... he probably cannot control it.

Or, how is his life? Anything different or stressful for him? This is another reason this can happen.

I really do not think he can control it... if he is pooping on himself... or getting skid marks on his underwear, it sounds like Encopresis.

all the best,

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You had your son at 12??!!

Google "encopresis" and see if that's what you're observing.

Have you discussed this with his pediatrician? It might be helpful.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

This is not a big deal, momma. You can handle it with a bit of creativity and common sense. Don't let your frustration get the best of you.

Step one, at the very top of the list, before anything else: You need to talk to his pediatrician. You need to rule out any possible physical conditions which could be causing this. If he can't FEEL that he needs to poo, it's not really his fault, right? And if he's constipated and can't push it all out, he needs some meds from the doctor to help. You have to make sure his body is working properly first and foremost.

Be sure he's eating a healthy diet and getting enough fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains). Meats, dairy and processed grains can stop him up so he can't go comfortably. He might be having a hard time because it hurts to go. See what the doctor says.

If it isn't a physical issue, and all his pooping parts are working properly, it's a behavioral concern. Punishing him certainly is not going to help, so stop doing that now. Even if he were doing this out of spite, spankings will only worsen the behavior. I know it is frustrating, but you are not helping the situation if you show anger or lose your temper. You need to offer comfort to your child by showing that you are calm, collected, and in control. If you are calm, it's easier for him to be calm. Yelling or spanking does not model calmness to your son.

The best way to show your child that you are calm, collected, and in control is to make sure that his daily schedule is consistent. Do the same things at generally the same times in the same way....every day. Be where you say you are going to be, and don't go dragging him to a bunch of different people's houses or leaving him with different friends or family. Stick to the same sitter when you use one, and make sure they follow your rules. He needs to know that he has a bedtime that is the same each night, and on school nights he's in his own bed AT that time.

He needs to know what is expected of him. Without that knowledge he will be angry, lost, anxious, argumentative, and difficult to deal with on all levels. Schedules mean stability, and stability means comfort to a child (because they know you have it all under control)...which means fewer tantrums, outbursts, and bad habits. Don't be one of those stupid young mothers who are dragging their kids to Walmart at midnight when they should be sleeping in their own bed (and then they are slapping at the child when they cry or whine because they are tired). Be smarter than that.

You must also be sure that you are consistent in how you deal with him and the time you spend with him. Spend some extra time and focus on this issue a bit, even if you must remind him to use the toilet a few times a day. Figure out what time he usually needs to go (kids tend to be like little clocks when it comes to bowel movements) and remind him to go to the toilet 10-20 minutes prior to "the usual time." Don't take no for an answer, just make him go.

Sometimes kids will get so wrapped up in what they are doing that they don't want to stop to use the toilet, so be sure that there are no distractions at the usual time. Turn off the TV, video games, etc. and send him to the bathroom.

If he's having the same problem at school, consider the purchase of a small Timex watch. Set it so an alarm goes off each day about 10-20 minutes before the time he usually has a bowel movement so he knows that he needs to get up and go to the restroom. This might mean coordinating/discussing with his teacher, but I'm sure they'd rather deal with a little "beep beep beep" once a day than the alternative.

I wish you the very best of luck and hope some of my advice helped. As the mother of 3 boys, I've seen it all (or cleaned it off my floor).


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would take him to the pediatrician. That doesn't sound normal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Some kids get the hang of going pee in the potty when needed a lot sooner than the are able for going poop in the potty. And it may take them a little while to start going poop in the potty without someone telling them to do so. If that's the case for your son -- if he has never initiated going poop on the potty on his own -- then a little bit more time and patience may be necessary. He may still need you and his teacher to tell him to go to the bathroom at regular intervals (usually not long after he has eaten a meal) to get him in the habit of going poop when he goes to the bathroom.

You may also want to consider that your son may have issues with his digestive system. When you clean him up, are his poops firm and formed, or soft and mushy? If they are soft and mushy, then he probably has diarrhea caused by some back up of fecal matter in his intestinal track (gross, I know -- sorry!). And if diarrhea is the issue, then of course he is going to poop his pants at this age -- his system is all out of whack. There are things that you can do to help restore the balance to his digestive system but I would actually suggest that you take the matter up with his pediatrician to get his input and guidance.

Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Glens Falls on

First thing is to take him to the pediatrician. Physical reasons need to be ruled out before you can do anything else. In the mean time, try not to yell at him or punish him when he does this. If there is no physical reason, then he needs to see a child therapist who can work with your son and you on discovering the cause for this.

This is a common problem and you need to know that you are not the only one experiencing this situation. Try to have patience and find support for yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Did you give birth to this boy at the age of 12? What are your living circumstances? Are you being assisted by your own parents?

If you have been the sole/primary parent of this child, I suspect that there could well be accumulated emotional issues involved here that you have no way to cope with. Spanking a child for elimination issues, for example, is more likely to complicate than to help the situation. Find professional help, if possible. There are probably services available through your county or city governments if money is an issue.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

I think that punishment is not the answer to this sort of problem. I understand that it is probably frustrating beyond belief, but you will end up causing a lot more trauma to his psyche in the long run by spanking him and punishing him in other ways for completing a bodily function in the wrong place and at the wrong time. This could cause him to hold it in, and be afraid of using the bathroom even when it is appropriate.
My question is: what has changed in your life that might be stressful to him? Have you recently moved, gotten married, divorced, separated, met a new man, has a pet died, a family member died, a friend died? Any number of things can cause a huge emotional upset in children, that may not affect us as adults so greatly. Perhaps evaluate your life in general, and figure out how to make what he is experiencing better.
Other than using the bathroom on himself, is he on par developmentally? Have you had him tested for anything? Have you talked to his pediatrician?
Also, I am currently reading a wonderful book called The No-Cry Discipline Solution. It has really helped me to re-evaluate my role as a mother, and see childhood from a different perspective. As parents, we are responsible for so much! I'd definitely suggest that you pick up this book, and start reading it. I could help you determine what discipline to use for what situation.
I certainly hope all of this helps you.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi... Firstly, did the school psychologist just leave you hanging like that? Without knowing your situation, my first thought is that maybe he's trying to get your attention by pooping on himself. Sometimes kids feel that negative attention is better than none or little. Again, this is a guess without knowing your situation.

Try not to get upset or mad at him.... though I know it's frustrating. Spanking and yelling will only make him upset and anxious and you more upset than you are already.... plus, once you've let out all your steam, you'll feel plenty guilty and the problem is still there. Believe me, I'm speaking from personal experience from both sides: the child as well as the screaming mother. It's a lot of work and a lot of lip biting, but it's worth it.

Have you spoken to the boy's pediatrician? That is usually the first place to go for information, suggestions, and possible referrals to other pediatric professionals in order to get down to the underlying problem.

Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Dear Y.,
I apologize for some of the other moms that commented on your age and your son's age. I am sure you did not come here to be judged but for advice. And I promise you that you will find a lot of mom's that are willing to help you.

As for advice, I agree with everybody telling you to see a pediatrican and make sure this is not a medical condition. But I also agree with the moms that tell you that you should try to find if there is a regular time where he goes and try to make him go a little earlier than that. Explain to him what you are doing and that you are trying to help him teach his body.
Try to find a regular schedule for going that fits in your day and his day. That can be sometimes tricky because if he regularly goes mid-morning and mid-afternoon, he is at school and you can't be with him.
In this case I would still try to make him sit on the potty in the morning BEFORE he goes to school and in the evening at a good time, maybe after dinner. Make him sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes each time, let him bring his DS or a book or something that he can do while he sits there. You don't want him to think this is a punishment, in contrary you want him to be distracted and not focus on the bowel movement and RELAX. A lot of times if you are relaxed, the mere fact that you are sitting on a toilet gets things going and that is what you are hoping for.
The body can learn a regular schedule like that if you stick to it.

Remember that kids crave attention and if they feel they cannot get positive attention they will at least try to get negative attention. So maybe you could sit with him in the bathroom and wait till the time is over and maybe read him a book or just talk to him about something nice. Praise him for just sitting the amount of time and don't pressure him to go. Again, he needs to relax.

Over time, hopefully he will go during these periods and because he is relaxed and not much else is going on, he can learn how it feels if your body is telling you that you need to go. At the same time, with this method, the body is trained to go on a regular schedule at a time where you can be there and help him. Your son also learns that going BM requires sitting a while and relaxing for some people.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Ocala on

I can see that this is your first question and that you haven't answered any question, so your new to this site.
I hope that you are not under age and messing around on this site.

My question to you is ~ were you about 11 when you got pregnant and 12 when you had your baby?
Or maybe your messing around.


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answers from New York on

Dear Mama, I feel sorry about this problem. I do not think time out or spanking him will help. There is obviously something wrong. Was he trained before this? Did this start recently? Is there any change in your home life? A new friend? I know I am not giving you an answer but I am trying to help you find a reason why. Children are people, just smaller than us. He could be just looking for your attention. Best wishes, Grandma Mary



answers from New York on

Talk to your pediatrician about the bowels to see if its health related. it can also be something in the home or personal issues that his dealing with negative feedbacks like timeout and spanking isn't going to solve the matter if anything it will make it worse. Try talking in a calm tone letting him know that you are concern and are there for him in helping to deal with this issue.



answers from Buffalo on

Like somebody already suggested, it really sounds like he has a condition called encopresis. It can be very frustrating to deal with and it will take a lot of work on your part to get him past this. I definitely advise you to take him to the pediatrician and specifically have him evaluated for it. Here's a link to give you an idea of what it is and, of course, you can google even more info:


After reading your "what happened" you will have to have a daily plan in place to follow to get him to stop and again, it will be a lot of work. Good luck :)



answers from New York on

Well, I just read your "What Happened" response. Did you take any of the wise advice the other mother's gave you like taking him to the pediatrician?? If not, I can't help but wonder what you think online advice will do for you. I know you are frustrated and upset, but you pediatrician can advise you in a much better way because he/she already knows your child and his medical history. I wish you luck with your son and I hope the issue gets resolved.



answers from Rochester on

It might be that you son is just wanting attention and doesn't know how to express himself, so he does it that way and I am sure that it always gets your attention. He may just need some love and understanding (I know, easy for me to say). But maybe try telling him that poop belongs in the potty, cleaning him up, and then giving him extra hugs and kisses throughout the day (again, easy for me to say). It sounds like you are a good mom, and I know the two of you will work your way through this. Wish I had better advice. Good luck!!

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