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Cant cope anymore

(37 Posts)
VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 19:52:24

Tonight ive snapped. I cant cope with my 4 year old anymore.
The problem is, he wont go to the toilet for a poo. Now, if he poo'd in his undies then i dont think it would be so bad, but he hides behind his toy box or his door and poo's then wipes shit everywhere. This has been going on for a while now, we used to keep him in nappies at night, but he'd take them off and there would be shit on the carpet

The thing is, he wouldnt even try on the toilet, he would wait until he had a nappy on THEN poo. So wee took the nappies off and left him with nothing on bottom, at first he held his poo in, then once he couldnt hold it any longer rather than go to the toilet he started pooing in his room.

I have spent soooo many days/nights cleaning shit off carpets, radiators, toys, beds, toy box etc i cant even guess how many times ive sat there cleaning shit crying my eyes out.

Tonight, i put him in his room while i ran a bath and put baby to bed, 4 year old shit behind his toy box, rubbed it over the toy box, over the radiator and a couple of his toys where absolutley caked in it, after months of this i totally lost it tonight and just started shouting and screaming at him, i had to leave the room to calm myself down, i dont think ive ever been so mad.

I cleaned it up and came downstairs, then half an hour later went and got my 4 year old out of bed and gave him a milkshake because i felt so fucking guilty for losing it.

I also put him back in a nappy. I just cant cope anymore.

What can i do? Keep him in nappys at night, then he never even tries to use the toilet, just waits until he has a nappy on and then poo's? Or keep him out of nappys and spend my nights cleaning shit and crying?

Im at the end of my tether.

CharlotteWasBoth Tue 23-Oct-12 20:02:51

Poor you. My ds hated pooing on the loo as well. He'd just wait for his nighttime nappy. He was huge and we could hardly squeeze him in.

He was in nappies at night till gone 4. Then he suddenly decided he could do it. I think special 'reward' loo paper helped.

He's 10 now and it's a distant memory. Don't worry. You'll get through it.

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 20:07:35

Hi Vito.

Some kids have real trouble learning to use the toilet. It is one thing which is great for attention seeking, as the potential for disgust is HUGE!

My dd was constipated from age 4 to 7 and it has been really hard work getting her sorted. I have had help from a children's continence nurse, paediatrician, homeopath and chiropractor.

There was also support offered from the emotional well being team, which we considered unnecessary in my dd's case.

Do seek help, as these problems are extremely stressful, and you need support, and to know that you are not alone in suffering from this embarrassing, inconvenient, stinky, conflicted problem.

It will NOT go on forever!

All the best

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 20:11:01

Have you tried giving him the potty to use in a place of his choice? Then at least the shit is contained.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a 4 year old using a potty at home.

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 20:14:15

Thank you. Im just so stressed about it, its really getting me down sad

I even asked the health visitor when she came to see the baby and all she said was ''it'll just be a phase''

I have a headache from shouting and stress, my whole shouse stinks, its like there is NO solution to this problem, i sit him on the toilet and he'll have a wee and say he doesnt need a poo, then 5 minutes later he'll have one in his room, he just refuses to use the toilet.

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 20:15:50

I could try putting the potty in the corner of his room, he's never poo'd on the potty either, always in his nappy, he'll happily have a wee, but he just will not poo. But its definatley worth a try, thanks

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 20:22:43

Health visitors only really deal with kids up to school age, so for them, it is only a phase..... Until they are no longer on their caseload!

Go and see the gp, and if not much use in terms of practical help, ask for a continence referral. My children's continence nurse was BRILLIANT!

You are not a bad mummy for losing it tonight. It might make him realise how naughty he has been!

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 20:23:50

Dettol is the best cleaning product for removing smells, btw

PuffPants Tue 23-Oct-12 20:26:38

It might be time for a serious talking to and possibly even sanctions? I think by 4 he knows he shouldn't be doing that and he does have some control over it.

If not sanctions, then try incentives instead - next poo in the loo he gets a big treat, to kick-start things. After that a sticker chart and for every five poos (or whatever you think works) he gets another treat.

I would also give him a poo potty. Either to keep in the bathroom or his bedroom. Containing the mess at least.

I think a poo fear is very normal in children. Especially boys, because most of the time they are standing up to wee - they don't get used to sitting down on the toilet as quickly as girls if they're only doing it once a day or less.

I feel very sorry for you, it sounds horribly distressing.

Good luck.

stargirl1701 Tue 23-Oct-12 20:30:22

I taught a wee 5 year old boy who did this. After working with the family I came to the conclusion that his poo was the only thing he had control over. Mum found it hard to let him choose anything for himself. We worked on letting him choose things like sandwich fillings, flavour of juice, etc. to give him a sense of control over his own life. The poo hiding stopped after a few weeks.

This may or may not be helpful for you as I obviously don't know your family circumstances. Have you spoken to his teacher? GP? School nurse? Educational Psychologist? Community Paed? Community Link Worker? Sure Start staff?

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 20:31:06

For the last few weeks he's been banned from having biscuits, crisps, cakes, ice cream, chocolate etc, he's been told that until he starts using the toilet he gets NO treats at all, he's had his favourite toy taken off him last week - he doesnt care, he hasent even asked for his toy back (and this toy used to be with him at all times) he doesnt care if he gets no treats.

Ive told him repetedly that if he does a poo on the toilet he gets a treat, i'll give him pennys and he can get himself something, he still wont go.

He just doesnt even seem to care, i dont know what to do sad

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 20:35:05

Star - he does get to have control over things, he chooses his own clothes in the mornings (he's at nursary in the afternoons) he gets to choose which cartoon he wants to watch etc, so i dont think its that.

Other than my very brief chat with the health visitor, i havent spoken to anyone, from what ive read doctors wont do anything unless there is still toilet issues by age 7 (from google, so not sure how accurate)

Maybe its time to take him to the doctors, because i dont know how much more of this i can take, i feel like crying

bramblina Tue 23-Oct-12 20:35:09

I feel so sad for you and totally sympathise with losing your temper, I used to over dd's wees as she never seemed to get anywhere. She's also 4 and still has accidents- plus we only stopped using nappies at nights about 3 weeks ago simply because I think she's too old for them. She had an accident last night, the only way we can stop them is to no allow any drinks after dinner, or if dinner was late then we have to lift her when we go to bed- even this can be too late sometimes.

Anyway sorry I meant to say I haven't really had any poo problems but I do remember talking to someone who had and found the solution for them (their dc had a fear of pooing on the loo and would only poo in a nappy) was to lay a nappy down, open, in the potty, that way the dc would still be pooing into a nappy, could probably feel the nappy touching his bottom and therefore felt more dafe about it. I don't quite understand but from what I gathered, their dc felt very exposed at the poo dropping far in to the toilet.

HTH....? Anything is worth a try I guess?

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 20:45:43

Thank you brambline, i could also try this.

I think what makes me even madder is that he CAN poo in the toilet, although since potty training he's only done this 4 times that i can remember, once when we where on holiday he said he needed the toilet, i put him on and he just poo'd, easy as that. Another couple of times i had sat him on the toilet with a book to read and went into the bedroom so he had some privacy, and he poo'd......but after that he just stopped going, even though he was showered with praise and given treats.

the last time he poo'd on the toilet was about 3 month ago, he was ill, couldnt hold it in, was downstairs and had no choice but to say he needed the toilet, and had one.

Other than those 4 times he's never poo'd on the toilet, its always in his bedroom. Its so frustrating

JustFabulous Tue 23-Oct-12 20:51:26

Removing all treats and his favourite toy is cruel. He is 4 fgs. I know it must be awful cleaning poo from everything but he isn't doing it to annoy you.

Tomorrow start afresh. Talk to him. Ask him if he wants to use the potty, toilet or nappy to poo in. Make it clear he has a choice but it has to be one of those options. Get a star chart going and stick a picture of something he would like at the end of it that you will buy when he fills the chart. Find out if there is a reason he doesn't want to use potty/toilet. Make sure he is well and there isn't a problem with his bowel.

Did this all start when the baby came?

CharlotteWasBoth Tue 23-Oct-12 20:55:43

I had a similar scenario with my younger son about haircuts. Bribes, threats, nothing worked. I decided he's just really scared for some reason. Similarly with your son -- I really don't think it helps either of you if you think of it as a naughtiness thing. I would put him back in nappies for poos and regard it as progress that you're not cleaning mess off everywhere. Then gently try some other tacks as suggested here. Good luck.

DorsetKnob Tue 23-Oct-12 21:03:11

First off you are definitely not alone. There are many, many threads about this, the last one a couple of weeks ago.

Second, it is frustrating, and you rage and weep and shout but at the end of the day it is a problem and you need to get to the bottom of it.

Tomorrow phone your GP, explain what is going on, and ask for help. Do not be fobbed off with the HV or it is a phase. You will have to fight but there is help out there. Community paediatrician, specialist school nurse, clinics, all these are available. Get him checked out medically first.

DD will be 7 and I don't have to use all my fingers to count the number of times she has pooed on the loo, she has a slightly different issue and we don't have the smearing of poo and we are not there yet by any means.

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 21:04:01 this website wil give you more information about continence and poo/ wee problems in general

VitoCorleone Tue 23-Oct-12 21:04:05

JustFabulous, it might be cruel if he actually cared, in fact if he actually cared it might get through to him., he couldnt give a flying monkeys about any of it.

This was going on before baby came along, baby is only 6 month old.

He's in a nappy now, and probably will be for a while. I just feel like putting him in nappies is admitting defeat

DorsetKnob Tue 23-Oct-12 21:07:32

It is not admitting defeat. There is a problem and until you get the proper help to sort out the problem then make it easier for yourself. We have had three years of various people telling us use reward charts. yes they may be good but not for DD she just doesn't care, didn't care when she wet herself, didn't care when she soiled herself.

Leafmould Tue 23-Oct-12 21:08:05

Maybe he needs to win a bit, so don't stress about the nappies at the moment. Although it might not have started as an attention seeking behaviour, the fact that it does get a lot of attention may be compounding the problem. Is he getting enough loving attention at other times of the day?

JustFabulous Tue 23-Oct-12 21:09:57

I said the same about mine when I took their screen time away but they do care. They just don't show it.

Leave the nappies on. Pretend that was your plan. Just be calm, change him and carry on. Start afresh in a few weeks. It is a battle and you are both in it with no way out. Buy yourself some breathing space.

peedoffbird Tue 23-Oct-12 21:11:13

My dd had similar problems with constipation and holding her poo in. It's a total nightmare I know and went on for years. However, I feel there may be a distinction to be made between not pooing on the loo and the smearing.

I think they are two separate issues. Smearing poo can be an indication of a deeper problem than fear of toilets. It may be something simple like the birth of a sibling but I think you should go back to the docs and talk about the poo smearing and what it could mean.

jellyrolly Tue 23-Oct-12 21:11:40

Echoing other posts that poo fear is very normal and he is still so young.

Firstly, there is cleaning up shit all the time - I would just use the nappy, that takes that out of the equation. He might get through it quicker in his own time.

Secondly, you are probably angry with yourself for losing it - we've all done that, it doesn't make you a bad mum it makes you a normal mum. Don't think of it as him being naughty even though it will appear like that. Think of him as coping the best way he can, it's not deliberate.

Mums are so hard on themselves trying to do what they think is right, do what is right for you and your family. My DS1 still wears a pull up every single night and he is nearly 7, he has had one dry night in his life which was due to dehydration and illness.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Tue 23-Oct-12 21:14:41

I bet he cares. My ds is the same, he will hold his head up high with any sanctions, even smile at me. (We have no poo issues though). But I have learnt, it does not solve the problem, only worsens it, because he becomes adamant to NOT admit defeat, so it becomes a battle. He WILL continue his behaviour, because there are sanctions in place.

So, now we have to outsmart him to prevent bad behaviour, and if there is bad behaviour after all, we try not to turn it into a battle, we just explain why it was wrong and breeze it off with a "now you know till next time, ok mate?" This approach works a lot better!

Meanwhile, can yo afford to put down laminate flooring in his room?

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