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10 year old consistently pooing his pants (on purpose?)

(27 Posts)
livalittle1234 Wed 12-Jun-19 19:15:23

Hello everyone,

Apologies if this is in the wrong section, it's not exactly potty training but it's related and I didn't know where else it should go.

I've come here to ask for advice because I am at my absolute wits end with my 10 y.o. son. For the past 6 months, he has been having at least one poo accident in his pants per week but over the last month it has gotten even worse, to the point where it is now literally every day. I don't mean that he's not wiping or doing a little bit in his pants before getting to the toilet, I mean he is doing his whole poos in his pants.

We have been to the doctors numerous times and there is nothing wrong physically, he's also been checked for anything mental and there's nothing wrong. I have no idea why this has been happening. There's no problems at school and nothing that has happened that could've triggered this.

When he has an accident, he won't tell me and will just continue doing whatever he is doing until I force him to change and shower. It is often the same time every day so I have tried to force him to go to the toilet at that time but he will just hold it in and refuse to poo on the toilet and then a few minutes later I will smell that he's had an accident. I feel like he is 3 years old again!!!

It's not just at home though, he has come home from school in pooey pants many times and there's been occasions where these accidents have happened out in town and other places including at a friends' wedding!

I call them accidents but it's likely that he's doing it on purpose. Last week, at the dentist after school (he hates the dentist), I went to get a drink, only to come back to find him in the corner of the waiting room, clearly in the middle of pooing his pants. I was absolutely furious on this occasion as it was clear that he was simply trying to get out of seeing the dentist. I rushed him to the toilet but the damage was already done. Thankfully, I now carry baby wipes and spare pants with me so I was able to clean him up and we didn't miss the appointment, much to his disappointment.

I just don't know what to do or why he is doing this. I still expect accidents from him because he has always had a few here and there but when it's every week and now every day, I find it very hard to believe they are all accidents.

I have tried ignoring it and not making a big deal, I have tried making a big deal and making it clear how angry/upset I am with his behaviour. I have tried positive reinforcement and giving him rewards for when he does manage to have an "accident-free day" (but the last time this happened was almost a month ago), even though I don't think it should really be necessary to reward a 10 year old for not pooing himself...

I have tried consequences, grounding him or taking away toys/tv and computer privileges but absolutely nothing seems to work. I have no idea what to do.

I have even thought about putting him back into pull-ups at the weekends and/or after school (Drynites would fit him, although I know they're supposed to be for night time use, there's no reason they couldn't be used during the day) and following "If you're going to act like a baby, I'll treat you like one" by doing nappy checks etc. in the hope he would find it embarrassing and snap out of this.

He's a great kid, happy, has lots of friends, is clever and on the whole well behaved but this one problem is a rather big one and I really need to find a solution ASAP, mostly for his own sake.

Thank you all in advance for any advice and suggestions you have!

OP’s posts: |
ElizabethMainwaring Wed 12-Jun-19 19:18:06

I think that you need to see the sendco and arrange an appointment with am educational psychologist.

Apolloanddaphne Wed 12-Jun-19 19:22:10

Sounds very difficult.

ElizabethMainwaring Wed 12-Jun-19 19:24:49

It certainly sounds extremely complex. For a 10 year old to be doing that, it is some sort of desperate cry for attention.

MohairMenace Wed 12-Jun-19 19:26:54

What does he say when you have asked him why he behaves this way?

ElizabethMainwaring Wed 12-Jun-19 19:27:26

And what do you mean by 'he has been checked for anything mental'? What has he been checked for exactly?

DrinkSangriaInThePark Wed 12-Jun-19 19:28:32

This is not a simple poo issue, a 10 year old should be mortified at point in his pants.

You need to get him assessed as a matter of some urgency, this is hugely indicative of an emotional or, more likely, mental issue

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Wed 12-Jun-19 19:31:16

It does seem pretty extreme for a NT 10 year old to be doing this. I can’t imagine other kids being kind about it either! I would be pushing for a referral from either school or the GP as obviously something is going on.

Malotkins Wed 12-Jun-19 19:32:03

Are you sure he isn't chronically constipated? The effect is overflow pooing. His bowel may have been stretched and he may nerve damage in his rectum so may not feel the need to poo. I went through it with my 6 year old. I was at my wits end. He's been on movicol for 6 months and we are finally getting somewhere.

WafflingDreamer Wed 12-Jun-19 19:32:45

I hope this link works, encopresis is quite common and affects 1 in 25 5-7year olds 1 in 50 8-10 year olds and 1 in 60 11-12 years. There are some suggestions in the document I've linked to of how to improve things.

doxxed Wed 12-Jun-19 19:33:01

This would really worry me. soiling well past the usual age can be an indicator of past abuse. It's unlikely but because of the severity I'd try to ask in a non leading way just to rule it out.

YetAnotherUser Wed 12-Jun-19 19:33:05

I have much sympathy, I'm still trying to get my 8 year old to poo on the toilet without me prompting him!

Currently he earns £1 a time for pooing on the toilet, and he loses an hour of screen time if he doesn't... Seems to be improving things, but I think we are a long way off from him being totally independent with his toileting needs.

Lindy2 Wed 12-Jun-19 19:34:52

What does he say about it?
Does he sometimes manage to use the toilet or is he not using it for poos at all now?
Something is clearly not right either physically or emotionally/neurologically.
Your idea of pull ups is actually not bad. Not to shame him or to call him a baby but from a practical point. Give him the pack of pull ups and ask him to take responsibility for changing them and cleaning up if necessary.

Celebelly Wed 12-Jun-19 19:35:55

Does he poo when he's with his friends? I can't imagine 10 year old boys being overly kind about it, and it's not long till secondary school when things will be 100 x worse. Does he help to clean the mess he's made?

blackcat86 Wed 12-Jun-19 19:36:32

You say 'he's been checked for anything mental' but in absence of any physical issue it is a psychological one. I would be querying whether he is doing it because it gets him something he wants (attention getting out of the dentist), if he just likes the sensation or (I'm sorry to say) if there is any chance he has been abused. When I worked in children's service sudden incontinence was given as a classic sign of sexual abuse. Does he poo at all on the toilet? Has he been checked for ASD? Personally at 10, I wouldn't be cleaning him up unless he gets a sen diagnosis. He can wipe himself or clean himself up, and wash his pants. He needs to be dealing with the negative consequences.

NorfolksGiven Wed 12-Jun-19 19:40:43

What explanation does he give for it?

SunshineMuffin Wed 12-Jun-19 19:44:10


First thought was ASD or extreme anxiety.

Saying that, I used to teach a 10 year old who soiled himself constantly (and obviously) in class. He didn't seem bothered and never said anything but had a bag to get cleaned up. No ASD. Many aspects investigated. No physical reason. No answers!!!

I hope you get some answers.

Perch Wed 12-Jun-19 19:44:14

Sorry to ask but is there any chance he could have been sexually abused sad

3luckystars Wed 12-Jun-19 19:45:31

Is he constipated?

Is there even a tiny 1% chance that it started out from a bout of constipation, then a course of movicol might be worth trying.

TheQueef Wed 12-Jun-19 19:46:56

What is his screen schedule? Is he getting stuck in a game?

Bunnybigears Wed 12-Jun-19 19:48:20

How have they checked for 'anything mental'? I am aware of children who soil themselves due to sexual abuse, I am.not saying this is the case but is certainly something you need to be aware of. How does he react when you discover he has soiled himself as this may give you a clue as to how it has come about.

BlueMerchant Wed 12-Jun-19 19:49:02

What do the school say when it happens there? Classmates must have picked up on it also. Are you sure there is no bullying going on?
What are is hobbies? Could he be, for example so engrossed in a computer game he doesn't want to leave so this habit has started and become more frequent.Leaving it till it's too late to use the toilet?
May be silly question but does he have younger siblings and could nthis be some kind of behavioral stand against being the older brotherconfused.
Hope you and DS get this sorted.

reefedsail Wed 12-Jun-19 19:52:55

I'd have this moved to the SEN board to see what the people over there have to say about it.

I'd also not be fobbed off so easily by medical professionals. I'd say he needs an appointment with a paediatrician (not just a GP) and if that completely rules out physical causes he needs a CAMHS referral (and I don't say that lightly, because they are very difficult to get).

MrsDrudge Wed 12-Jun-19 19:55:32

Are there any issues going on within your family which might be disturbing him? Anything at school? This is a difficult one and I agree SENCO and Ed psych might be helpful. Or medical psych via your GP. Hope it’s resolved soon, it must be awful for you.

Yogagirl123 Wed 12-Jun-19 19:56:00

One of my sons had terrible problems with constipation, causing overflow diarrhoea, he really couldn’t help it. It was easy to get fixed when we got in front of the right consultant. He was prescribed paediatric movical to take in the morning and Pico to take at night. It got the situation sorted out.

I know how worried I was about my son, it caused me and him so much stress. Sending you a hug, ask your GP for a referral to a paediatric gastroenterologist. Try not to worry, it will be ok.

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