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At what point do you discipline a child for pooping in their pants? My is 4 yr. old and he will run and hide to poop. Even when he tells me that his stomach hurts and I try to get him to sit on the potty, he refuses. He says he doesn't have to go. I ask him why he poops in his pants and he says he doesn't know but he is sorry.

My 4 yr. old still poops in his pants. He refuses to use the potty. Help me.

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Asked by wileyzanesmom at 10:43 PM on Mar. 5, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (12)
  • You should only discipline for willful disobedience. Do you think he is being willfully disobedient? If your answer is yes, then I would start disciplining him for that.


    Answer by Mishelly728 at 10:45 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • I would talk to your pediatrician and find out what's going on at daycare if he goes. I would not discipline about potty b/c this is a very psychologically tender time.

    Maybe use some positive statements like, "I know you're such a big boy, I trust you will poop in the potty." Use statements that help him feel trusted by you.

    Answer by super_mommy4 at 10:46 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • I would never discipline my child for something like that. All kids had accidents, and hes only 4! This is just my personal OP~

    Answer by faithful78 at 10:48 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • this doesnt sound like an issue of rebellion it sounds like there are some health things going on with your son and worse yet he feels ashamed about it. When it comes to potty training I was always taughty POSITIVE reinforcement goes much further than punishment. But it REALLY sound slike this child needs to see a doctor and the fact that he is running off to hide to do it also means he feeling shame about it which Im sure now that you think about it is heartbreaking. I know poop messes are VERY frustrating but there is a lot more to the picture than appears with htis. Please take him to teh doctor and PLEASE do not let him feel ashamed for hi inability to control his bowels. Also know accidents now and then are common and to be expected up until a child is 7

    Answer by humaniterian87 at 11:08 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • my son was 3.5 yo and also refused to even attempt the potty, he said he just did not want too. I tried everything else i could think of but finally had to resort to taking his clothes away. when we were at home, he was not allowed to wear any clothes, not even socks, or he would pee and poop wherever he was at without thinking about it. he had maybe a handful of accidents the first few days, but we made him clean them up and put them where they belonged, and by the end of the week he was trained. we just had to warn friends and family that if they chose to visit that there would be a naked boy running around and why. I also posted it on the door, just to make sure people were aware before they entered the house. but i am wierd like that.

    Answer by vbongard at 11:09 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • vbongard, I think you are brilliant! Honestly, I do! I get SO TIRED of people coddling their children and making excuses for them! A four year old pooping in his pants knows what he is doing! (She said he runs and hides to poop, so obviously, he knows what he is doing) He just doesn't care because it is easier to poop in his pants and let mommy clean it up than to go to the bathroom. You found a perfect solution. You are not necessarily punishing, just making him accountable for his own actions! BRILLIANT!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:16 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • When my middle child was 4 (now 8) he would hide and poop his pant's. I tried everything and couldn't understand why he would do it. After asking him a few times(wich at first he would say he did not know why) I found out that he was afraid to sit on the potty. I started going with him and staying until he was done a few times and he stopped having accidents and started going on his own. Be patient he will go eventually it just takes alotta love and patience.

    Answer by krisieb at 12:21 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I would buy put him in Pull-Ups that he can change himself. Then I would buy him some cute underwear and tell him he can wear them when he learns how to go potty. I would take him to the potty every one or two hours, and eventually he would start to do it himself.
    Maybe your kid has some intestinal problem that causes him pain.
    It's best not to show him that his pooping bothers you. Make it so he would benefit by learning to do it right.

    Answer by momo8child at 12:48 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • I knew a mom whose son would not go on the potty. They agreed that when he needed to poop he could put on a diaper and poop in that.
    It was a workable compromise for both of them.
    He got over it soon enough.

    Answer by AussieMum2 at 3:16 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • we started disciplining our children after they KNEW how to do it but refused. they did it initially during potty training but later would willfully not go to the bathroom.

    i have a friend whose 3 1/2 yo is stubborn as an ox. she is disciplined because she INTENTIONALLY goes in her pants.

    Answer by fluud7 at 8:44 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

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