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Why doesn't my daughter use the bathroom for #2s?

My daughter is 7 years old. To this very day (literally) she has #2 accidents in her underwear. She doesn't say anything when she needs to go. She just tries to hold it in and eventually you smell her and ask if she needs to go clean herself up.
I don't know what to do about this. My 2 year-old son hardly ever has accidents, so I'm at a loss. She says she is making the choice not to go. She says she isn't losing control. Do we go to the doctor? or a counselor? or what? I'm so frustrated and I know that's not going to help anyone, but really I can't stand to deal with another pair of stinky, stained underwear!


Asked by KikiLoriLee at 7:03 PM on Nov. 3, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (4)
  • Well, I don't have direct advice, however, my friend had her six year old say and do the same thing. Except, he was lying, because it was more embarassing to him that he had accidents. I'd talk to the doctor at this point. He had encopresis. I'm sure I butchered the spelling on that one. But it was some kind of poop problem. A fixable problem.

    Answer by apexmommy at 10:00 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Well, she either is lying about not losing control - in which case she needs to go to the doctor.

    BUT if you think she is telling the truth, then have HER start cleaning up her underwear. If she really can control it, she'll probably think twice about pooping herself if this is what she has to do as a result.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Encoparesis is not always a fixable problem. Just because it happens to be one kids problem that is remedied early, doesn't mean it can be applied to all children, stop doing that.
    Encoparesis can also be the first sign of a child that has been sexually molested. You need to make an appointment today with your pediatrician and not taking advice from people here who have no idea how to help you with such a serious problem.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:19 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • The onset of encopresis is most often benign. The usual onset is associated with toilet training itself with its sitting demands and intense negative parental reactions to feces. Beginning school or preschool is another major environmental trigger with shared bathrooms. Feuding parents, siblings, moving, and divorce can also inhibit toileting behaviors and promote constipation. An “initial” cause may become less relevant as “maintaining” causes take over. Sexual abuse can be a cause, but such claims must be independently corroborated by other factors than the encopresis itself.

    Answer by KikiLoriLee at 8:30 AM on Nov. 4, 2009