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9 yr old won't poop at school if needed
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9 yr old won't poop at school if needed

I have a son who will be 10 at the end of May, I have 4 boys 16,9,6,and 4) so this one issue is a new thing to me and I am not sure how to handle it.
to make a long story short Dillan developed some blockage in his urinary tract when he was 5 and had to have that surgically fixed, well he became impacted.

now he once in a while maybe once a week will beg me to take him out of school at 11:30 (when his younger brother gets out of preschool) I thought it was due to reading class (Dillan has dyslexia) and I thoguth all along it was that, as well as so did the teachers.
Well last week at the bus stop he again asked and again I said no and again I asked why. he said because he was hungry. I said so eat breakfast at school he said he couldn't. he said if he eats breakfast at school then he will have to go poop while he is at school and he doesn't want to go poop at school becasue everyone will know what he did. I talked to the teacher about it (now this school is a small school for instance the biggest class is the mult-class of 3rd and 4th graders which is 17.) his teacher said well he can use the bathroom on the side of preschool and multi-class k-1. Dillan still is very self consciencious. I don't know what to do I am afraid he will become impacted by holding it all day.
PLEASE PLEASE can anyone give me advise
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16 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
This is one of the common behaviours of anxiety.  I might suggest you google the term "childhood anxiety" for information (there is lots and lots) on the internet.  There are also many excellent books on this topic - books which can be purchased in a bookstore, on-line or borrowed from one's public library.  Hope this helps ...
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13167_tn?1327197724
Is this behavior unusual?  I think the not eating so you won't have to poop is unusual,  but I think it's much more common than not to "hold" a BM until you're not in a publc place.  

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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not sure I understand your posting - too many "nots".  Anyway, it is very common for children with anxiety to not eat nor drink before going to school or any public place so that they will not have to use the washroom.  There are other reasons for not eating    but toileting is definitely an issue.  There are many reasons for this - from self-consciousness to fear of germs to fear of the toilet, etc.  In fact, there are many adults with anxiety who will not use a public facility (and germ count) is only one of the reasons.

Our child with severe anxiety attended school many years before being able to "use" the washroom.  To this day, I'm not sure she would "poop" at school, but will "hold it' until she arrives home.  Of course, we still deal with constipation to some extent but she seems to have "trained" her body to use the washroom in the early evening.

Personally, if the above poster's home is close by - why not take him home to eat and use the washroom at noon?  When the anxiety becomes less (through treatment or self-management) then this child will not want to come home.  I did go to the school to help our child use the washroom but even a comfortable person being nearby could not offset the frozeness of the bodily functions.  Anxiety, although highly treatable, can be an exasperating disorder with which to deal.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Sorry for all the "nots".  It was confusing to read,  I agree!

I guess I'd be interested in exactly what about the bathroom makes him not want to go.

My guess (could be wrong,  some people are concerned about germs,  you're right) is that he doesn't want to be made fun of in the bathroom for "stinking it up".  Thus the teacher suggesting going to the other part of the building where people won't know who he  is.  

It seems a lot of girls won't sit on a toilet away from home because they're afraid of catching some disease,  but I think it's much more common (and not mentioned much) that most people,  adults especially,  don't want to stink up a public bathroom.  

There,  I've said it.  ;D

I read an article about automatic flushers - and how there was a backlash against them in public restrooms because people,  mostly women,  want to disguise the sound of their BM by flushing the toilet constantly.  Even when complete strangers are in the bathroom,  like in airports.

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306245_tn?1244388567
I live 40 minutes away from the school and in the winter going striaght up hte mountain is hard.

The reason is very simple as to why he doesn't want to go poop at school. he is afraid people will smell it and they will know it was him and he is afraid they may pick on him. he urinates at school but he is afraid they will pick on him if they know what he did.
michelle
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Avatar_f_tn
people will smell it and they will know it was him and he is afraid they may pick on him

The above statement is yours - it indicates a "thought process" belonging to children suffering from anxiety.  This is not to say your child has an anxiety disorder but it does appear your son has some anxiety issues.  Unfortunately you do not live close to the school - we, too, live in a rural area so our child also was unable to come home during the lunch hour.  As you can see from my second post, it took years before our child was able to use the washroom at school.  There is no "magic wand" cure.  Until your son's anxiety over this issue is lessened, he will not be able to use public washrooms.  How to lessen that anxiety - that is the difficult part.  You may require professional help if you or his father see no obvious answer (in fact, there may not be an "answer" except time and maturity).  Perhaps the school psychologist could advise in this area - a thought - does the principal/office staff have their private washroom that your son could use?

And to RockRose - all of the situations you described are examples of thinking common to anxiety.  The solution remains the same in all cases - lessen the fear and the issue will resolve itself.  Now, the million dollar question - how to lessen the fear?  
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13167_tn?1327197724
jd - I'm interested in your comments about anxiety and bathroom habits.

In my opinion,  everyone does this to a certain degree - (this is going to be too much information) - holds back ugliness out of consideration for others.  For example,  people who can hold their farts in company.  You try not to belch.  If you sneeze you quickly check to make sure there isn't any mucous on your face or hands.  You don't take off your shoes right next to someone if you fear your feet might be sweaty and smell.

I don't believe any of these are related to anxiety,  but rather,  a heightened sense of not offending others.  A rational,  real concern that others might be offended.  

There are a few people who don't seem to care if their feet stink,  or if they fart in public or if they have some ugly hair sticking out of their nose,  but there are in the small minority.

Everyone else tries not to offend.  So I'm lumping this into that same category - and this boy may in fact have a heightened anxiety about pooping in the public restroom because he has less control than others who can easily hold it til they get home.

Do you agree?
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112359_tn?1226870683
Is the school big enough to have a nurse's office with a bathroom? Maybe he could be allowed to use that.

Another thought, I have seen advertised in a catalog (Harriet Carter) a product that is supposed to stop the smell, you put a few drops in the toilet before going and it keeps the odor away. It's a small bottle he could put in his pocket, might be worth a try. Or how about a small air freshener spray, could he take that?

My son is 6 and has anxieties about using the toilet and has never pooped at school and has told me emphatically that he never will (!!)  I hope he outgrows the anxiety but if he doesn't, at least now I know he is not alone.
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Avatar_f_tn
If I read the initial post correctly, this child has not been able to "poop" in a public washroom for almost five years.  This is where the anxiety comes into play - an irrational fear in a perceived unsafe environment - this is far more than "not wanting to offend".  I suspect his body will not allow him to "poop"; in fact, he is unable to poop - this is much different than choosing not to "poop".   People who truly suffer from anxiety cannot control their reactions to their fears which are dictated by their "perceived unsafe" environment.  Being anxious about not wanting to offend is not the same as showing anxiety.  An anxious person has options (in this case an anxious child could poop in the school washroom), but a child with anxiety can not (unless some form of treatment is introduced - and it could be as simple as altering the irrational fear by changing the thought process - and since every child is different, there is no quick answer here.

So, your situations are all common to anxiety.  It depends on the person whether we are talking about not offending or anxiety - a person who does not want to offend can choose the behaviour while a person who suffers from anxiety is unable to choose the behaviour (his body will make the choice for him).  Does this make sense?  Anxiety can be so difficult to explain and heart wrenching to see.
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306245_tn?1244388567
This has NOT been going on for 5 years just recently. his school (just transferred there from another school 2/07) so very small only 60 stundents and that includes the preschoolers.. that the main bathrooms are right in the middle of the 2-6 graders.  there is another bathroom for teachers and then one more for the preschoolers and k-1 which is located on the other side of the school. in the middle of hte school is the nurses office/teachers lounge (same room) the offcie gym library and the special ed room a while ago  he had a blockage, due to taking a bath with soap and soap causing a blockage so he couldn't urinate and then causing fecal impaction.
that is all the seperates these kids. he didn't this issue when he was at his old school due to the fact that there are no classes near the bathrooms. he hated his other school so much that he would fight me every morning to go. he has a learning disability and this other school didn't know how to help him they just kept pushing him forward.
he really loves this school and so it is not the fact that he hates this school and is nervous about going. so it is a matter of smell, by the way he wouldn't go at our firrends house when we went there for fear of the smell. I have come to the point of asking spray to cover up his smell but the school considers it as that could be used as a "weapon" some one could spray it in someone's eye and cause damage I totally understand.
I was just curious
michelle
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13167_tn?1327197724
mom - I gotta say,  I think his behavior is totally normal and maybe the only difference is he somehow can't hold it (or fears he can't).  

I don't use public restrooms except to pee,  ever,  if I can help it.  I think most people feel that way.

All three of my boys use the bathroom within 1/2 hour of coming home from school in the afternoon,  so I know they're doing that too.

Does your son seem to have more trouble "holding" it than the average child?  I wonder if you could somehow work on that side of the equation - make sure he "goes" in the morning and send him with a lunch that is not likely to cause him to have to go.  

No fruit juices or greasy stuff,  etc.

Best wishes.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't blame him for not wanting to `poop' in a public toilet - kids can be cruel about it, and so can adults!  I avoid it as much as possible.  As long as he still does it at home every day or every other day you shoudn't have to worry.
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Avatar_f_tn
through out my whole school life i don't remember ever pooping at school and hardly ever peeing at school (only if i really had to go), why did i choose not to go... i guess the same reason, i was embarrassed. but back then i didn't think much of it, my parents didn't know either. it was just the way i was and i learnt to live with it. i remember in high school i would get up 2 hours before the school bus would arrive so that i had time to eat my raisin bran cereal and w/w toast so that i would go to the bathroom before leaving for school. so maybe he can try this method in hopes that his body responds to bran and poops soon after.
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Avatar_n_tn
My 17 year old daughter will not poop away from home because she will not sully the environment elsewhere. She will go a week holding it. I suspect anxiety may have played a part early in this behavior but now it is altruism which drives it. Changing her opinion about "going" out promises to be challenging but unless we are able, she may never leave home.
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Avatar_m_tn
It can be tough having to poop at school.  It is an embarassing thing having a noisy stinky bowel movement among your peers.  I hope for his sake he still goes when he needs to and doesn't hold it in, which can lead to health problems.
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134578_tn?1404951303
biggs79, if you haven't read up on encopresis, it is a good idea to do so.  Boys often do "hold" rather than have to use the restroom at school, and it's a good idea to get your kid on a fiber supplement and a pooping routine so he has at least a poop a day (at home).  Most kids who 'hold' are old enough to understand the idea of taking a fiber gummy or a fiber drink daily if they are told their health relies on doing this.
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