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Accidents in pants at 6 years old
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Accidents in pants at 6 years old

My son is six years old and has accidents in his pants atleast once a week. He will even do it at school. He says he does not know that he had to go. This is both pee and poop. I just don't know what to do. We does not seem to care. We have tried not making a big deal out of it, he gets in trouble etc. He is going to start first grade next year and I don't want this to still be a problem. He is very smart and his doctor said he would be hard to potty train because he has learned that he has control. His dad is a control nut so I wonder where he gets it. I need help.
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Avatar_f_tn
since you've talked to his doctor about this, i'm assuming he has been evaluated for any possible medical problem.  My guess, is this is a phase and will work itself out.  In the meantime, try not to make an overly big deal about these accidents and make him clean them up himself.  For example, if he has an accident, say something like "well, you're old enough to clean up your own mess.  here's the laundry detergent and i'll show you how to start a wash."  Then explain to him that when he has an accident, he will be expected to clean it up.  My guess is that his accidents may suddenly stop.  

Also, what is he doing when he has accidents?  is he in the middle of doing something he enjoys or dislikes?
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Avatar_f_tn
When children experience stress they can regress, does this apply to your son in any way?  Is he anxious or worried about anything?
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Avatar_n_tn
my daughter has the same problem. but she is 8. some doctors say that it might be caused by adhd becuase they get distracted and cant get to the bathroom in time. keep bringing it up with your doc but hopefully it will stop on its own.
best wishes
-barbie
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem in my daughter who is 7 - I have had numerous urine tests, but she is not growing out of it. She claims that she doesn't feel it and oddly enough she doesn't seem to care.  My 4 year old - once totally trained - is now doing the same thing.  
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I am having the same issue with my step son.  He will be 7 next month and just started doing number 2 in his pants.  He comes from a split family and his mother thinks its just a phase and disregards it and does not correct him.  My husband and I have no idea what to do.  
For you, I may suggest try changing your childs diet.  It's a possiblity.
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Avatar_f_tn
my 6 yr old is having accidents again, his doc said we have to re-train his colon ? w/ mirolax. ok, but what do we do in the meantime, nothing works, not diapers, not punishment, not emmbarrasing at schoot to him not cleaning him self up i dnt knw what to do anymore
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Avatar_m_tn
Checking several sites on this topic I'm struck by the frustration expressed by parents and sense the stress the children involved are suffering.  Based on what I learned in an enlightening collage course on behavior, during a couple of generations of family experience, and research,  I would like, as a lay person, to share some observations. I will post this in several related threads.

There are several reasons for panty pooping and wetting including revenge, revolting (pun intended), claustrophobia - not liking to be closed in small rooms, especially with a large stone mouth that can swallow a whole child, or a physical condition.  

I believe there is another seldom considered reason - are you ready for this - ITS FUN!

One of the first things children independently master is bowel and bladder control. Some children, usually the smarter ones, master this function earlier than others and it may not be noticed by parents. The shift from involuntary to voluntary control is subtle. In an another wise boring time, being able on their own to relieve pressure and even pain by conscientiously spreading the legs a bit and filling underwear, and the resulting relief, pleasure and feeling, can rapidly become addicted behavior, even imprinted. Toss in some erotic feelings (oh yes, your child has them) and an underwear fetish may develop (or may not).

"Fetishism" is characterized by sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving non-human objects.

To determine if panty pooping and/or wetting is a behavioral addiction requires some detective work.  
1) Hiding soiled underwear is a sign your child feels guilty about causing problems, but not enough to stop the behavior.
2) Washing soiled pants is often seen as way to continue this behavior, eventually in private, without inconveniencing others.
3) An affirmative answer to any of these questions, asked in a relaxed and non-event environment, is a positive clue:
       A) "Is going in pants more fun than using the toilet?"
       B) "Do you think I would enjoy going in my pants?"
       C) "Because you go in your pants a lot is there a special type of underwear you would like?"  You might be surprised to receive an intelligent discourse on stretch, absorbency and leg band tension.  Your child is pretty smart!  Otherwise he or she wouldn't be in this mess (intended).

If you think you are dealing with addicted behavior, than you should make it clear that:
1) This type of behavior is different, however it is not uncommon or unhealthy if proper sanitary practices are followed.
2) Because most people don't understanding panty pooping it must be done in private, not in public, or in school, or when guests or playmates are around.
3) Pooping and peeing in public will influence how you are accepted by others resulting in devastating social problems that will effect your family, life and career - forever.
4) That this urge to poop and/or wet panties will start to go away as you get older and find the extra time and effort involved is not worth the results.  (It can increase if under stress or bored.)
5) And, "By the way, don't spoil our floors or furniture!"

Sorry, you can not beat an addiction or fetish out of a person.  Seriously harassing a young child can cause bonding stresses that may lead to RADish behavior. No, that's not something to eat. "Reactive Attachment Disorders stem from problems in the parent/child relationship in the earliest years. When infants and toddlers should be learning that their needs can be met by the people they are dependent upon, they learn instead that it's not safe to trust others - that to be dependent on others is not worthwhile. Kevin Kennedy, Ph.D" .  Shipping feral children to Russia is not an option for most folks.

It is important to not make this addictive behavior a bigger problem than it really is. Remember, this is not your child's fault! You're the one that missed or messed up the critical potty training window.  
1) You are going to have to accept the problem's existence, control it in low stress manner, and it will eventually go away. Or more likely,be repressed.
2) Have pants available. A clear place they can wash and dry. And make sure they know you are available to discuss anything, anytime.
3) When shopping let them pick out their underwear.
4) Put some interesting magazines in the toilet. (If the kid doesn't read them your husband will.)
5) Try to influence event frequency, maybe "every other time" progressing to "once a week", etc.
6) When they clearly don't do it in public anymore try to have more friends, theirs and yours, around which will encourage more toilet use.
7) When mature enough explain the reasons behind this behavior, and maybe your role, and emphasize that it is not un-common.  Developing a good self image is important. Children should not think they are some kind of a freak.

Good luck finding a doctor, any kind, that isn't baffled by this "serious defecational defect". Their revulsion with messing around with crap overcomes logic. Your child will have a happy and successful life, if not with some professional help, then with the counsel you provide. Post if you do locate a competent professional who works with children's addictive behavior and fetishes.

Please do not use sugar to try to change behavior. I think addicting kids to sugar should be considered child abuse. I would rather be with a healthy well adjusted adult, who may occasionally enjoy taking a secret dump in a pair of drawers, than a sugar addicted slob, like you ones you've seen blocking the aisles in Wal-Mart. Usually leaning on a large cart full of carbohydrates.
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