I have an eight year old grandson who lives with me as the result of his mother losing custody due to her drug usage issues. My question involves him not going to the bathroom in the toilet, we find nuggets in his pants, on the floor, (he wears boxers) and they usually won't catch much. He says that it hurts him to sit on the toilet and go, so he usually does it in his pants, as it doesn't hurt him as much. Whatever mess he leaves, is always hard. My question is, what can I do to stop this, should he have a gentle laxative, should he see a therapist, should I see a therapist. He will be going to live with his father at the end of school, and I don't want him to be embarrassed by having this problem. Please help me with this dilema.
It sounds like he's been suffering from constipation issues that were never addressed and it has hurt him in the past to go due to this. Often when this goes without intervention, they will hold the BM's and only some will come out. They are literally afraid of the toilet and allowing a proper BM because it is associated with pain. You need to take him to his pediatrician for evaluation and how to handle it. He probably needs a thorough check-up anyway before going to live with his dad.
I agree with mammo, but just to take this a step further, it sounds like this child has had a rough life so far from living with an out-of-control mother. That, in itself, might be the issue. His refusal to go to the toilet might be a way for him to have some sort of control in his life. My stepson, who had been through some rough times himself, purposely held his bowel movements. We decided, and his therapist confirmed, that this was his attempt to gain some control over something. It was something he could manage himself, and that was comforting to him in some way. This problem did not go away until he was 8, when we finally lowered the boom on this behavior (which is all it is). We had been through discussions on all the prior issues, and removed him from the triggers, so the consequence we decided on was that he clean himself and his clothes after participating in this behavior, and just the "threat" worked because we never had to deliver it.
The best natural laxative is stewed prunes. That is what we were given as children. As to his habits, he was not properly trained by his mother who had issues of her own that preempted child care. So first take care of the constipation issue. With that in hand stay by his side all day and make sure he uses the bathroom when he should. Don't get angry or scold - just supervise. Your patient understanding will pay off. His main problem is that he has never been trained. Now this job falls on you.
Thank you for your response, and you may be right, however, he is eight and
at school and me at work all day, so I can't be by his side all day, I'd like to
but just can't. I have received some good advise, I thank all responders as I
just wasn't sure what the right action was, but I am working on the laxative
measure, but I don't know if he would be receptive to the prunes.
You are the mama and his is the child. Be sure he eats the prunes. I quite liked them as a child. I had no notion of their purpose (and maybe you shouldn't tell him what it is). You just stew them in a little water until they are soft and serve them with the juice. They are quite sweet.
Another thought is that - in school, it is very hard for a child to have any time to sit on the toilet. If the child is constipated, it is even worse cause they have to deal with all of the outside kids, noises, etc. I agree completely that natural things like prunes, prune juice, or any of the dry mixtures added to water will help. I also think that once school is over, and he can quietly sit in his own bathroom that will take care of a lot of the problem. But you do want to deal with the constipation.
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