Let’s Talk About Number 2’s


Before becoming parents all talk of toileting are pretty much taboo, but as soon as that baby is in your arms it seems to become a natural part of the conversation.  My life has been so uninteresting lately that when hubby asks what sort of day I have had, I proceed to describe contents of the kids nappies.

I have refrained from talking all things toileting on the blog, however we are having toilet problems of the number 2 variety and a visit to the doctor last night has left me even more frustrated.

Isaac (5) has been soiling his pants for a few weeks.  We have been trying not to make a big deal of it and not shout and get cross but it has got to the stage where we are getting phone calls back from the school.  He did it 5 times yesterday.

All research by me points to encopresis, but when I mentioned this to the Doctor yesterday he told me that it was ridiculous and its all behavioural and we need to find out why he is doing it……..hardly supportive.  In the Doctors Isaac was fine, allowed him to feel his tummy but as soon as we walked out he did it again and  I just don’t know what to do.

We are having other issues with his behaviour too – we had a meeting with the school this week to discuss it.  He is not a naughty boy per say, but he will act up to make sure he gets kept in at playtime.  They are investigating the reasons for this as all things point to the fact that something has happened and he doesn’t want to play outside.  He used to love playtime and is perfectly happy when we are out and about or at Beavers and is normally a very sociable child.

The other thing he has started doing is not listening to adults.  If he knows he has done something wrong he will cover his ears, start shouting and run off.  It can take some time to talk him around, normally after he realises he has to own up and admit what he has done wrong.  His other defence is comedy and he will try and make you laugh to get out of whatever he has done wrong.

It does seem to me that these two things are linked, but all efforts to talk to him just don’t seem to be getting anywhere.  The only thing he says is he hates school, but when you ask him why he cannot answer.

Have you had any experience of encopresis or behaviour like this?

How did you deal with it?


27 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Number 2’s

  1. I am sorry but no advice from me as I never had a problem like this.
    I would however be very interesting in knowing what is a real source, once you know it ofc

  2. wendy says:

    It is awful having an unsympathetic doctor. I would suggest trying to contact a Health visitor . Good luck hope you get some answers xx

  3. lori says:

    I would definitely get a second opinion. Whether it is behavioural or not five times is a day is a lot, which makes me think of a nervous tummy. Does he have any changes in his routine, friends, school teachers? It could be that it something he is able to do this deliberately but seems a bit extreme. I hope you get some answers. x

  4. Charlotte says:

    My little boy had encropresis before from constipation. I think it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s that because the poo is completely different to normal poo (where there is an impaction and bits leak around the side and drip out!) sorry that is SO graphic. But you know what I mean? and also the GP would have easily felt when he palpated the tummy.

    Whether it is or isn’t it definitely sounds psychological/behavioural… maybe you should take him to see a different GP and see what they say? It could be social anxiety or school phobia (which can be triggered by an event OR happen spontaneously / be idiopathic)

    Good luck anyway, hope you get it sorted soon x

  5. Astrid says:

    I am no doctor, but this sure sounds like something is going on with your little boy. It soudn slike anxiety to me. School phobia can occcur without anythign having happened, or it could be eh’s socially anxious (there are specific forms of this wher ehe could have social phobia in specific situatiosn but not others). I don’t know if you could get a referral to a child psychologist. He’s probably too youn got talk about his issues, but play therapy or the like could be very effective.

  6. Sarah Bailey says:

    I don’t have an experience myself I have to say I hope you find some wisdom from somewhere. x

  7. Like Hodge Podge, I’ve just had to Google encopresis too as I hadn’t heard of it. I think it’s a good idea to go back to the doctor with your concerns again, or try a different doctor in the practice. Best of luck – hope you get this problem sorted soon. Then there’ll be a different one to deal with! Kids, eh?

  8. model mummy says:

    So my toddler is just 18 months old and havent experienced this yet but i am sure i have it all to come.
    Just downing my large glass of wine after temper tantrums all day and looking forward to the next stage of a growing toddler…. not!

  9. Wish I could give some advice but I can’t.it does sound to me like the school issue may be linked in someway. I would definitely seek a second opinion from another doctor, and work with the school to see if you can get to the root. Hope it all works out x

  10. Ohhh bless its so hard , I know myself as my daughter will be 4 this Tuesday and no way near potty trained, as she has hydrocephalus and is delayed I get very upset about as she starts school is September .x

  11. Michelle says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t got any advice for you, but I do empathise with your situation and I would be back at the doctors demanding more to be done and not being fobbed off, like your doctor so clearly has tried to do.

    Hope you are able to work through everything x

  12. Oh I am so sorry hun, but I am a rookie at all this parenting stuff, I do not have any advice. I am sure someone will respond that will be able to help you x

  13. Sorr I have no advice on this one 🙁 but I hope you get some answers soon and find someone who can help you x

  14. Sarah Ebner says:

    oh, it can be so hard being a parent sometimes. What happened when you met the school? Could they shed light on what happened (presumably at playtime). Can any of the parents of his friends help, as they might have mentioned it? I really hope it all improves, but would hope the school can help or recommend someone, and if that doctor is unsupportive, is there another one in the practice which you can try? Cross my fingers for you.

  15. Louisa says:

    I have no personal experience of these situations but do know what it’s like for doctors to ignore your concerns. Do you till have a hv (I can’t remember what age they cease to be part of a child’s care) or is there another doctor at the practise you could see? I really hope you can find a solution for your son x

  16. Ellen Hewitt says:

    I wish I could help but don’t know about this. I’ve found that keep loving and being affectionate are really important and that goes for yourself and your husband too while this stressful time is going on. One of my grandchildren was having a tough time and couldn’t find the words to explain but got help through painting/role play with human figures and animals, somehow it was easier for her to explain through play rather than any other way.

  17. I can not imagine the horror at such an unsympathetic doctor. I would make an appointment to see a heath visitor or a more sympathetic GP.

  18. lisa prince says:

    i have to say the soiling does sound like he needs something to help him, he obviously can not control it and for having it for a while you would think the doctor would help a little more if he could instead of saying your ideas were rediculous. As for the other behaviours, his not wanting to play out could also be a reslt of him soiling and fearing he may do it whilst out playign therfore not wanting to embaress himself and feel safer indoors closer to a toilet if needed, my children use the comedy sketch t stop me being angry or cross with them and it dos work in the sense i soon forget they are still children and will soon grow out of it but also need thei boundries too x

  19. I have no advice (I haven’t even got as far as potty training) but I do really feel for you. I hope you find the answer for everyone’s sake.

  20. Doctors can be so unhelpful sometimes! Wish I could help but I don’t have kids myself yet so hard to find any advice 🙁

  21. Mummy of Two says:

    This sounds like a really tricky problem to deal with and I’m afraid I can’t offer any advice. It doesn’t sound like the Doctor was very helpful at all. Is there any chance of getting a second opinion? I really hope you manage to find some answers soon.

  22. Kizzy says:

    It is so hard to find the root of this issue. We have had similar issues and the school my little two go to have been great and really supportive. This makes a big difference. I’m not sure how you will deal with the covering his ears issue, mine have never done that although he may just grow out of it. Good luck.

  23. I have no experience of encopresis but last year my son’s behaviour changed at school. He kept getting in to trouble for behaviour that was completely out of character. He hated school and didn’t want to go. It turned out that the cause was one of his class teachers who is very shouty and tells the children off in a negative way. Once I worked this out and told the headteacher that this particular teacher’s approach was the cause of the problem she changed the way she talked to him and he stopped getting into trouble.
    Could your son’s issues be caused by something like this?

  24. anna says:

    I haven’t got experience with this but I hope you can get him the support he needs, the gp doesnt sound too helpful – medical causes should atleast be investigated?

  25. Jo Bryan says:

    My cousins son has this, its so tough, he is nine now, they have had medical and behavioral assessments and treatments. He is a lot older and still continuing. He was bullied in playtime but that resolved and possibly not linked at the time, he still continues. I cannot imagine how literally crap a child must feel and consider soiling to avoid any trauma. You have to push to get some more help as the constipation becomes a real problem.

  26. I haven’t had this experience with my son, so I can’t offer you any advice only sympathy. The dr doesn’t sound very supportive I must say. I wonder what his issues are with school. Maybe you can talk to his teacher and find out if there are any issues that she has noticed. Is he being bullied do you think?

  27. Oh I wish I had some advice for you, but am totally stumped (and even had to Google encopresis). Have you tried Mumsnet? Collective wisdom there is usually helpful and they have behavioural and child experts who may be more helpful than your doctor…
    I would also go back and ask for a different GP and a referral if it carries on. To say it is behavioural and then offer no expert referral is unhelpful to say the least!
    I really hope you get to the bottom of it (excuse the pun) x

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