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I have an otherwise normal and active 7 year old son who is having trouble going to the bathroom (#2). He is soiling his pants but seems OK with it. He knows it smells bad and he knows it is uncomfortable. He isn't lazy, either. He'd rather hold it in and have an accident than go to the bathroom. He doesn't care if I get upset about it, or if he gets grounded or not. Why is this happening and how can I stop it?

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    Hi, irma, and welcome to the site. We've received a lot of questions on encopresis. If you read a few of them and still have questions, would you please add more detail to your question? (How many times/month he soils his pants, for example; what you have tried, if you've seen a doctor, etc. To give you a helpful answer, we will need more detail. Again, welcome. – anongoodnurse Apr 11 '15 at 6:19
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I really believe that puishment for this is the wrong way to go, it will only make things worse. Even though it seems like he does not care, he propaply feels ashamed of it. My daughter pretty much had the same problem. She peed in her pants pretty much every day. It seemed like she didn't care, and that she would rather keep on playing than waste the time going to the bathroom. This was really frustrating and sometimes I got mad about it, wich really just made things worse. Finally I went to see a doctor, whom told me that this is probably because the body didn't get the right signals. The best way to fix it was to teach the body to read those signals. So we got a "peeing watch" with timer vibrating alarm functionality. It was set to 2.5h at first, and after a few weekts about 3.5h. After three months she was "cured". She even stopped peeing in her bed when she was sleeping.

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My wife is the school nurse at a sixth-grade camp. She sees this quite a bit more than you'd expect with 11 year-old kids. Some of them have never used a public restroom, and can't bring themselves to do so. Since camp is five days, four nights, these kids have the same problem your son has.

I'd ask myself if it happens after several hours away from home, of if he won't use the toilet at home either. Then I'd talk to my pediatrician.

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