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Dr. Tiye
Dr. Tiye, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 46
Experience:  As a Clinical Psychologist since 2002, I have conducted family therapy and taught parenting classes.
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Good morning! I have a question. I have a 6 year old boy that

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Good morning! I have a question. I have a 6 year old boy that has issues with pooping his pants. There are times he goes poop on the toliet and other times in his pants. I've found that he mostly goes in his pants when he is busy doing something. Do you think he's just being lazy sometimes or is this a medical problem? We have done everything from grounding him to taking games away. We are not sure what to do anymore.

Dr. Tiye : Hello, that is a frustrating problem that many of us have unfortunately had to go through. You should definitely make an appointment with his pediatrician to rule out any medical issues, however once that is ruled out there are a few steps that you can take to improve the situation.
Dr. Tiye : When children get caught up in playing, they sometimes don't think about using the bathroom until it is too late.
Dr. Tiye : One remedy for this is to interrupt his play once every thirty minutes to walk him to the bathroom.
Dr. Tiye : You should do so in a non-punitive way and possibly involve his toys in the process i.e. Thomas the train needs to take a potty break and so do you.
Dr. Tiye : Also, offering treats or rewards often work, anything from fruit snacks to stickers immediately after he goes in the pot.
Dr. Tiye : It is important to stay away from punishment surrounding this issue, even though its frustrating and you know that he can go on the pot properly. However, it is okay to expect him to be responsible for helping to clean up his mess. This includes him dumping the waste into the toilet, helping to wash out his underwear by hand in the sink, running his bath water, and washing himself.
Dr. Tiye : This enforces the fact that cleaning up is a dirty job that takes far more time than taking a break to sit on the pot and go.
Dr. Tiye : This often works for 6 year olds because the are beginning to understand more about time and he can realize that 5 minutes away from his toys and games to use the pot is far better than 45 minutes for the clean up process.
Dr. Tiye : As I mentioned it is important that you try to stay as far as possible away from grounding and other punishments because from a psychological point of view, we see several issues later in life that have been linked to early parental interactions in toileting.
Dr. Tiye : Everything from Obsessional Compulsive Disorder to parent resentment have ties to this issue so please proceed carefully.
Dr. Tiye : And remember, this too shall pass. This stage will be over before you know it and next thing you know you'll be dealing with homework, girls, and loud music:)
Dr. Tiye : Please let me know if you have any further questions around this issue. I wish you the best in parental patience, love, and wisdom.
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