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When Your Child Has Trouble Going to the Bathroom

Updated on January 6, 2021

A psychological block

It can happens sometimes, with any of our kids. Your child is regularly eating the right foods. He/she is not consuming anything that could make going to the toilet hard work. Your child is already successfully potty trained, and you haven't had to change a diaper in several years.

Nevertheless, many days go by in which your son or daughter refuses to go to the toilet. At first you plead with them; then you become angry and frustrated, trying to coerce them into sitting down and doing number 2 before they explode.

My 5-year-old son still has a problem with this. Sometimes it's better, other times it's worse. His record is two weeks without a bowel movement! I don't know whether to admire him or give him the most potent laxative on the planet. There are times when I'm so upset and frustrated that I just want to take him and squeeze everything out of him, leave him empty. There were a couple of times when he did it in his sleep, and I thought that I would have to call the fire department to come and clean up the mess.Or perhaps get myself a new son.

I tried everything. Once I put him on the toilet, refusing to let him out until he had produced something. Instead my son just cried and cried. Actually, he wasn't crying, he was sobbing. Still I tried to be tough, because I really believed that he would eventually explode. I was wincing when I watched him eat and eat, devouring everything he could possibly find. I was wondering to myself Where is he fitting all of it in that slim little body of his? Where is it all going? Is there some kind of wormhole located in his large intestine? Again, I was vacillating between awe, shock and anger, really feeling that my son was attempting to defy the laws of physics with his utter refusal to void his waste product. Sometimes I could practically hear the seams of his body being recklessly tested.

There are days when I'm walking down the street with my son. He's falling behind. When I turn around, I see that there's a look of pure anguish on his face. In fact, he looks as though there's a construction vehicle working its way through his bowels, and he's employing Herculean might to keep it in. I say to him, "You want to go to the bathroom now, don't you?" Tears are leaking out of his eyes and he screams, "Yes!" But he refuses to do it, preferring to hold it in, perhaps hoping that the load will completely dissipate if he battles against it long enough. His efforts are positively Olympian, meriting a gold medal.

I was even giving him laxatives, but his body seemed to have built up some immunity against them. Either that, or my son possessed a superhuman will fit to be greatly admired.

At last, I decided to reason with him. I spoke to him in a softer voice, using logic. I attempted to gently and lovingly dissolve the psychological barrier in his mind. Both his mother and I tried this technique actually.

Lately, I've noticed that there are lesser days between his monumental bowel movements. Last week it was just three days, which for him, is quite a record. I've known children who had to be taken to the hospital because they refused to do number 2. Luckily, I never had to take my son to emergency due to that.

He seems more reasonable about it these days, knowing that this is an activity which he needs to do. If you have any children who are experiencing the same block as mine, then talk to them reasonably, don't get angry or frustrated. It will just make things worse.

The more gentle you are, the more the likelihood that the block will dissolve, thereby allowing your child to visit the toilet on a regular basis.


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