So my 12 year old daughter has been dealing with retentive encopresis for about 5 years now. She avoids going to the toilet at all. This results in soiling and the production of an amazing huge toilet-clogging log-like object every week. We have been trying for years to get her to talk about this, but when we do talk about this, the response is ALWAYS "I don't know" despite what her pedi, GI doc and psychologist tried to do or suggested we do to get her to talk about it. We switched psychologists last year after a year of not talking about this, no luck.

We have tried so many treatment plans over the years, specifically tailored to her, such as enemas, scheduled toilet sittings, she just kept holding it in. Right before school ended last year, her pedi and the GI doc laid out a clear treatment plan of laxatives, regular bathroom visits, and a rewards program. She did take the Miralax (2 table spoons) but she just kept holding it in and soiling her pants. I tried telling her "if you poop, I will buy you XYZ" (something she REALLY wants)" you can do XYZ only after you poop" and not letting her do things "you can't do XYZ until you poop" and XYZ would be something she LOVES to do. I wouldn't let her leave the toilet until she pooped, so she sat there for hours, no luck. When school started, she refuses to take the Miralax.

Now we laid out a new treatment plan. We TRIED to involve her, the response is again "I don't know." She is supposed to take an enema every morning and sit on the toilet, but she fights daily about taking it. When she does take it, she holds it in and won't sit on the toilet. There is also a diet plan she refuses to follow. Now the past 2 weeks she refused all treatment which we fight daily about. She refuses to sit on the toilet, no matter what we try. 2 years ago we tried ucanpooptoo, didn't help. We are considering trying it again, but I don't think it will work on a strong willed child like her.

We asked her why she holds it in. Does pooping hurt? Does it scare you to poop? Does it feel good to hold it in? The answer is always "I don't know" and you can question her for hours and hear "I don't know". We explained to her digestion and she knows why she needs to poop.

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asked 06 Nov '14, 15:02

denise101's gravatar image

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I have a 12 year old boy with encopresis too. The truth is these children don't fully understand WHY they can't poop like other kids their age. That is why she keeps answering "I don't know." I've been dealing with this situation since he was 18 months of age. Enemas should be a last resort and not used more than once a month. 2 tablespoons is no where near going to work for a child that's 12. My son was one one capfull daily mixed w/a favorite beverage (non-carbonated). Encourage going to the bathroom, but I would not "make her sit there" for hours. Miralax sometimes takes 6 to 12 hours to work. The Miralax will soften the poop so it will be easier to pass. The urge will come so don't worry too much about that. I have a strong-willed child too. He weight 122 lbs so his dosage just went up to 2 caps daily which he's not happy about. He says it makes him too runny so we cut back to 1.5 capful daily. The trick is not to miss not even one day of the regimen, that is where they start getting into trouble. I tell him I realize it's not easy to take a medication every day but I compare it to other kids situation. I say "there are kids who are diabetic at 8 yrs old and they take their insulin because it makes their body work right." My kid HATES exercise which adds to his constipation and doesn't drink enough water. It's a tough situation but hang in there. The older they get, responsibility will make more sense. Good luck and post back if you have any further questions or comments. Always good to hear from another mom who has the same exact problem. Glad to have read your post. thank you.

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answered 21 Dec '14, 01:53

homemom's gravatar image

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How much water is she drinking? Water helps to make it easier to have a bowel movement. We should be drinking half our body weight in oz. Another thing that may help are dandelion greens. You do not even need to tell her what you are doing. Just add them to food. Fruit smoothies are a great place to hide them and the whole family will benefit from them and it will not call attention to her problem. Just a new recipe mom has come up with. There are several recipes on line but here is a easy one. For one (I always times it by 4) 1 cup frozen berries (any fruit will work), 1 cup non dairy milk (dairy can cause constipation), 1 frozen banana, heaping tablespoon fresh or dried dandelion greens. Adjust for taste.


answered 28 Jan '15, 09:23

Cindy's gravatar image

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Hello, and welcome. Thanks for the contribution of this answer! I hope you might be able to improve it in one way though. If you look around the site, you'll notice we encourage either a link to a reference where you got this information, or please indicate that this is based on personal experience and tell us what your experience was when you/someone tried it. Otherwise this ends up just being "someone saying something on the internet" which isn't as high a quality answer. Can you please edit this answer to improve it? Thank you!

(28 Jan '15, 09:50) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 06 Nov '14, 15:02

Seen: 5,361 times

Last updated: 28 Jan '15, 09:50