Why does my 8 year old still have accidents?

Get a different opinion from a different doctor but DO NOT punish him!


My 6 year old still has accidents and knows better so she does get in trouble. I have been to many doctors back and forth from different state then mine and we still can’t figure it out. We have tried everything and nothing helps my daughter. My daughter does get in trouble since she knows that’s not ok. The doctors think she is also constipated but that’s not it at all.

Have to make him hand wash his poopy underwear. Doing that a few times should correct the issue.

1 Like

This is usually a stress response. Find out how school is doing. Any bullying etc. We found out my son had ADHD.
We started working on accommodations for him at school and it took some of the stress away and the incontinence went away.

1 Like

Take him to a GI. There are real disorders that cause this. Don’t punish him it will only make it worse.


Maybe try a psychologist? It may not be the case here, but some kids you have been sexually abused or bullied will do this as a way of protecting themselves. Something may be happening/or has happened that you’re unaware of. Again, this may be a stretch, but it’s better to be safe than sorry you know?


Sneaky poo syndrome is a thing we have been through this for years .

He holds so long that creates hard poo which lets other poo slide out all the time .

Every morning an night we had to give laxetuves an big glass of water ,with a 5 minute minimum toilet time ,everyday every night to regulate .
You have to keep it up so it regulates so it doesn’t happen at school times .

Took few weeks to see progress .
same time everyday meal meds water 5min on the toilet or untill they go .

Have him clean himself up, I did that with my boys after awhile, I was done done told them next accident they have to clean themselves. We lost a few pairs of underwear and pants and had a few eww this is gross tears in the shower but they learned after that.


Get him to wear pullups or drapes then you don’t have to wash his undies n good luck :upside_down_face::upside_down_face::upside_down_face::upside_down_face::coffee:

Instead of wiping his butt my son would use his finger and wipe in on the wall. In the bathroom, bedroom etc…he finally grew out of that but still continues not to wipe his butt and I know this bc he doesn’t have a good habit of flushing and he leaves poop in there and there’s no toilet paper. Hes 9 now and is finally getting thr hint that is not hygienic and his butt stinks and people or friends will end up saying something to him about it.

I can’t stand doctors giving laxatives for no reason please be careful with that. Probiotics and prebiotics will help along with a proper fiber supplement that doesn’t make them have to go (it just helps get more in the diet when it’s difficult naturally) and are so necessary. Mary Ruth’s has children’s options and their reviews are so good.
Therapy might be necessary.
Making him clean it up if you’re currently cleaning it might make him tired of it more quickly.
You make just have to keep him in the bathroom all day for a few days and take up all his time so he can’t do anything else fun until he stops. Or tell
Him he can’t go do anything with friends or family until he learns, with summer that might be more appealing.
Not sure what your punishments are but these days no technically or games is usually a good motivator.
Also what you feed him could also be a good motivator so no more pizza, soda or fried chicken nuggets ect only healthy food. Kids change pretty quickly for that too.


I had issues with wetting things and it took years for my drs to figure out I had issues with my bladder… it was easily fixed once we knew what it was though and it solved the issue.

My girl was like this. Her colon was impacted happens a lot in children. She had to go to the hospital and be cleaned out. Please don’t punish your child they can’t help it. Please take them to a pediatric gastro dr.


Please find a dr who will listen. The child may have (or had) anal fissures. Little cuts that open up and hurt when one poops. And the use of softeners etc.

My grandson had to take miralax to retrain his bowel the doctor said it pressed on this bladder

1 Like

Bless your heart!! It sounds like maybe you need another doctor so that you can find the root of this problem. From what you have said, it sounds like he may have some gastrointestinal issues. I hope all works out for you and that there are no major issues with him. Prayers for all.

Some kids do it because the attention they had while an only child diminishes with another or in your case two more kids. Maybe take one day a week to devote to just him. My son was a bed wetter. But Dr said it was a lazy bladder. So I’ve never had your problem. Good luck with it. :two_hearts:

My daughter had accidents but only at night. Her doctor put her on a nasal spray medicine that helped a bit. She finally outgrew those when she was bout 12. Her doctor said it was because her bladder wasn’t growing as fast as she was

1 Like

8 year old no way should soil his pants, maybe try a small adult diaper and let him know until he stops and uses the toilet that’s what he has to wear


Not sure of the answer, maybe a psychological evaluation since he thinks it is okay. Also why give a laxative when you state he is going everyday? I will pray that you find an answer that will provide help for you and your son.

I would not recommend shaming or punishing the child for having accidents but would suggest that you continue the bathroom potty routine . I would explain to the child that although they might like the smell of poop and don’t have a issue wearing poopy clothes that it is unsanitary and unacceptable and EVERY time there is an accident they would have to assist with the clean up of soiled underwear and clothes . If the pediatrician says the child is constipated I would look into foods that help with that and if it continued then seeing a psychiatrist might be needed for underlying issues other than constipation …


Had a son who would squat behind a chair and poop his pants. Have him wash them out. Good diet as stated. Can try glycerin suppository or even dulcolax. Tell him you are going to treat him as spinal cord injured patient. Dulcolax suppository. Wait 20 minutes. Put gloved finger with lubricant into rectum and rotate finger 2-3 times. Sit on toilet. Do every day at the same time, until his bowel evacuates on his own. Tell him he can’t get in pools, lakes or streams because his stool can contaminate the water, food and people. No going to amusement parks. If his diet, fluids don’t create soft formed stools, take him back to a gastroenterology. He may have a more involved problem. Look up megacolon in children. And yes, he may need to see a therapist.


My granddaughter dies this. If she is into playing, a movie. She just goes. ANOTHER NATURAL LAXATIVE is a BAY LEAF. Let it set in a drink. I use hot tea and just leave it in. BUT REMOVE FOR A CHILD checking hazard. I have always had bowel problems. It does cause gas. I use about every couple of weeks

Impacted bowels. A good doctor/pediatrician can advise how to proceed.

1 Like

I hate to go against everyone else’s opinion but you said he “likes the smell” and doesn’t care that it’s “nasty” I feel like this is less of an accident and more of “I did this on purpose” and maybe you should look into child therapy and find the root of this? Taking things away from him won’t work if this is something that generally doesn’t bother him.

I don’t think this is weird, I just think kids think differently than adults do and maybe he just really doesn’t understand the severity of sitting in fecal matter all day. ( yes he can get sick if the fecal particles enter his urethra, we all have E-Coli and if this enters than he could be hospitalized- can be very dangerous for some individuals)

Just speak with your Dr. See a Paediatrician as they specifically specialize in child and their behaviour.

Xo hope all works out for you mama!


My son did this till he was 10. Eventually stopped. He is 42 now and diagnosed himself with attention deficit hyperactivity. This was not recognized 35 years ago. He is a wonderfull young man and is still hyper active. Look into add and good luck.

It sounds like a psychological issue. I would take him to see a child psychiatrist.


I have no help. I’m in the exact same situation. Have tried psychologists, therapists, reward systems, punishments, laxatives, gi drs, multiple different regular doctors etc. If the person who submitted this would kindly like to reach out and we can at least lean on each other and maybe tackle this together I would truly appreciate an ear to vent to that’s going through this with me!!!

Change their diet ASAP! I made sure my children were eating well balanced meals with lots of 100% juice, oatmeal, fruit cups and mixed veggies. My children were always constipated UNTIL I closely monitored their food intake!

Is there any reason or circumstance that might cause him to be seeking extra attention?

1 Like

My little one can go all night w/o peeing but the day it like every 1/2 hour. She will use pee pads but what’s up. Her pee spot on the pad is at least 8 inch circle while her sisters is at the most 2 inch circle.

Bowels are blocked you need to increase the fiber. This condition is not good for the child’s colon.

At that age, I would change the doctor and have him see a psychiatrist. I would also cut out all sugar from his diet, natural and artificial.

1 Like

I have a daughter just like this meralx of anything like that isn’t helping

Id suggest getting a second opinion from a different doctor at a different office

Since the child is old enough to know he is doing this on purpose, and states he doesn’t care, it doesn’t appear to be a physical/medical problem, rather psychological or emotional. He may need therapy as there could be some form of trauma he has endured, and possible it’s something you may not be aware of. He needs help though.

The constipation could be the problem, he’s probably full of poop. My daughter has always had problems with constipation and when she was younger her gastrologist took an x-ray of her stomach and she was full of poop.

1 Like

Change your kids doc. ASAP

Withholding is pretty common for boys. I have twin boys. Make it a non-issue, have them help you clean it up and themselves and reiterate how to properly take care of their bodies and they will grow out of it. I much rather help them get through it, than them hide it and their clothing (which I’ve experienced too). Every kid has their struggles.


We did all the laxatives with my son and none of it worked but his doctor told him to take him off dairy for two weeks and that worked. No constipation, no more painful BMs, and no more accidents.

No clue how to advise but just wanted to send mum a bit of support, that’s not easy to cope with…
I hope it will resolve soon…


If your 8 year old is soiling in his pants likely he has encopresis. Encopresis is constipation that is so severe that now a solid mass of stool in the colon is not moving and what you are seeing is leakage around that mass of stool.
Could be psychological too.
I’d continue to seek medical help.


My oldest has encopresis along with anxiety. Hes 9, almost 10, and we still have troubles with it. Weve been dealing with it since he was 3. We ended up seeing a GI specialist as part of some other problems he has and we started a regimen when he was 5 of miralax daily (we now do as needed) and “clean outs” every 6 weeks. It sucks but it helps so much. Very rarely does he have an accident anymore and when he does, hes learned to clean it up himself.


Sounds like he needs to see a specialist/therapist. Keep in mind whatever you do can have a lasting effect on him and his mental health, how do you want him to see himself. It’s hard and may seem impossible but you can do it. Just coming on here looking for advice is a testament of your parenting and putting your child’s needs before your own. Good luck wish you the best.


You might need to see a psychologist. It might be a problem he doesn’t know.

1 Like

My son had this issue, he was allergic to milk and his reaction was he lost sensation of his bowels


If he says he does it because he likes it, it sounds like he may need to go to some sort of therapy. I wouldn’t claim to know what kind of therapy he needs but it’s worth at least looking into. Or doing some research of your own online to see if you can find anything that might point to why he says he likes it. I don’t honestly think it’s something you’re going to be able to get a handle on without some sort of outside help with someone who specializes in these sorts of things

My son had this issue when he was this age. His Doctor suggested we start counseling. It turned out he has an anxiety disorder. He didn’t want anyone to know he had to stop playing to go poop. After a few months in counseling he stopped pooping in his pants. He is 13 years old now and doing awesome. Hope this helps.


Following! I could have written this a few years ago! My 11 yo has improved drastically but still goes through packs of underwear much faster than he outgrows them. I haven’t been able to figure out if he isn’t wiping well or if it’s an accident. Even when he’s not constipated this happens. What’s worse(and I hesitate to even share this) he sometimes(rarely, thankfully) poops in the shower and plays with it. He’s a major sensory seeker and I’ve provided him with tons of slime, play dough, silly putty, etc. I have suspected he sometimes plays with it after pooping in the toilet too because his hands will stink SOO bad even after multiple washes. We’ve threatened to make him leave the bathroom door open when he goes or showers and that helps for a while then it will get bad again. We have kept him home from activities when he stinks too bad(even after showering) because we don’t feel like it’s fair to other people to smell him. (It’s THAT bad) He has been in therapy and it helped a little with some things but never with this. I need to get him back into therapy but he felt like his therapist was treating him too much like a little kid and we haven’t found a good fit yet. It has improved a TON but is still a very stressful(for the whole family) problem.

My sisters 11 year old has stomach issues that cause her to do it. Sometimes she doesn’t know it’s happening.

My son is 13 and still has issues. Testing has shown he has lost almost all sensation of when he needs to go. I would suggest miralax daily, even if he isn’t having issues “going.” Big hugs to you mama, it is an exhausting journey. :heart:


Encopresis… google it.
My son had this …most of his life, found out about this through a public health nurse, she put me and my son on a 16 week plan that actually worked! he is now 6 doing poos like everyone else!

I have this same problem with my 5 year old

I’m going through the same mamma if you would like to pm me x

Sammy Hall the comments are worth a read

1 Like

Make him clean the poop up and clean his clothes he’s very lazy if he’s doing this the kids at school are gonna make fun of him


Send him to a therapist it could be linked to molestation incontinence is the first sign.

1 Like

Have a sensory integration evaluation

Ask for a GI referral for testing . Could be a number of issues but 2 that come to mind bc my son had an issue with both is a imperforate anus where the anus is too small to pass the BM causing leakage or weakness in the muscle around the anus causing him not be able to feel the sensation of the BM happening. Both were correctable.

I have the same problem with my son. He won’t seem to go in the toilet, after numerous dr visits and counseling we still have this problem. We do miralax and dulcalax daily and found out in the last few months he has aspergers and anxiety. :woman_shrugging: we still have this problem and hes going into 3rd grade :grimacing:

I feel like it’s just laziness.


U are such a good mama Ashley Bull

Not saying this is the reason, but my baby brother started pooping on himself at that age, even at school. My parents were beside themselves trying to figure out what was going on. Years later, when he was a teenager he told them, a male school teacher raped him. It is then, that it all made sense. He literally, was not able to control his bowels due to the trauma of being raped by a grown man, when he was only 8.

I point this out, because there is likely something physical going on that he cannot control. My advice is ask for a Pediatric GI referral from his doctor/pediatrician


Take him to a behavioral therapist

1 Like

We have the same problem my youngest greatgrandson is almost 7 and he does the same thing we have tried everything even the dr and no help

Make him clean his own underwear and pants/shorts in a bucket outside every time he does it.

Make sure its not medical but I was also told kids will do it as a defense mechanism. Something mentally maybe going on. I’ve been in your shoes and it didn’t stop until middle school. Its hard but just make him clean it himself . Thats all you can do. Get him a bucket for his dirty underwear to go it. Tell him to put them in the bucket after he washes them out in the toilet.

Try making him clean his own clothes get him some gloves give him soap n supervise him washing them by hand n that should deter him from doing it

Does he have autism or SPD? Obviously not all kiddos on the spectrum do this, but a handful do, especially if they are stressed or when they just don’t want to stop what they are doing to run to the restroom. It takes patience and lots of reminding.

Psychologist since he seems to like it

In some cases I would check into what has been done too him too cause the problem. Someone might of done bad things away from mom!!

My son is almost 8 and still poops himself. He has to have miralax every day. If he misses a dose, poopy underpants. I don’t know why he does it other than if he’s constipated, it hurts to push out. Neither of my daughter’s were ever like that even though they got constipated. I just hope he grows out of it 🤷🤦

Have you considered therapy?

The fact that he says he likes smelling the poop. This sets it apart from being uncontrollable. This makes it pleasurable. For this reason alone, I would consider hypnosis. Talk to a psychiatrist who does hypnosis about it and if they feel that it would benefit him.

It’s usually caused by constipation. Miralax works great. Set a poop schedule. Once in the morning and once at night. Don’t punish or get mad. He probably can’t control it. I went through something similar with mine.

My 9 year old grandson has a similar issue minus liking the smell part. We took him to a Children’s hospital ;a GI specialist . We had to totally clean him out with Miralax then give him a small dose every day. He held onto his poop; was very hard , painful and enormous. He would do anything to not go and when he did he would keep it in his pants; hide it. We are only in the third week but doing well. His poop looks normal sized. He has a diet to follow , he needs to drink 50+ ounces of water or juice and sit on toliet ONLY 5-10 minutes early am, after each meal and at bedtime. It has been working so far. Best of luck. No punishments, listen to your child and never give up on your child. Also please no yelling or shaming.

Oh, fluid is amount for entire day, everyday.

Fancy posting something like this on Facebook why not get professional help

Not a bladder problem and she stated that he seems to enjoy it which indicates he knows he’s doing it which would rule out any constipation issues (that’s usually involuntary)…maybe a good psychologist

Constipation takes a LONG time to resolve. Please get with a pediatric gastroenterologist . It is a process, and takes patience. The diarrhea/soft stools caused by the laxatives is necessary to let the gut heal and regain elasticity. It is important to treat now as it can be harder to resolve the longer you wait. Additionally, it can lead to some bigger issues if left untreated.


I think this could be a behavioral issue. I would talk to someone who can help you with this. Someone who knows how to help with behavioral issues and explain was to keep it from happening. They can talk to your son and figure out exactly why he’s doing that

Cut to the point my son did this and I was PRETTY UP SET… I Took his pants off him for the last time. I was out side watering. And Boy. I washed him down with the hose. Cold water and that was the end of that sorry.My son was lazy for the last time. I knew nothing was wrong w/him intestinal problems were not part of the problem.

Sometimes its because they hold it knowing they have to go but just wait until its to late.

Destined to become a Politician.

We are dealing with this now with our 6 yr old. Basically the muscles are worn out from holding and stuff leaks out. We saw a gastro who prescribed an intense three day clean out. She also did an xray to see how big the blockage is. However dont punish. He cant help it. It isnt your fault or his. It’s a long recovery process. Hang in there.

1 Like

Best advice I ever got was from a renowned child psychologist and he used to use the phrase in his ads… “ potty training is a child’s accomplishment - not an adults”
Your pediatrician is correct - your son is backed up and needs his bowels to completely empty , a laxative and then daily stool softner will cure the problem
And he sits in it Because he is embarrassed

My cousin had a problem like this, and it was because he would see spider webs/cob webs behind the toilet and he would scare himself away from the toilet outta the fear of spiders! Crazy but true.

My son went through this for a few months at 8. He had a hard stool once and it hurt so he was afraid to go again. I gave him stool softeners everyday and told him it wouldn’t hurt anymore and we got through it. Best of luck!

Contact a urologist… there could be something else going on that a regular pediatrician is not aware of. My son sees a urologist and has since before he turned 1. His is for the fact that he’s had urinary reflux due to big ureters, a bum kidney that doesn’t function at full capacity and also for hydro seal. However, his urologist is always telling me to watch his poops and contact him if anything seems out of the ordinary.

We are going through the same thing with my son he is 5. Best of luck to you!

Really sounds like Encopresis.

I’m going through the same thing with my 7 year old son. He keeps having accidents and when I ask him why he says he just wants to hold it in. I make him go sit on the toilet and try to go. Seems like it is helping some. I’m hoping it’s just a phase he’s going through bc I didn’t have this issue with my oldest son.

My son did this when he was around 6. It was so hard and I tried everything! Rewards and punishments. Yelling and speaking gently. I could go on and on! Eventually he just seemed to outgrow it. PM me if you would like to.