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My Son Refuses to Poop on the Potty!

Here is another post in our series of "questions and answers" from real customers of The Potty Boot Camp.  This mom was at her wit's end because although her son was doing great peeing on the potty, he refused to do the same when it was time to poop.


I am a desperate mom trying to poop train my son. He is 4 years old and has been pee-accident free for over a month. However, he will not poop on the potty. He screams and cries at the idea. He holds his poop for 3 days at a time, going on a month now. I am beginning to worry about his health and what this is doing to him, but I am afraid to allow him to wear a pull up again. 

I have tried every one of your tips in the book for reluctant poopers such as the reward box, having him clean up the accident, etc. (even poop jail). He just cries and cries and holds his poop in. Please, do you have any suggestions?


You son sure sounds like a stubborn one.  Have you consulted your pediatrician  by any chance?  We want to make sure he isn't suffering from a condition called encopresis, which is chronic constipation.  

 I have a couple of thoughts.  There are a few books you can get on Amazon that might help him.  Below are the links.  They'll help let him know he's not alone in his fear.

"It Hurts When I Poop!" and "I Can't, I Won't, NO Way!"

 Secondly, you might want to try something like 'poop jail' but more gentle -- kind of like a 'poop intervention." Another suggestion I might recommend is 'poop intervention' - LOL, for lack of a better term. This recommendation is a tough one for you and your child but might be just the ticket. If he can have at least ONE successful poop in the potty he'll realize it isn't anything to be afraid of and you'll be on your way. 

To do so, I would pick a day that you can spend hours, if needed, to sit with your son. Sit down in the morning and tell him that he's doing GREAT using the potty, but that it is simply time for him to poop in the potty also. Then together, you head to the bathroom, and tell him that you will stay there, in the bathroom, until he poops. (Definitely wait until you know he's 'due' to poop - otherwise you might be in for a long wait.) Then, plan on watching TV, playing games, reading...whatever you can do to stay occupied...but don't leave the bathroom until it happens. Granted, this is 'tough' love and isn't for if you don't think you're up for it or if it doesn't fit your parenting style, please disregard.  

The next suggestion is kind of a strange one. It's a 'family poop contest'. Basically, you make a game out of going poop - make up rules...whatever you think will work for you family. For example, who can poop first, who can make the most stink, or who can make the biggest poop. (The things we will do for our kids!!!) Some kids simply respond better to games and fun than to chores/duties/responsibilities.  







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