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12-year-old poops pants daily. Does mom enable?
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jodykip posted:
I read bit and pieces of my question/problem, but never the whole thing.

My fiance's 12-yr-old son poops his pants every day, and still wets the bed. It isn't encopresis (I don't think). His parents split when he was 2.5, he was frantic and his mom "didn't have the heart" to discipline him for toileting. So today, his idea of bowel control seems to be "hold it until school is out" and "weekends are free."

He's coming to live with us this month, and maybe will stay for school in the fall. I love him to death. He is bright, wry, a crackerjack student and athlete, and a perfect small replica of his gorgeous dad (I'm marrying a great guy!). But I feel like I can't quite accept him because of the pooping. (He wears something like a diaper or pull-up to bed, and I don't mind that.)

I want to get a handle on this so I can understand it and help stop it. Can parents enable this? His mom is hostile to me, but once we were talking about Jack (the son) and she said "I was changing his pan . . . " -- and she stopped. I said, "You change his pants?" But she wouldn't answer, and seemed embarrassed. I know that his dad used to change him, and still will clean him up in some circumstances, like if he's dirty at bedtime. So, if parents do this, does it enable to kid? I'm sure there are no consequences for pooped pants at his mom's, and few here (he has to stop what he's doing and go change).

Jack himself never mentions that he has pooped, but he will admit it if you ask, and will go change without resistance (thank God!). But he doesn't do a very good job, because I don't think he knows how. I've bought a hand-held shower for the bathtub, and a hand mirror. I want him to put the mirror on the floor and to stand over it so that he can see if he's clean. Will this help?

The reason I don't know if this is encopresis or something else (like habit) is that the "accidents" never happen in school, but otherwise aren't real predictable. He poops 1, 2, or 3 times every day, but at different times. The poop that I've seen looks completely normal. I mean, not runny/pasty or pellets, like enco. (See, I've done some research.) He will go pee, and while he stands there, he might dirty his pants too. We've talked a little about his accidents, and he's told me that he feels it too late, and that it starts by itself, but he has to "finish it off." I think he has control, but that it comes and goes. Or something.

The "accidents" make me push him away even though he is such a great kid, and I want to embrace him as if he were my own son. I feel guilty. For instance, Saturday before Memorial day, we all went to a concert on a big lawn. It got chilly, so I invited him to lean against me, and I put my coat and my arms around him to keep him warm. Fine. I felt like a great mom. Nuzzled him, kissed the back of his head, and so on. But in about 5 minutes, the odor began, and I realized that he had just dirtied his pants as he sat there. I had to push him away. I said, "Jack, you poopied your pants and I just don't like it when you smell." He seemed a little surprised (I don't know why, since I've mentioned it before), and slid over to his dad, who took him in. And I felt like I'd rejected him.

So, it looks like pooped pants are going to be "business as usual" in our house until I can figure a way to interrupt it. Sorry to run on about this. Any ideas?
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