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Genuine testimonial: This testimonial was sent to us by email and has not been edited, so please excuse any typos and spelling errors - we all make mistakes when we are typing an email in a hurry!

He started “withholding” his bowel movements which puzzled me

Hi there,

I am a mother of a very bright lil 4 year old boy. My son at age 2 was extremely easy to potty train. He did very well with toileting until he was about 3 1/2 years old. He started “withholding” his bowel movements which puzzled me but I worked with him and was usually able to get him to let it out with bribes of treats and such.

However the problem over time got so bad that he started absulutly refusing to go at all costs and began soiling his pants. This was very frustrating to me and I had no clue what to do. I took him to a doctor which was no help what so ever. I have researched this online and found a little help but not a lot. After researching it I did contact a child therapist which still was not all that helpful with ideas on how to deal with this. I then had to use what little I was able to gather on the subject and try to figure out a game plan.

After reading your latest article on the subject I see that I was on the right track and now I know more on how to keep it going on the right track.

Against doctors recomondation I started tainting my sons food with mineral oil and I gave him enimas to empty his bowels out. Once he was empty and slicked up with mineral oil a daily toilet schedule and rewards was all it took to keep it happening.

But as I read in the article the moment you think all is ok or you get busy and forget a day its like starting over from scratch. My son started using the tiolet everyday on his own after 3 1/2 months of constant monitoring and rewarding all happenings.

Without me or my husband realizing it he started “withholding” again. We caught it on about the 4th day of no bowel movements but by then it was like starting from scratch. Luckily we got it back on schedule and I know better now then to let even a day go by without knowing for sure that he has used the tiolet.

After reading your article I now see that this will be a struggle for alot longer than I could have imagined but for my sons happiness as he gets older I will remain focused on the issue. It was very frustrating to me and I know that my son suffered badly as a result of this too.

Your words of advice were right on target and I hope that other parents in my shoes find the information earlier in the process than I did. There just doesnt seem to be enough knowledge on the subject. Doctors dont seem to be of much help. I have felt very alone in struggling with this problem. It may not seem like that much but it has been a very difficult and hard issue to deal with. I have cried and cried because it hurt so bad to see my son going thru this and of course the frustration of going thru it myself.

So having been thru it and still going thru it reading your article gave me a little sigh of relief that maybe someone out there knows what they are talking about. Your explanation and advise made so much sence and was right on target. Had I of read this article months ago when the soiling started it may have been easier to deal with. But when everyone around you including health care professionals who you count on to help you with these things just shrug thier shoulders and really dont know how to deal with it it becomes a very painful situation for the child and everyone directly involved.

So thank you for having some sence on the subject and for trying to edjucate parents on the subject. We need it!!!

And as far all other articles you write keep up the good work! I wish I could find someone as in tune with childrens problems in my area. But just your words of advice that get delivered to my email mean alot.

Thank you so much!

Yours truly,


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