My 6-year-old keeps having accidents: Thoughts?

My 6yr old son won’t stop pooping his pants. My son has been fully potty trained since he was 3. When he was 5, we had his sister, and things were good for a while. Well, he started having accidents, not peeing on himself, always pooping his pants. We chalked that up to the new baby, sat him down, and explained things, and things went back to normal. For a while, then he started back up with the accidents. This has been an on and off thing now for almost two years. It doesn’t matter where he is; he has done this at home, at school, at relatives. When you try to ask him why we get “I didn’t want to miss anything” or, “I thought I could hold it” or “I didn’t know I had to poop”. We have tried sitting down and talking with him, we had him go to a behavioral therapist, we’ve tried positive reinforcement, (ie, going out for a special treat for a week w/o an accident) we’ve tried negative reinforcement, (ie, making him wash his own underwear out) and finally we got some diapers (generic goodnights) for him. I told him he could have his underwear back if he could go for two weeks without pooping himself. It wasn’t even a week, and he was back at. Nothing has really made a difference. His father and I are scratching our heads as to why and how we can get him back on track. What are we missing? What haven’t we tried?


Have you taken him to his doctor? There may be an underlying medical condition.


Tell him to go to the bathroom randomly throughout the day. My 11 year old has chronic constipation due to him not wanting to stop what hes doing or to have to miss anything. He also has severe ADHD as well. He would have accidents through the day and most of his were bc he damaged the nerves down there by holding it and he lost feeling of when he has to go. I have to tell my son 3-4 times a day to go poop.

Rule out a medical condition first then go from there x


Mine was bring bullied at school check into that .

Get him on a daily schedule of trying to go. You cant deviate. Let him use video game or something to keep him interested. Can be very complicated.


Could he possibly being molested? I take no pleasure in mentioning the possibility, but the “pooping” incidents usually follow due to muscle control problems…it could be why its sporatic occurances…varying access to the child. I have experience in the subject. I know you asked him, but he will probably never feel he can tell you…l pray it’s not the reason at all, but please dont rule it out.


My grand daughter has a sacral dimple with a possible tethered cord. The neurologist said she may not have good signals that she has to go. So definitely check w the dr first. Also if he’s constipated he may be avoiding the potty. Contrary to popular belief fiber may make it worse. Meat and healthy fats will help him go.

A good ole fashion ass whooping would line him out lol. Yea shit your pants I’ll give you a diaper lol…


My doctor said sometimes it’s behavioral. Strong willed child wants your attention. Maybe ignore him when he does it. But offer rewards when he puts it in the toilet himself.
Sticker chart.
My oldest regressed with the 2nd baby. I just let him wear diapers and treated him like a baby… Lasted about 2 weeks. Lol-- he didn’t get big kid privelages, so he thought better of it.

I suggest taking him to his doctor. My son kept doin this and I took him to his pediatrician. He was so constipated, that his intestines and bowel was so full, it was causing poop to just come out of him. I had no idea!! Had to give him castor oil to flush him out, and he never had the problem again.
Take him to the doctor and make sure theres nothing g physically goin on

Have you checked to see if he has be molested by anyone ?


There could be medical reasons this is happening. My first stop would be his pediatrician. My son had undiagnosed constipation and tummy troubles for years. He had small bowel movements nearly daily, but his colon was still backed up all the way up to his diaphragm. It can cause decreased sensation (the urge to go or when to go) because they have the feeling all the time and get used to it.

My daughter is 6. She has been potty trained since her 2nd birthday. She started having multiple accidents a day. I was buying a pack of undies a day. She was constipated then got a uti. But once she got medicine for both the accidents stopped. Rule out any medical conditions

  1. Rule out medical issue
  2. Rule out being molested
  3. Regular schedule and instant reward for now

Washing his underwear is not negative punishment it’s positive punishment. Negative punishment would be remove leta say T.V time
I would work with positive reinforcement and negative punishment for this little fellow


My brother used to do this because he was busy playing and didn’t want to stop. He eventually grew out of it but he even did it a few times when he was like 8+

It sounds like you are good and sensitive parents…thank God for that! It seems though you’ve searched many avenues and are still not successful…ad a Christian, I’m praying that God will intervene here and bring you and him the answer!!


Our doctor said for us to make my grand sit in it while in time out and start everyday to where he sits on toilet at least 3 times per day at same time and was told to take away all big boy toys and outings that he wants to do and explain those toys and the things others his age are doing he is not allowed being he is now trying to behave like a toddler . But before you do this talk with his doctor have him checked head to toe by GI to rule out any underlined conditions . Also by all means you and hubby do not stop doing things you want to do for you can get a sitter just for him it took us 4 weeks and problem went away . Doctors felt he was doing it for our attention good or bad

My son did the same thing. We are still working on it and he is 9. My son had become so constipated that it hurt to poop. So he feared pooping. The doctor put him on miralax and a toilet schedule to try and retrain his bowel habits. It’s working, slowly…but working. First things first, see a doctor.

I think he’s jealous of the baby getting more attention so he poops his pants to get some even if it’s a negative attention :grimacing: