Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/accidents in pants


I have a daughter who is 6 years old going on 7 this april. She still poops in her pants. She knows she is not suppose to but she does. She comes home from school with poop in her pants and her teacher didn't know. I have tried lots of things and it doesn't seem to work. Tried having her sit in her soiled pants but she already did that and it didn't work. Tried being harsh, rewards etc but nothing seems to work. Tried her on a bowel regimen with high fiber in case she was constipated but no result. she will go on months with no accidents and then accidents every week at least 2x a week for a month or so and then

Hello Nghia,
Since the pooping in her pants is sporadic, not constant, I would assume that it occurs in response to something either physical or emotional.
In case it is physical, you should consult a pediatrician and ask for an evaluation to rule out any possible physical causes.
If physical causes are ruled out by a pediatrician, then it must be emotional or psychological. For instance, it might occur when she is experiencing stress or upset. You might try to keep track of this and see if you can correlate pooping with upsetting events in her life. Does it, for instance, occur after difficulties at school with peers or the learning of new material? Is it possibly related to circumstances or events in the home or family life?
Obviously, if you can figure out that it is related to stress, then you can help her try to learn to cope with stress in different ways. And if you need help with that, you could have her talk with a child psychologist.
If there appears to be no explanations, physical or psychological, then you might want to talk to a pediatric psychologist to see if someone else can shed some light on what's going on.
James Windell


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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