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Hi and welcome to Ask Missy Mondays where I respond to email questions from parents who are having difficulty with their child’s behavior. Today’s question comes from Sasha.

“My 8 year old is STILL not pooping in the toilet. He does a great job keeping his pants dry all day long with regular prompted bathroom breaks, but he seems to prefer NOT to poop in the toilet for some reason. What he will do most evenings (he usually poops in the evenings) is go to his room and get a diaper (which he still wears overnight because he still wets overnight) and sometimes he’ll even put it on himself to go poop.

Do you have any suggestions for how I can get him used to pooping in the toilet instead of in his pants? It seems like he’s starting to understand when he needs to go, it’s just that sometimes he doesn’t care to keep himself clean.”

Great question Sasha!  I would start with a social story which I am including at the bottom of this post. This word and picture story helps children better understand that poop goes in the toilet and not in the pants. The use of social stories also has research to back it up here, here, and here.

As gross as it may seem, perhaps your child should watch you go poop on the potty as well. Sometimes children need concrete examples to help solidify their learning. If that is too difficult for you to do, then try to find some movies or clips on iTunes that show people pooping. Even babies can poop on the potty!

I also really like the Poop in the Potty song. I have a dear friend with an excellent Nanny who taught me about that song. It is the BOMB! You can hear it here.

Next, you are going to have to be on your toes and catch him as he is trying to “sneak one in”. Quickly rush him to the toilet and stay with him. Read the social story to him. Encourage him. Tell him it is scary.

Finally, find the biggest, coolest, best ever reward and make it available ONLY when poop goes on the potty. Explain to him (using pictures if possible) that when he poops in the potty, he can have _______.

Good luck! and please let us know how it goes!

If you have a behavior or situation that you need assistance on, please email me at askmissy at applied behavioral strategies dot-com.

Social Story

Poop goes in the potty . 

Sometimes your tummy hurts .

Sitting on the potty will help the poop come out .

Poop does not go in your pants.

Poop goes in the potty .

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