Dr, my husband and I separated some time back. Our son stays with me but sometimes visits his father. When he is with his father, he passes a bit of stool in his underwear which he does not do while at my home.Is it because the father neglects him? Should I stop the visitations? Anita
Encopresis or soiling of underwear can happen in children who are either constipated or have emotional issues.When constipated, the liquid hind stool may escape and soil the pants which may sometimes be mistaken for poor use of toilet paper or diarrhoea.
Unfortunately, which happens after four years of age when children have already learned to use a toilet and is taken for stupidity resulting in the child being punished which worsens the emotional problems and the encopresis.
It may not be that the father is not caring in that that he does not pay attention to the child’s toilet habits but rather, it could be that the child is not comfortable being at the father’s home, given that among others issues, he blames the father for the separation.
Children are usually more comfortable with their mothers, especially if they stay with them more than with their fathers. Also, the child might be eating food that causes constipation, for example, wheat products, minimal fluids, fruits and vegetables while at the father’s place.
Your child needs counselling and should be given more fruits, vegetables and fluids when at the father’s home and if this does not help, you may need to accompany the child to the father’s place for more comfort and support!