BM for Attention


New Member
Hey everyone, I'm in sore need of some advice. My son is 5, and he and I have just been through a pretty big adjustment: we moved to a different town away from my family, he changed schools, I went back to school, and we're now living with my partner. Son has started pooping in his pants almost every time attention shifts off of him. For example, we were having a chat during snack time and after that I asked him to go put his laundry away. He was upset, walked upstairs, and promptly came back down stating "I accidentally pooped my pants." This is the 5th time in the past two weeks. My guess is that it's a control response as a result of all the change going on around him. It's frustrating, nothing we've done so far (having him clean up his mess, scheduled bathroom breaks, more attention throughout the rest of the day) has worked and I am losing my mind over it. What have you all had success with?


New Member
He might be feeling anxiety from the move. Have you tried taking him to counseling?
Not yet - I'm looking into counselors that will take our insurance. I was hoping for at least a temporary solution while I set all of that up. Frankly, I have no patience for it anymore. I cannot devote 100% of my attention to this child all of the time, which is what he seems to want. And he's refusing to understand that mom has things she needs to do during the day too.


Well-Known Member
Hi. Is this your first child? A five year old would not understand you have other things to do. He is not much more than a baby.

Son has had many changes in a short period of time, incliding a new man to get used to. This is hard for ANY child, although some hold it in better. Moving in with him is a huge change as is switching schools.

in my opinion your son needs counseling but you could use some too to help you understand and cope. Your son is very little and still requires a great deal of your time. Yes, I know. There are only so many hours in a day, but that is part of what parents do. We squeeze our kids into the hours and find help for our kids when they need it. There are county clinics with sliding scales.

Please be patient with your little boy and good to yourself. Get help. Your son will need a great deal of your time for the foreseeable future. The pooing is a symptom of a problem. He is not trying to be a bad boy or to ruin your life. It is age appropriate that when his world turns upside down he be extremely needy. And everything your son was used to has changed.

Love and light.


Roll With It
This is an extremely normal symptom of all of the change in his life. The more you can treat it as a normal, minor thing, the more it will just go away. If you blow up over it, and give him a lot of attention, either negative or positive, for pooping in his pants, the more he will keep doing it. Why? Because it is getting your attention. It really is that simple. When he poops his pants, clean him up and move on to something else with as little fanfare as humanly possible. I know you want to yell and scream and give him a time out or whatever your punishment is, but restrain yourself. Go ahead and go into your room in private and scream into a pillow if you need to. been there done that when my kids were little. But the more attention you give this bid for attention, the longer you will have to deal with it.

It IS normal for him to act out and need more attention. It IS normal for him to regress in some ways after such big changes in his universe. A man in his home and a big move are HUGE changes and then a new school? WOW! His entire world has changed. It really is a wonder that he isn't doing more to get your attention, rather than just pooping in his britches occasionally. He could be wetting them constantly too. Or drawing on the walls with the poop. Or any of 1000 other things. I have a cousin that wasn't well adjusted, so I could probably name some of the nastier things he could do. Like finding ways to get hurt, then telling the hospital staff that you did it to him. Trust me, that will upend your life faster and longer than any poopy pants ever could. And yes, my cousin did this four times to his mother. Luckily my brother and I were ALWAYS with him and we always said he was lying through his teeth. As did my parents. My cousin was a BAD liar at that age, so it was easy to see he was lying, which helped my aunt. But your son could choose from a LOT of more difficult to handle attention getting behavior. Things that could truly harm your family. So as icky and awful as this is, it really could be worse.

Please be patient with him. Please don't send him to school in pullups as this would embarrass him. I know parents who have done this and the kids got teased horribly for many years. Kids are awful to each other. Give your son time and patience when his pants are clean, praise for pooping in the potty, even rewards for pooping in the potty (candy and ice cream or whatever he likes but rarely gets are awesome motivators for little kids). But don't give him a big blowup for pooping outside of the potty. Give as little attention to that as possible so that you don't reward that.


New Member
Thank you all - I've been in touch with a family counselor today. I think it would be beneficial for all of us to go in and chat with someone about how we can make this transition smoother. In the meantime, I appreciate the advice on how to react.