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Does Your Kid Poop His Pants on Purpose? When to Worry

Before potty training, it is normal for kids to poop in their pants. But once they reach the right age, they are taught how to use potties. After the potty training, you expect them to start using them independently. But this is not the case with some kids. Some will continue pooping in their pants even after undergoing potty training. Such children will sometimes use the potty, and sometimes they decide to poop in their pants on purpose.

Well, if you have a kid with this kind of behavior, you are not alone. Intentional pooping in pants happens to many children. But the question is, why would children with good potty training skills intentionally soil in their pants? This article gives insights into the causes of intentional pooping in pants and how you help them to overcome this habit. Keep scrolling if you want to learn more about this topic.

What Makes Kids to Purposely Poop Their Pants?

When your kid whom you have adequately trained to use a potty starts pooping in pants, you can’t help but begin to worry. When it happens, as a parent, you will assume that it is an accident. But you will start getting concerned when this turns into a habit. You will start wondering what could be the problem. Here are some reasons why some children soil their pants:

Some kids may purposely poop in their pants because, all of a sudden, they don’t feel like using a potty. So, they just soil their pants because they feel like doing it. It may happen if, as a parent, you are not strict on the use of the potty. Being lenient may make them believe that it is okay to do so.

Also, children have a short attention span. So, they defecate in their pants without even thinking. In most cases, they get occupied with play, and by the time they realize they need to go to a potty, it is too late. Since they can’t control their bowel, they soil their pants.

However, according to research, some kids poops in their pants because they are suffering from encopresis. This is a condition where children experience a bowel movement that happens to be painful. To try and evade the pain, such children usually avoid pooping. The act of withholding defecation usually forms a mass and makes the poop hard. The fluid that should be getting out, instead suddenly passes through the rectum, making the children soil their pants. This process is what is known as seepage.

To Punish or Not to Punish the Kid

Potty training is not easy, and it varies from one child to another. We have those that will master the skill of using potty faster, while others will take time to get everything right. As a parent, you need to learn to exercise patience with your kids during this crucial learning process.

According to child experts, spanking your kid is not an effective way of training your child how to use a potty. When you spank children, they develop physical problems, and using the potty may be a problem. It can also make the potty training process longer that it should.

One thing that punishment does to a child is that it develops bad behavior called lying. Spanking makes some kids lie, while others will hide. This derails your potty training efforts as a parent. So, stopping the bad habit of soiling their pants will be difficult.

How to Diagnose the Problem

When you notice that your child has developed a habit of purposely soiling the pants, you first need to calm down. Take time to study your child to determine the reason behind this habit. Talk to the child and try to do a reminder on potty training. If the child cannot change the behavior, there could be an underlying problem that needs medical attention. 

As discussed earlier, some children purposely soil their pants not because they want to, but because they have an underlying health condition. So, if all your tactics of correcting this behavior fail, you need to visit a doctor. A pediatrician will be in a better position to establish the problem. Proper diagnosis, examination, and treatment should help the child to stop soiling the pants.

How to Deal with Purposeful Pant Soiling 

Nothing works better for children like unconditional positive regard if you want them to learn a new skill like potty training. Positive reinforcement and encouraging children have worked better in many aspects of child development. It makes children feel loved. Expression of love makes children less rebellious. They become obedient and loyal. The moment they feel loved, they tend to follow instructions to the letter, and they will always strive to do the right thing.

Sometimes kids get busy with the play until they forget that a potty exists. So, they will just soil their pants because they have no time to access their potty. To help such children, you need to have schedules for potty. Please encourage your children to break in between play to use their potties. With time, they will get used to it.

When it comes to discouraging a horrible habit like intentional pooping in pants, children need guidance. Try as much as you can to use positive reinforcement. Please encourage them to use the potty, and praise them every time they do it. This method works better than spanking. Hitting the kid does not correct the problem, but instead, it instills fear in them. So, if it is just a habit that a child has developed, you can use verbal encouragement to get them to do the right thing.


Since children’s attention span is short, they pay less attention to some things. So, intentional soiling of pants among children is bound to happen at some point. However, if you put the above points into consideration, you should help your child stop the behavior. 

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