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How Parents Can Help Minimize Psychology Impact of Encopresis


Encopresis, a condition characterized by involuntary bowel movements in kids who are past the age of toilet training, can have significant psychological impacts on both the kid and the family. Let’s review some tips on how parents can help minimize the psychological impact of encopresis on their little one:

Open Communication

Create a safe and supportive environment where your kiddo feels comfortable discussing their feelings and experiences related to encopresis. Encourage open communication without judgment, and validate your kid’s emotions to help them feel understood and supported.

Leading with Empathy 

Educate yourself and your kid about encopresis, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Understanding the condition can help alleviate feelings of shame, embarrassment, and frustration, both for you and your little one.

Positive Reinforcement

Focus on praising your kiddo for their efforts and progress, rather than getting upset about accidents or setbacks. Celebrate small victories and milestones along the journey to overcoming encopresis, reinforcing your kiddo’s confidence and self-esteem.

Establish a Routine 

Establishing a regular bowel routine, including scheduled toilet times and opportunities for relaxation and privacy, can help manage symptoms of encopresis and reduce anxiety surrounding bowel movements.


Encopresis can have a significant psychological impact on kids and their families, but with the right support and strategies, parents can help minimize the emotional toll. By fostering open communication, educating themselves and their little, providing positive reinforcement, establishing routines, and seeking professional support, parents can better support their kiddo’s journey to a healthier gut. 


  • Baker SS, Liptak GS, Colletti RB, et al. Constipation in infants and children: evaluation and treatment. A medical position statement of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 1999;29(5):612-626.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Soiling (Encopresis). Healthy Children. Accessed January 17, 2022.
  • Borowitz SM, Cox DJ, Tam A, et al. Precipitants of constipation during early childhood. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2009;22(2):147-150.
  • Brazzelli M, Griffiths PV, Cody JD, et al. Behavioural and cognitive interventions with or without other treatments for the management of faecal incontinence in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;(12):CD002240.

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