I set about this project, blogging and writing a book about constipation in kids, because I really believe so many kids and families need help in this area. But I do have at least one regret: I should have named the book "Yes, Your Child is Constipated."
Why? Because time and again I run into parents whose kids have toileting problems, but who have so much trouble believing that constipation is the problem.
She wets the bed because she's a heavy sleeper.
He has accidents at school because he gets too busy.
They pee their pants because they're lazy.
(I hate that last one, but I do hear it more often than I'd like.)
For all sorts of reasons that I get into in Chapter 1 of The Constipation Game Plan, almost all bladder challenges are made worse by poop. And, I'll repeat it until the cows come home, your child can poop every day and still be constipated.
I don't know for certain why parents are so resistant to acknowledging constipation in their kids. But I do have an idea: I think we parents feel like having a kid with toileting troubles means that we failed in parenting.
The way that society thinks about constipation, it's easy to see why. Pooping should be easy, we are told. If it's not, it must be because we didn't feed our kids well, get them enough water, make sure they were exercising, etc. etc.
I'm here to tell you that you are not a failure! Constipation is so common in kids, but an in-depth screen for constipation (one that goes beyond "is your child having any trouble with pooping?") is rarely part of a well-child visit. Poop problems can sneak up on kids, and can be a huge problem before you know it.
Read The Constipation Game Plan to learn all about how your child got constipated, and what you can do about it. And click here for my Secret Signs of Constipation handout. This one may be particularly useful if you are a health care provider and want to provide a resource to your families.
Let's get your kid on the road to being Un-stuck!
Christine Stephenson, PT, DPT