Incentives can make a big difference
Why are laxatives almost always necessary?

But he poops! How can he be constipated?

Our doctor says my 5-year old can't be constipated because he poops every day! But he has frequent "poop accidents."  Any ideas?

This is a very common misconception about constipation even among pediatric healthcare professionals. The fact is that a child can have a fairly large, soft stool every day and still be constipated.

In my book, I talk in more detail about the two types of withholding: complete and incomplete. With incomplete withholding a child may go to the bathroom every day but still not fully evacuate his or her rectum. Over time, this results in a gradual backup of stool which slowly, but surely, stretches the rectum to the point where a child begins to have stool accidents.