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How can I get my son out of the habit of holding stools?

Q: My 6-year-old son has a bad habit of holding his stools and urine. He is so engrossed in playing and doesn't want to go to the toilet. There are times he passes stools and urine in his pants. In spite of talking to him repeatedly, he doesn't seem to understand. What can I do to get him out of this habit?

A:Children differ in the rate at which they get toilet trained. Some accidents may happen, though it may not be desirable when they start going to school. It seems that your son needs to be reminded gently to go to the toilet at repeated intervals. Instead of scolding or nagging, you should be gentle in leading him to visit the toilet. In case he wets or soils his pants, he should be shown how he has to take responsibility of cleaning up. Praise and encourage him whenever he directly indicates a need to visit the toilet. He can also be helped to learn good toilet habits with the help of play, stories or puppets.

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