Does Encopresis mean bad parenting?

For many of the parents whom have children with Encopresis, a common thought that I hear a lot of is wondering if it’s a result of bad parenting. It breaks my heart when I hear this. My own parents have also been accused of being a bad parent or to not have brought me up right. This is a majorly bad assumption. My parents raised me correctly and I’m proud to be their daughter (only daughter).

Due to the many different (and many unknown) triggers of Encopresis, it’s very hard to pinpoint what exactly is the individual’s trigger. For some families it’s a food sensitivity, moving house, death in the family (or other traumatic experiences) or simply something wrong with the body. Sadly not many people (including fellow survivors) open up publically about the condition, leaving others in the dark and feel so alone. Myths and misconceptions breed including false accusations from people that don’t truly understand Encopresis. Everyone’s story and experiences are unique.

Each child responds differently in different situations, and respond accordingly. Parents do as best they can with all the love and support within them. Encopresis isn’t a result of bad parenting, and it never will be. As a vocally proud Encopresis Survivor, I will support all parents through this condition as best I can (including supporting fellow battlers and survivors). If you as a parent is reading this blog, please be rest assured that you are NOT a bad parent. Encopresis does not mean bad parenting and I stand by that. It’d be easier if my parents knew what was happening, but that’s not what happened. They aren’t bad parents. They love me and support me. This is what a parent does. It’s not their fault my body wasn’t working properly. Only a small percentage of people in the world are diagnosed (and not diagnosed officially) as having Encopresis. If I’m not at a certain developmental point in my life as I “should” be, how come I have been measured with a societal standard that doesn’t know anything about personally having Encopresis?

You are not bad parents (nor are the parents that have raised you if you are an Encopresis Survivor/battler with this). I’ll go onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show (if she’d have me) and verify that Encopresis does NOT mean, or result from, bad parenting. I’m here for you. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you been accused of being a bad parent because of Encopresis? How does it make you feel?

You can always e-mail me:

12 thoughts on “Does Encopresis mean bad parenting?

  1. James Parkin 28/11/2013 / 2:41 pm

    As an former sufferer of encopresis I know for a fact that it was not my parents’ fault that I soiled my pants as a child, that I often found it difficult to use the toilet and that I disliked going for a poo in public toilets. It is hard enough to be a parent to a child who soils without giving yourself a guilt trip that it is somehow your fault that your child has problems using the toilet. To any parents reading this, do not blame yourself for your child’s condition, blame mother nature. And thank you, Dimity, for posting this.

  2. CLim 20/11/2013 / 8:45 pm

    Encopresis and enuresis as a consequence of child abuse is not rare (Iwaniec, 2006), and we should not forget about those kids who develop this kind of behavior as a result of bad parenting. They exist, thought they only account for a fraction of the cases of encopresis, and their encopresis may develop into a treatment resistant encopresis without proper care.

    Iwaniec, D. (2006). The Emotionally Abused and Neglected Child: Identification, Assessment and Intervention. (2nd edition). UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  3. Seth 30/09/2013 / 2:21 pm

    I wish to be careful and considerate of my words. The suffering and humiliation are the fault of the disease. Not the parents, or the survivor. We have the power to choose to love, regardless of a
    disorder or disease, is active, or inactive. I understand that I had a choice. To love and accept myself, just as any person has. I can make good choices or bad choices. Parents can too. I understand that if, I publicly humiliate myself, and this could do irreparable harm socially, and its not something I have cured myself of, or my parents have, that I should look for professional help and guidance. Not doing so, doesn’t make the problem go away. If I choose to suffer as an adult, that is my fault. If a child suffers it is the parents responsibility to seek out help. Don’t blame yourself for the childs actions or feel guilty or ruminate. I do encourage the parents of active sufferers to intervene and help the child understand thru treatment things can get better. We dont have to live like that. There is hope, and there is a solution. Peace and love to you all

    • naturegirl015 04/10/2013 / 8:34 pm

      Wow Seth!! Thank you so much for your very wise words, and sharing with me privately your story. I too agree that there truly is hope and a solution (for those that are reading this).

  4. regina 30/09/2013 / 7:56 am

    Thankful for finding ur page. My son is 11 and has enco all of life. My heart aches for him. Praying this will end for him.

    • naturegirl015 04/10/2013 / 8:32 pm

      Hi Regina. Although having Encopresis isn’t easy, my heart aches for him and for you. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I’m here for you. I’m an Encopresis survivor and one day your son will be too.

  5. Charlotte Olson 26/09/2013 / 9:20 pm

    My son has had this for ever.
    We are constantly taking movicol to help and his tummy gets so big.
    He is 13 and we have seen numerous people with some being more helpful than others.
    He takes spare clothes which are hidden in his school bag so he can change if need be.
    He has Asperger’s and I sometimes weather this has any part in it all.
    He gets on with it bless him and I applaud him for doing so but I also feel so sorry for him.
    I thought I’d share this with you, I have been writing children’s stories and I have done a book called Suzie’s Toilet Time which helps to talk about using the toilet and the sensory issues but perhaps I should do one with this topic.

    • naturegirl015 27/09/2013 / 9:03 pm

      Hi Charlotte,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your stories (and your son). I have added the book to the blog links page as mentioned on my Facebook page. Keep reading. Take care.

  6. 25/09/2013 / 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! It is encouraging to hear a survivor speak up as encopresis is not the parent or child’s fault, but is a frustrating condition for both children and parents.

    At we provide parent tips for treating childhood encopresis — many parents incorrectly believe that a child will “grow out of it” while, in fact, no maturing out effect has been scientifically documented. Nobody WANTS to have encopresis, and I’m thankful that you are open to share your experience with others who experience encopresis. Survivor stories truly bring hope.

    • naturegirl015 26/09/2013 / 7:27 pm

      Hi all at ,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I have tried to send an e-mail but it doesn’t seem to be working. I have added your website to my links page (hopefully that’s ok with you). I would love to get into contact with Dr Stephen about Encopresis. Encopresis is definitely a frustrating (and socially taboo subject), with numerous possible causes. I do however believe it is possible to “grow out of it”, but there are some factors that help it along (personal experiences). Feel free to subscribe to my blog and share it around. The more families I can help and inspire with my story, the better. I absolutely love what you said, “Survivor stories truly bring hope”. It truly does. Keep up the excellent work (and post more often). Have a great day. 😀

  7. Harry M VanHoudnos III 24/09/2013 / 11:46 pm

    Its not the parents fault, nor is it the child’s fault. Its the fault of the Disease! THAT is what causes so much headache and problems for both the child and the parents!

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