14 Answers

My daughter started smearing poo on her sister’s clothes and all over the toilet walls ( and I’m talking big thick chunky smear ). She either says she doesn’t know she does it or its because she’s angry at someone. She will do it if I say no to her over anything. She can tell you what she should do instead when she’s angry but still does this instead. I’m trying to toilet train my 2.6 yo but it’s hard to teach him properly when he watches his sister do this. This is the most recent in a long line of misbehaviour including spreading toothpaste and lotions everywhere, writing all over the walls and tv in permanent marker, breaking 4 pairs of her sisters glasses and constantly punching her little brother (or giving him “chinese burns” ). Each time when get one behaviour dealt with she starts another, but we can’t seem to stop the poo. She is an angel at school and I’ve had the teachers investigate for problems there but they can’t find any. She is very bright and among the top in her class. I don’t understand this behaviour and am completely stumped. We’re at the point of ignoring it except for making her clean it up but we can’t keep that up if we are to toilet train our boy.

Posted by nickyford, 27th May 2014

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  • No one likes to talk about it, but fecal smearing, also called scatolia in medical literature, is surprisingly common among children and adults. It’s really not uncommon by children with a developmental delay or in situations of stress. I have 2 foster daughters, the youngest has T21 and has smeared from a younger age seemingly out of sensory stimulation, whilst my 10yr old has done it out of anger (getting back to people) and attention seeking behaviour. https://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2015/04/27/6-facts-about-fecal-smearing-that-you-need-to-know/
    You don’t indicate your daughter has a developmental delay and mention your daughter either says she doesn’t know she does it or its because she’s angry at someone. In general I think your approach of ignoring it except for making her clean it up is really good ! I would seek some psychological help when her behaviour persists

  • Oh ew, that is so disgusting! I’ve never known of a child doing this. If it’s to get attention, it obviously worked. A GP chat might offer assistance

  • Did you go and seek help? This is quite an unusual behavior.

  • I would be seeking professional help, sounds like your daughter has some underlying issues for her behaviour. Poo smearing at age 6……she really should know better at this age. Not to mention her other misbehaviours

  • I hope everything has sorted itself out for you now.

  • she sounds like she might have ADD or ADHD or something along those lines or perhaps she inst getting disciplined to the point where it is not worth misbehaving. do you smack her coz this behaviour totally warrants a fair smacking also take away computer and electronic gaming time and toys (all of them if you must) aswell as time-outs (my 6yr old has to sit in a corner staring at the wall for 5 or 10 minutes [depending on what she is doing wrong] without speaking or moving) if all else fails i send her to bed, she must lay in bed without playing and go for a sleep if this happens i avoid checking on her unless i hear noises or talking

  • An elimination diet helped my sons behaviour. It may be worth looking in to.
    try http://www.fedup.com.au
    or visit a biomed dr to see if she has any mineral imbalances that could be driving her to this bad behaviour.
    good luck!

  • I would go and see a specialist about her behaviour, it could be something along the lines of ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) – I was diagnosed with that as well as ADHD (Attention Defeceit Hyperactive Disorder) when I was younger. I know it might not be easy hearing that, but even if you go just to rule it out.

  • Yep even tried all that! Teachers at school know & she doesn’t want her friends to know but still does it anyway.

  • tried reward charts, tried extra time and attention just for her, even postponed toilet training little brother – she can tell you all the reasons why she shouldn’t do it but still does it anyway – usually when she doesn’t get her own way

  • I don’t have any direct experience with your situation but it all seems like a big cry for attention. Little brother is probably getting quite a bit for toilet training and she may feel like she’s missing out. Have you tried a reward chart. So rather than having a punishment, recognize the good. i.e. everytime she does ” ” she gets a star to stick on her board, if she gets “?” stars, she gets a special playdate with Mummy (http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/reward_charts.html/context/457) . Best of luck

  • I really don’t know what to say other than as soon as she does it, get her to wash it all off and maybe put her in time out. I would also maybe bring up her friends and what they would think if they saw her doing it and maybe tell her if she does it again that you will share it with them and also share it with her teachers. I know it sounds a bit bad to try and threaten her with this but anything is worth a try and most kids wouldn’t want this to be shared.

  • I’ve tried talking to her and explaining about germs and health issues and everything but it doesn’t seem to help – she can tell me exactly why she shouldn’t do it but still does it anyway

  • Sorry, but I’ve never experienced that particular behaviour in a child of that age. Have you directly asked why she is doing it? It may all be attention seeking behaviour but I don’t have any real hints on how to stop it aside from having a discussion about what poo is which may stop her touching it and smearing it over the walls.

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