Potty Training

Carden Conservatory Preschool

Potty Training Success

Applying the Carden Philosophy to Potty Training


Each child is a unique individual. A successful program is sensitive to the child’s social, emotional, and physical needs. Our developmentally appropriate potty training program focuses on the individual needs of your family, helping you and your child enjoy a successful experience in an encouraging and nurturing environment.

The Child’s Approach

“The Child has eyes that see, and ears that hear. He has experiences and reaches conclusions” … “For a long time his achievement is fragmentary. The teacher (and the parent) must accept the child’s approach (and the child’s pace).”

Excerpted from: Quality Teaching, Successful Learning, Mae Carden

As true as these words are for academic learning, so are they for potty training. Make sure that the child sees and hears positive, encouraging words about going on the potty. Let him see the restroom, the Big Kid pants, and the joys of being diaper free. Remember that for some this can be a long term goal, for others it may happen quickly.

Thinking From the Inside Out

Excerpted from: Quality Teaching, Successful Learning, Mae Carden


The purpose of potty training is to the child to gain control of his/her body’s functions. It is a time of great success and achievement. Mastering this new skill will help build your child’s self-esteem and enhance his positive self image.

“Is it time to give up the diapers?”

Children at this age are so in need of control that if a child senses that using the potty is something that you are choosing for him, then it gives them a focus to rebel against. Potty training must at least give the appearance of being the child’s choice. This means that parents must wait until the child is willing to “ditch” the diapers.

Signs of Readiness


Carden takes a self-mastery approach to potty training.   Implementing this program requires that children be ready to willingly participate in the process. Willingness and readiness on the part of the child are necessary to create a positive experience. Only if the child finds the experience pleasing will it be successful for the family.

  1. The first step is knowledge. Exposing your child to the idea of toilets and their functions eliminates uncertainty.
  2. The second step is encouragement. Encourage the child’s natural interest in the potty and its use.
  3. The third step is security. Let your child know that he is loved wherever and whenever he chooses to go on the potty, and even if he does not choose to do so.
  4. The fourth step is opportunity. Take your child to the potty and offer the chance to go regularly.
  5. The fifth step is reinforcement. Whether the child succeeds on the potty or not, his effort should be rewarded.

Our staff will work with each family to develop a plan that offers opportunity and reinforcement which is consistent and manageable both at home and school.

Each plan will be designed to offer an incentive that interests the child and is acceptable to the parent. The consistency of the plan between home and school is essential to success. The child should realize that both his parents and his teachers support and encourage his efforts. A daily recognition by the parents of the child’s efforts during the school day is integral to success, as is recognition by the teacher of the child’s ongoing effort at home. We must all work together to create a consistent, positive plan for the child’s effort to be successful.

Presenting the Opportunity

Children will be escorted to the restroom in groups every hour and a half. ( 7:30, 9:00, 10:30, 12:00, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00) Each child will be asked if he needs or would like to go on the potty. Children will be encouraged, but not forced to go on the potty. Visiting the restroom and seeing their peers using the facilities will encourage the children to try in their own time.

Children will be given positive feedback, verbal and non-verbal. They will receive encouragement for each success, but no criticism. Children who do not “go” on the potty should not be made to feel that they have failed, but encouraged to seek the next opportunity for success. Your child will proudly present to you his/her daily Potty Training Chart for your encouraging words.

Reinforcing the Idea

Each family will be encouraged to carefully consider the type of reinforcement that they choose. Each child will respond best to rewards that are of interest to him. If your child is fond of insects, bug stickers might be best for your daily chart. If she loves flowers, a flower stamp might be best for you. Remember, the most vital encouragement and reinforcement that your child needs is praise and a smile from his/her loved ones as you discuss the Potty Training Chart he shows you each day.

Suggestions for Reinforcements

  1. Stickers
  2. Stamps
  3. Treasure Chest Items
  4. Choosing a story
  5. Being Line Leader

How can Parents and Teachers help children feel competent as they master this skill?

Carden will work hand in hand with the parents to ensure your child’s success in potty training. Our staff is available to discuss any concerns that you may have concerning your child’s progress. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that will help your child to be successful in the potty training process. Each child will receive immediate positive reinforcement for every attempt the child makes through a sticker chart that will help to outline the child’s progress. Parents are encouraged to discuss and praise their child each day for the progress your child has made. Together, we can make the potty training experience positive and rewarding for the child.