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Real Talk for Real Teachers with Latoria Marcellus, Amy Speidel and special guest Joan Morgernstern

Episode Summary

If you’re familiar with Conscious Discipline, you know that transformational change begins with an adult mindset shift. In today’s episode, special guest Joan Morgernstern explains why toileting is no different. An educator, parent coach, and author, Joan has developed a kinder and more effective approach to “potty mastery.”

Tune in to hear how to shift your mindset and language around toileting so you can empower children to learn this new skill. And if you want to learn more about potty mastery, stay tuned for Joan’s upcoming book with Conscious Discipline.

Essential Takeaways

  • Adults must shift their mindset around toileting and view it as supporting children’s skill development, the same way we support them in reaching other milestones. We need to let go of the stress and pressure around toileting and remember that our children will eventually master this skill too.
  • Growing up is a stressor for many young children. Instead of telling children they’re “a big kid now,” Joan encourages parents to tell children, “You have a new important job. You’re a body boss now.”
  • The two key skills of potty mastery are 1) Listening to your body and 2) Taking care of your body. Before toileting, normalize the way kids are already using these skills (e.g., listening to their bodies when they’re hungry or thirsty and taking care of their bodies by bathing, washing their hands, and going to sleep).
  • Celebrate missteps as an essential part of the learning process. Through every other milestone, children’s missteps were celebrated. When they took their first step and immediately fell, for example, the adults in the room cheered. When toileting comes around and missteps are not celebrated or even neutralized, the shift is abrupt and scary to children.
  • Often, toilet training can be children’s first experience with shame, leading to issues with performance anxiety. When we take a kinder, more empowering approach, we teach children that they have a support system behind them when they encounter challenges. And if it takes a bit longer to overcome a challenge, it’s okay, because they’re moving in the right direction.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :00 Introduction
  • 2:18 Introduction of guest Joan Morgenstern
  • 3:27 What does it mean to be a parent coach?
  • 5:30 What challenges are parents experiencing right now?
  • 7:59 Joan’s expertise in toileting
  • 12:30 Shifting language from “potty training” to “potty mastery”
  • 16:26 Common misinformation about toileting
  • 23:14 Two parts of potty mastery
  • 33:01 Quick toileting tips for caregivers
  • 40:03 Trust the process
  • 43:30 Celebrate missteps
  • 46:07 How children’s experiences with toileting affect other areas of life
  • 54:14 Recap and discussion
  • 58:43 Question from a listener: What do you do when your child is experiencing big feelings and doesn’t want help?
  • 1:01:07 What’s Conscious Discipline celebrating?
  • 1:02:41 Wish Wells


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