“The 18 steps of going to the bathroom (as a dad with 4 daughters)”
I know its a bit of a silly title today, but there’s a mixture of learning and entertainment here
Bear with me 🙂
When we own our own businesses, most of the time we have to teach people something:
Whether its teaching a process to a client
Or teaching one of our team how to do something
And as a parent, teaching our kids on most things in life 🙂
And the better we get at the teaching, the better we can help others, in a way that benefits both them, and likely you too.
If you can’t teach easily or well, then when you try and help someone with something, it can cause a whole lot of stress, so it makes sense to get better at it – trust me, it’ll be worth it 😉
And I came across a little exercise earlier today, and did it for fun, and will be sharing it with my team for them to practice too – I thought I’d share it with you now.
This is about explaining something that you’re likely very experienced at, but how would you teach someone else your ‘process’?
So the question is this:
Think of a task that you do regularly (e.g. making a cup of coffee). Now, imagine that you’ve just met someone who has never done this task before—write down instructions for this person to complete the task.
And I was in a bit of a silly mood, so went with this one:
Task: Going to the bathroom (when you have 4 daughters at home)
I’ll list these in steps to help other dads who may find themselves in the same situation:
The trigger: Your body tells you that you need to visit the toilet
The outcome: Spending 5 minutes by yourself in any bathroom
- Realise your body has just told you that you need to go to the bathroom
- “Closest toilet?” – Survey your surroundings: which toilet is closest, and how far do you have to go to get there?
- With the knowledge from #2, now figure out where all the girls are in the house
- Loudly proclaim: “Dad needs to go to the toilet” loud enough so all those close enough hear you
- Start walking towards the closest bathroom
- When (not if) the 11 year old shouts: “Dad, I’m bored, play with me!”, reiterate sentence from #4
- When the 11 year old then chases you, and tries to jump on your back, expand on the description, to let her know that a piggy back right now won’t help you achieve what you’re trying to do, and you only need 5 minutes
- Step 7 will take about 5 minutes of negotiating, but don’t lose sight of your end goal!!
- Once the 11 year old has agreed to you having a toilet break, keep moving in the direction to the closest bathroom (be ready though, it’s not quite over)
- When you’re a few steps away from your bathroom, your 14 year old will now come to you, in tears, because she’s just had a life drama (usually about something that’s not fair, which is absolutely true (and she gets that from her dad), but your job is to help her navigate this as she develops into an amazing young woman. It’s not right to dismiss her right now (to achieve your ultimate objective), but it’s important to acknowledge it, and then help her understand you’ll come back to her, and help her through it, once you’re finished – you can use: “Yes, I hear you, and that sounds hard. Can dad come and talk to you once he’s finished in the bathroom please?” – you’ll normally get a yes to this, so you can continue to the next step
- Finally, we’re at the bathroom door – you open the door, only to find the 12 year old camped out on the toilet with a book. You realise she’s probably been there for the past 2 hours, and so she’s going to need to be reminded where she is, and whilst the book is a really good one, the toilet seat ring on her backside and the craving for food are both very real, so she’ll need to extract herself out of the latest teen love trilogy, to get food.
- Tip: step 11 will take more than 5 minutes, so once she’s got her head out of the book and is starting to move towards food, move towards the next bathroom.
- As you’re now heading to the second bathroom, keep an eye out for both the 11 year old and 14 year old who are carrying promises from you that they’re ready to cash in – they’ll think you’re finished if they see you again!!
- Find an empty bathroom,
- Close the door
- Sit down, to finally enjoy the 5 minutes to yourself!!!
- After you’re finished, turn to realise you’re out of toilet paper, and now it’s your turn to ask your kids for help
- Shout “Can someone get me some toilet paper”, loud enough for the girls to hear, but not too loud, so the neighbours don’t hear.
Extra tip: If you read though the instructions before you started, congratulations, and you might add in an extra step between 15&16 = Check for toilet paper before sitting down.
Additional training for steps 8 & 10: FBI Negotiation tactics & strategies, the 2008 edition.
So three questions:
- Did I miss any steps?
- Did you learn anything from it??? 🙂
- What would you pick to teach? And feel free to have a go and send it back – it’ll be a good exercise to teach something to someone new!!
Have a great day whatever you’re up to!!
Jamie “always trying to help, even from the bathroom” McKean
p.s. I’m going to be working on a lot more training for both my team and the wider world (ie putting it on YouTube) – if there’s anything you’ve been wondering about/needing help, send it my way – you might get a list of steps sent back to you 🙂