Baths not Showers

by Joseph Kwon in


Anyone with kids knows they have a limited threshold for changes to their schedule and once it is exceeded, any little thing can make them erupt like Krakatoa. Adults have better control, but we also have our limits and when those are tested, fuses can get short.

One week, various changes to our son's schedule taxed him - house-hunting, a circus performance at school, road-trip to Grandma's - a perfect storm to reduce the tolerance of a 5 year old. So when I told him he needed to take a shower Sunday night, this was not well received and his resistance was...how shall I put it, spirited!

I had 3 choices, but given his delicate state and that this wasn't a matter of life and death, I opted for #3, hoping it would work, but not sure.
1. Fight
2. Retreat
3. Flow around

"Let's forget the shower. How about a bubble bath? You can use your boat and turtle and hippo!"

What came next was sort of funny - a big smile and "SURE!" Then the excited pitter-patter of toddler feet and the sound of my hand slapping my forehead in disbelief at this turn of events.

The lesson this reinforced for me is that the framing of a task has a HUGE impact on our attitude towards it. Write a report or tell a story? Give a presentation or share challenges and successes with colleagues? Have a difficult conversation or face a problem to ultimately strengthen a relationship?

Hopefully this approach makes me more likely to tackle seemingly unwelcome tasks and be more persuasive in encouraging others to do the same. EZPZ!