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Set ground rules and follow them. Never use the bathroom as leverage. Always knock first. Remember to unlock the other door. Don’t enter the other bedroom without permission. Respect the separate facilities. Respect the shared facilities.
Living in a civilized modern society requires living by and following simple rules to ensure that we all stay well, safe and healthy. The law governs some rules with hefty penalties for those who break them, while others are simple boundaries required by the society we live in.
All of us are taught the basic rules of etiquette while growing up. We are taught to respect our elders, share with our siblings, and conform to the rules to keep the peace. Sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom requires implementing ground rules to keep the peace between siblings.
Set the Ground Rules and Follow Them
To live in harmony with other Jack and Jill bathroom users, specific rules of etiquette are required to keep everyone happy. These rules specify the expected behavior and tidiness of the space, time schedules, and consequences if the rules are broken for any reason.
The most efficient way to ensure that everyone has their fair share of bathroom time, especially during high occupancy times, is to draw up a roster for all the users of a shared bathroom.
As the bathroom rules have been agreed upon by everyone using the bathroom, enforcing the rules and consequences for breaking them should be easier.
The Bathroom Should Never Be Leverage
Once all bathroom users have established the ground rules, each person should be held responsible for using the space during their allotted times only and keeping the area clean and tidy.
One rule that should always apply is the time schedule. All too often, especially with siblings, schedules can be disregarded, causing squabbles.
Squabbles can lead to siblings using their bathroom time as leverage over each other by using the room out of turn and staying in the room longer than their allotted time to punish each other.
Siblings might try and leverage extra bathroom time from a younger sibling or use their sibling’s bathroom privileges as a ransom to keep them from informing their parents if the sibling has broken a rule that the parents are unaware of!
Knock if You See the Light On
One of the problems with sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom is you might not know that someone else is using the room until you walk in on them!
An excellent way to prevent this type of embarrassing situation is to simply check to see if the light is on before you open the door from your side.
This should not be a problem at night, as you should see a stream of light underneath the door or possibly see the door silhouetted against the light in the door frame.
During the day, this could get tricky as you might not need to switch on the light if the room has enough natural sunlight.
Quite possibly, the best way to find out if the bathroom is occupied or not before you enter is to knock loudly, put your ear to the door, and listen for sounds. If you don’t hear any sounds at all coming from the bathroom, proceed with caution!
Remember to Unlock the Other Door
When you are occupying the bathroom, you will probably lock all the doors leading into the room from the inside to protect your privacy and avoid the embarrassment of anyone else walking in while you are otherwise occupied!
If you are sharing the bathroom with a sibling in an adjoining bedroom, always remember to unlock the interleading door into that bedroom before exiting the bathroom and returning to your own bedroom space.
Remember your rules of etiquette and avoid causing any conflict by being spiteful to a sibling! Try and make it a habit to check the other door before you leave the bathroom.
If you find it too difficult to remember to unlock your sibling’s door, try a mind trick by, for instance, tying bells to your door, which will rattle each time you open your door, reminding you to check the other door.
Another option is to install an specialized locking system for Jack and Jill bathrooms.
Don’t Open the Other Door Without Permission
Sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom space with a sibling does not give any sibling the right to enter their sibling’s room from the shared bathroom without that sibling’s permission.
A bedroom is a private, safe space for the occupant, and they must be confident in knowing that they can be safe in their own space without anyone else intruding into it without permission.
Respecting each other’s privacy and following the ground rules will ensure a peaceful life for all the Jack and Jill bathroom users.
Respect the Separate Facilities/Property
A significant consideration when sharing a Jack and Jill bathroom is personal space. Each bathroom user needs their own drawers and shelving areas to keep their toiletries and personal items safe, secure, and private.
As shared users of the space, each person should respect the privacy of the other and keep their hands to themselves! Because the space in the bathroom is shared does not mean that everyone can use all personal belongings that don’t belong to them!
If each sibling has a separate basin, ensure that each child has their own toothpaste and soap and is informed that they cannot use items that belong to a sibling, especially if they happen to be standing on the basin and not stored out of sight.
By agreement, hand soaps and perhaps certain items like shampoo can be shared, but face cloths and towels should not be shared for hygiene reasons.
While using shared facilities, each sibling should respect the ground rules and be mindful of how their actions could affect the other user of the room.
For example, leaving wet towels on the floor instead of hanging them up is breaking the rules, as it leaving hair in the shower drain or not replacing the toilet roll after finishing it!
The punishment for breaking the agreed-upon rules should be fit for the crime without being too harsh.
For example, leaving wet towels on the floor could mean extra toilet cleaning duties, or leaving hair in the shower drain could mean 5 minutes less bathroom time for a certain period for the offender.
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