Some days, if you were me, scrolling through my feed, you could be forgiven for thinking that relationship doesn't really matter anymore.
That, in this new world, our social responsibility ends at our fingertips.
That the only opinion, happiness, fulfilment, and affection that we should invest in is our own.
You are all you need ... ?
And I don't disagree that self-loathing is not the path to happiness.
But don't we still crave the encouragement of our friends, the acceptance of our parents, the support of our spouse, and the respect of our peers?
Even with all the self-love one can muster, I struggle to see how we can possibly fulfil our own need for community and relationship.
I believe that you and I are hard-wired for connection.
Studies show that when we have social closeness, relationship, responsibility and opportunity for service, we live happier and longer lives!
And I believe that our words help to create the beautiful and powerful mesh of our relationship with each other.
When we love someone, we speak love.
When we are grateful for something, we speak thanks.
When we are humble, we speak grace.
When we value someone, we speak acknowledgement.
When you hear these words, when you are genuinely thanked or acknowledged, don't you feel the little relationship-bucket in your heart getting a little fuller?
Maybe you thought that acknowledgement was too much to give - or too much to ask - when there has been so much pain between you.
Maybe you didn't realise that this could be a key to the door of peace and understanding in your co-parenting.
Maybe you have subconsciously subscribed to the scarcity mindset that says to uplift someone else means weakness and degradation for yourself.
But the truth is: whoever gives the most, wins.
And finding a way to acknowledge each other - as well as graciously receiving acknowledgement - is finding one way to heal, make peace, and connect again as parents.
So, I'm here to help you re-write the script.
I want to see you flourish as partners in your parenting journey - championing each other the whole way.
Which brings me to today's Co-Parenting Script tip:
The first one is for your Parenting Plan.
By including something like this:
We acknowledge that we are both important parts of our child's life, and that each of our contributions are valuable.
... you set the tone for your agreement.
And you remind yourself, every time you pick it up, that your children love and need you both.
The second one is for your new script:
The teacher said Timmy did really well with his talk this morning - thanks for the preparation you did with him.
New language for new moments.
When you see the good in each other.
When you value the important role you each play in your child's life.
When you realise that you don't have to be connected as romantic partners to be connected as parents.
Can you think of something you can acknowledge your co-parent for next time you see each other?
Go ahead and try it, if you like.
And take notice of what is better, even if it's just a little bit.
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