The Daily Reminder – Day 29: Partner + Respect
I know this wasn’t included in my original plan, but I think we should also include a solid couple of days devoted to the health of our marriage/relationship/partnership. If you are currently single, don’t worry, these things could certainly apply to any relationship if you wish.
For the past 4 weeks, I have tried to create a daily reminder that will make you a better mother, woman, sister, friend, father, man, brother, etc. Everything I have included is meant to bring us better health, but truly, at the heart of what I hope to do is to create a generation of great models for our kids. Because what I have learned in all of my work with kids is that they don’t want us to TELL them how to do things. They want to SEE how to do things.
They want to see you having fun, experiencing joy, showing forgiveness, finding rest, eating healthily, expressing gratitude.
Although they may not admit it now, they admire you. They want to be like you. Someday they will BE you. The man or woman, mother or father, who is trying to figure it all out.
My hope with this whole month is that perhaps you will go back to any of these days and re-do them. Maybe you will spend an entire week with just the one topic. And if you have an idea for something I should include – please let me know! I love to hear from you!
For the final two days of our 30 day experiment, I want to spend time honoring our current relationships.
One thing I say a lot to the parents in my therapy room is that, “You are the model for relationships for your kids.” In other words, every romantic relationship they will have in the future, every. single. one., they will compare to yours. They will define your relationship as the “norm” – even if it isn’t always normal.
- If you and your partner laugh a lot, they will think that is normal in relationships.
- If you and your partner go out on dates a lot, they will think that is normal.
- If you and your partner argue a lot, they will think that is normal.
- If you and your partner avoid one another, they will think that is normal.
Even though logically, kids will know arguing and avoiding does fit with their knowledge of “love,” since their parents do it, it will become the normal narrative in their experience.
I could go on and on about common things that partners do, but you get the idea. Whatever you and your partner do, they will also find themselves doing in future relationships (albeit subconsciously).
So today, we will focus on respect.
When you disagree with your partner, rather than arguing to prove your point, show respect for their opinion by changing yours (especially for the small things!).
Use the word respect when you are in conversation. “I respect what you did at work by standing up for that…” It might seem silly, but I have made a living in making sure our words matter, and RESPECT… that word matters a lot and should be spoken aloud more often.
Recognize when you have made subtle disrespectful comments or gestures. When you dismiss a person’s opinion, it is disrespectful. When you don’t pause to consider the other person’s perspective, it is disrespectful. When you speak over someone, it is disrespectful.
Today, work to recognize those things and try something new!