PODCAST INTERVIEW

Third Culture Kid Tim Brantingham

Tim Brantingham comes from a long line of Ohioan missionaries living in Asia (5th generation to be exact). He was born in Taiwan, returned to the US for college, lived in various cities in Asia as an expat, married an American-Japanese woman, is the father of three kids, and recently relocated from Hong Kong to Japan. He’s not only a Third Culture Kid (third culture = sitting in between home and host culture) and a Sandwich Kid, which means his parents made decisions that greatly differed from what was expected of THEM, he is also a Sandwich Parent himself, creating a unique parenting approach for his family.

This is a very special podcast episode for me as it was an opportunity to reconnect with an old friend from high school. The last time Tim and I had a heart-to-heart chat, we met up in Hong Kong in the late 90s. A decade after our high school graduation, we were both about to make big life-changing decisions about our futures. I was moving from Asia to North America and he was doing the reverse. Like many of our friends, we had not quite yet found a place to plant our roots.

Join us as we discuss how all this moving around impacted his life and how he parents. 

Like many of our friends from high school, Tim grew up in Taiwan. I first met him in grade 9. As a new student, I didn’t know him very well, but our school was small enough that we all crossed paths with each other, in the cafeteria, in classes, and in the open grassy area encircled by the U-shaped building with all our classrooms and lockers (see photo below). 

In our senior year, we worked together as Class President and Vice President. I enjoyed working with him because he was (and still is) such a humble, nonjudgmental, and spirited good sport about everything. We split up duties more or less by our strengths: his being that he was spirited in front of people, easily bringing them onside, and mine being that I was overly serious at meetings and stressed about details.

When you listen to our conversation, you will appreciate Tim’s introspection and vulnerability. I like that he thinks deeply about his strengths and weaknesses and that he is willing to share his personal challenges.

We discussed:

  • How his father left generations of missionary work for “tent making,” i.e. making money in order to pay the bills.
  • How going ‘back’ to the US for college was a ‘horrendous’ transition.
  • As the first generation of not working in the church, he and his siblings were also the first generation to probably never ‘move back home’ to the US.
  • How his good friend and business partner helped him figure out how to leverage his “artsy creative” strengths into doing business and making money.
  • After 12 years of living in Hong Kong, they moved to Japan to find the roots of his half-Japanese wife.
  • Parenting for Tim and his wife is about finding balance between the privileges and downsides of expat life. 
  • Third Culture Kids are great bridge-builders. But there is a deep sense of rootlessness because we aren’t really ‘from’ anywhere, often dealing with an unresolved grief, as we are constantly saying goodbye to people.
  • The struggle in parenting, like in business, is balancing meaning, interest, and being helpful (restraining missionary impulses) with financial realities.
  • COVID has helped him rethink his priorities.

His final message to parents: “Don’t try too hard. Don’t overthink it. There is no formula. It’s okay to change course in the middle. I want the kids to see my struggle and hopefully they’ll learn from struggle.”

Tim is also Sandwich Parenting’s newly crowned inaugural guest writer! Read his first article “An Introduction to Third Culture Kids: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” here at Sandwich Parenting to learn more about this interesting term, which was originally coined by John and Ruth Useem to refer to expat kids from the United States, but now can apply to anyone who was raised in a culture that was not their parents’ original home. I relate to this identity for myself being not quite Chinese enough but not quite Western enough at the same time. Being a Third Culture Kid means that I’m ‘enough’ just as I am, making a new culture of my own!

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The Horseshoe and Senior Island
FOCUS ON YOU, PODCAST INTERVIEW

Czech-Iraqi-Canadian Author Elen Ghulam

Canadian author Elen Ghulam was born to a Czech mother and an Iraqi father. She spent her youth going back and forth between the two cultures and languages. Mother to three grown children, she is a writer, flamenco dancer, an artist, and a hostess-chef extraordinaire.

I’m a firm believer that everyone is unique, that everyone has their superpower and their own personality, but when I look up the word “unique” in my dictionary, I find Elen’s name, photo and website (“Novels to elevate your mind, move your heart, delight your senses and free your soul”)!! 

During my first year at university, away from home for the first time, I was drawn to Elen by the way she laughed with abandon. Her whole body would shake from her hearty roar of delight, and you could sense that her whole spirit laughed with you too (but never at you). That made her incredibly special to me. She was the older sister I never had. She was my first Muslim friend and thanks to her, I had my first experience with Ramadan. Watching her fast all day for her faith and then breaking fast at sunset was so amazing to me.

Join us in as we reunite virtually after decades apart.

We talked about how:

  • Due to her Czech/Iraqi background, from a young age Elen had a lot of experience with different perspectives in the world. Who knows who is right? You have to think for yourself! She grew up in an environment where she could question anything. Thinking critically was actively encouraged.
  • Prior to having kids, she had the fantasy of being the best mother in the world—you know, Mother Theresa + Mary Poppins + Mr. Rogers all mushed together! Lovable and strict. The kids would be the most awesome kids in the world, excelling in everything. But then she became a mother and realized that it was much harder than she thought.
  • She learned to be forgiving toward her parents because no matter what, you will mess up. You have to find ways to forgive yourself.
  • She brought up her children with no TV in the house because she wanted them to grow up in a ‘wholesome’ environment. The kids loved Sundays, when they would visit their grandparents… and watch TV! Now in their 20s, their noses are stuck behind smartphones, just like everyone else. On the other hand, they never ate fast food and to this day, they remain foodies who like to eat well (i.e., not at MacDonald’s.)
  • After 18 years as a computer programmer, Elen ended up taking a leave for a year and a half to take care of her son when he fell ill. She then discovered that she did not want to return to work. The situation made her realize that life was short and she wanted to do what she really wanted to do: write. She picked something she was passionate about over what society deemed “appropriate”.
  • She believes that creativity is an extension of the Creator. A way to connect with your spiritual side and your truth. It’s a hopeful and joyful exercise.

As an experienced mother of three grown children, her message is this: 1) Forgive yourself. You are going to mess up. You are human! Who knows what the right way to parent is anyway! 2) Let it go. You have no control. Parenting is a constant source of eating humble pie.

Elen currently lives in Vancouver with her husband after raising their three grown children. I highly recommend visiting her at her websitewww.ihath.com to read her incredibly joyous writing.

BOOK REVIEW, PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS

Parenting from the Inside Out by Siegel and Hartzell

This book is on the reading list for the parent coaching certificate program I started a couple of months ago. This reading list included many books I had been eyeing or had heard great things about.

Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell is a book I would definitely classify as a handbook for parents, a must read for those who overreact to their children’s “misdeeds.” I wish I had read this while I was pregnant or on maternity leave. But I remind myself what they said in the book: We have to be gentle with ourselves because we can only do our best under the circumstances of our lives. (Note: not including abuse, physical or emotional, of course.)

The book mostly explains why we behave the way we behave when our children behave the way they behave. Chapter titles are: 1) How We Remember: Experience Shapes Who We Are 2) How We Perceive Reality: Constructing the Stories of Our Lives 3) How We Feel: Emotion in Our Internal and Interpersonal Worlds 4) How We Communicate: Making Connections 5) How We Attach: Relationships Between Children and Parents 6) How We Make Sense of Our Lives: Adult Attachment 7) How We Keep It Together and How We Fall Apart: The High Road and the Low Road 8) How We Disconnect and Reconnect: Rupture and Repair and 9) How We Develop Mindsight: Compassion and Reflective Dialogues.

Each chapter includes some reflective questions called “Inside-Out Exercises” to spend time with concepts like “Think of an issue in your life that is impairing your ability to connect flexibly with your child. Focus on the past, present, and future aspects of this issue. Do any themes or general patterns come to mind from past interactions? What implicit emotions and bodily sensations emerge when this issue comes to your mind in the present?”

Each chapter also has an extensive section called “Spotlight on Science,” sharing research and studies as well as biological explanations on why we ‘lose it’ with our kids. These sections are particularly helpful for those of us who really, really want to understand our reactions.

I highly recommend the book because I personally had a lot of ‘ah-ha’ moments that normalized my experience as an Untigering parent. But if you are a super busy parent and just want the “Coles Notes” version: We have unresolved issues from our childhood. That can cause us to react with strong emotions when dealing with our children. We need to be aware of what we are doing, understand why, and do the work to build connecting relationships with our children. That takes mindfulness and reflection. And work, but it is well worth it, not just because it improves our relationships with our children, but it helps them become more resilient in facing their own challenges.

You’d think a parenting book that is telling you to change or else you will mess up your children would bring you a lot of shame and guilt. But surprisingly, it just helps you understand where it comes from so that you DON’T feel shame and guilt, which will leave you in a much better place to actually make the changes you need to make to be the kind of parent you want to be!

PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS, PODCAST INTERVIEW

Your Parenting Mojo

Jen Lumanlan is the founder and host of the “Your Parenting Mojo” podcast, where she examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting. She has qualifications from the perspective of having two Master’s degrees in psychology and education.  But what makes her so interesting is the critical eye with which she reviews the research and then breaks it down for parents. Listen to our chat to learn how a click-bait article led her to her research, many amazing podcasts, and coaching practice..

“5 Ways to Tell If Your Child Has a Developmental Delay” was one of the first email messages she received as a new mom, which she found to be not only very clickbaity, but not peer reviewed research, most often based on the research of White Psychology majors. With over 120 podcast episodes (she reads an average of 30 peer-reviewed studies for each interview), Jen does in depth studies for her listeners and readers to understand the research behind the studies telling us how to be better parents. Like so many of the other speakers here at Sandwich Parenting, she is passionate and incredibly articulate. You will learn a lot from her. I know I did!

I chatted with Jen about:

  • How bias is baked into scientific-research and how she works through the bias in the data.
  • What we use as rewards (sweets for vegetables, screen time for homework) and how that makes it more desirable! How does that impact what our children feel about these rewards?
  • Why she does not agree with compulsory schooling, where the person going to school doesn’t get to choose what they are learning. It is not that there is something WRONG with school if someone chooses to do it for their own reasons, but rather, people being forced to study things that do not matter to them is a problem.
  • The history of school – it was initially for the elite. Then as the church lost their power, the state stepped in to make sure that people were educated so that they had a population with skills who were interchangeable.
  • How the element of control was part of her childhood and how it is NOT her approach to parenting.
  • What is the parent’s need versus the child’s need in a particular situation? The only way to navigate a gap is to say “tell me more.”
  • Her podcast series examines her own White privilege and how that impacts how she parents and advocates for her daughter at school. Race impacts every aspect of how she parents.
  • Childhood trauma can affect our parenting. Her popular “Taming Your Triggers” workshop is offered regularly. It’s about listening and being present. This is a workshop that I believe all parents would benefit from, as we parents are often triggered by what we think are our children’s behaviours.
  • She is a Co-Active Coach. As stated on coactive.com, their coaching “delivers contextually relevant and experiential learning that ignites transformation and a life-long journey developing the deepest expression of leadership in each human being.” Coaching is usually about approaching the person as a whole being, most likely having the answers themselves. It is not therapy. And the method Jen uses is focused on being, not doing.

Jen’s message to Sandwich Parents is: “Parenting is a journey that can help to make you whole.” You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear how she describes the container we are building. (Is it leaky?) It’s a great analogy and a wonderful no-blame way to rethink how we are parenting.

Visit her website: www.yourparentingmojo.com or her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/YourParentingMojo

STORYTELLING

No Words

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May be an image of 2 people and text that says 'Mayim Bialik's Post Most Relevant Sherry Yuan Hunter Thank you Mayim Bialik for your heartfelt and thoughtful call out. There has been a lot of hate towards Asians for a long time, as well as less obvious, systemic discrimination and microaggression. We aren't usually very good at self advocacy or even defence, as it's pretty much trained out of us. But thank you for being an ally. We need this. 21h Like Reply Write a comme... GIF 6'
May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'Mayim Bialik's Post 21h Like Reply 6 Katie Gunther Bennek Sherry Yuan Hunter but it had nothing to do with Asians. It had everything to do with that mans sex addiction and the fact massage parlors are a trigger for him. He targeted massage parlor workers which happen to be a lot of Asians working in that field. These place are known for sex trafficking but nobody mentions that. 6h Like Reply View 16 replies... Write a comme... GIF 6'
BOOK REVIEW, FOCUS ON YOU

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Great Book!

This should be required reading for anyone who has to interact with people.

The concept of Nonviolent Communication is a powerful one. It’s all about being conscious and mindful of the impact of our words and messages. The key is to listen with curiosity—to listen in order to understand. To truly ensure that the other person feels heard and understood. When we listen with the intent to understand, we are listening with empathy and compassion.

When we listen with empathy, we can help meet each other’s needs. Marshall Rosenberg posits that most conflicts arise from miscommunication and misunderstanding that creates fear, guilt and shame.

This was a book assigned for my parenting course, but it’s completely changed the way I want to communicate with anyone, including my husband, my parents, and my friends.

The whole book was fantastic and all of it was helpful. It can be a difficult read for those who have had to deal with Narcissists or abusers who manipulate language, though, so just be prepared for triggers if you are not quite as healed from trauma as you would like to be.

Helpful Approach

What I found the most useful was the suggested approach to conversations, in which we each state our:

  1. Observations
  2. Feelings
  3. Needs
  4. Requests

Observations: Focus on facts and not generalizing it (pulling from the past or projecting into the future). It means to keep the conversation focused on the context and specific time.

Feelings: Focus on feelings free of thought or story. Be curious about those feelings and what they are telling us, specifically what unmet need is showing up.

Needs: All humans have needs. Understanding what needs we have, which are met, and which are unmet, can help us be more clear with ourselves and those we interact with.

Requests: Communications that are authentic and clearly transparent about our needs allow everyone to respond with what they can or cannot do. Requests that are free of demands come without the trigger to try to force the other person to comply.

The Benefits

There is no limit to how beneficial this book can be to anyone’s life. The concept of Nonviolent Communication starts with parents speaking with children, then people speaking with each other, and finally, groups to groups. If the whole world can shift towards the Nonviolent Communication approach in general, we would live in a more peaceful world, individually and globally.

Additional Resources:

The Center for Nonviolent Communication | Center for Nonviolent Communication (cnvc.org)

PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS, PODCAST INTERVIEW

Power Couple Coaches: Jen and Eli

Jen and Eli are a Canadian professional coaching team specializing in working with clients who come from toxic / dysfunctional / abusive families. They work with parents to heal childhood trauma so they don’t continue the cycle of abuse with their own children. Such important work. Join me as I chat with them today.

Parents to two teens, this husband and wife team decided shortly after their first child was born that they were going to raise their children differently than their parents did. With years of training, they are certified by the World Coaching Institute as Child, Youth, Parent and Family Coaches. They are dedicated to teaching “Respectful Parenting for Generational Transformation,” and specialize in providing a flexible, fully customized family coaching experience.

We talked about how:

  • Growing up in an authoritarian household (“Do as I say, or else!”), both knew that they wanted to parent differently.
  • Jen has had a lot of experience working with children with behavioural challenges. She learned early on how to build a connective relationship through sitting with them and listening deeply. She started by sharing these approaches with Eli.
  • They felt it important not only to heal their family intergenerational trauma, but what they learned can work was something they wanted to share with the world.
  • A lot of their clients like that there is both a mom and a dad to talk to.
  • Many clients have difficult emotional triggers to work through. A lot of time they don’t even know why. Children are so good at accidentally setting off these triggers.
  • Our job is to guide, teach, or mentor. But children can’t learn if they are in flight, flight, freeze, or fawn mode.
  • We always want to start with, “How do we control our kids?” but the real question is “How do we control ourselves?” It’s more about you and how you will manage things when someone steps on your landmine.
  • A lot of clients are afraid that their children will want to be estranged from them just as they are estranged from their own parents.
  • Having inappropriate expectations of children based on where they are developmentally will always lead to disappointment and frustrations.
  • Childhood traumas lead to addictions.
  • They have a Facebook community for people who grew up in toxic family environments and don’t want to set up similar dynamics in their own families. They even have people join BEFORE they have kids, they are so petrified of messing up!
  • Jen shared a very personal moment that forced her to confront the question of whether or not to go ‘no contact’ with her parents.
  • We have to decide the message we are sending to our children. Are we providing proper safety for our children? We have to teach our children to be strong in their convictions and that they will still be loved by us even if those contradict ours.
  • Remember that we are human. It’s so important to have rupture and repair moments. To model apologizing and having two-way conversations.
  • Jen and Eli will be launching an online step-by-step program to teach people how to bring about behavioural changes in their daily family lives.

Eli’s final message: Don’t ever give up on your journey. It’s not about the mistakes but how you deal with them that counts.

Jen’s final message: This is a transformational journey and it takes time. it’s not about being a perfect parent, but being human. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

Connect with Jen & Eli via their website Respect Coaching & Consulting – Parent Coaching, on Facebook Respect Coaching & Consulting, and Instagram: @respect_cc.

STORYTELLING, UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

I Hear You, Panic Attack, I’m Listening

Panic attacks.

I get them when I’m triggered.

I get them at 3 am in the morning.

I get them at 5 am in the morning.

I get them when I have to wake up to start my day.

I get them after reading an email.

They scare me and they demoralize me. They bring me to my knees.

My panic attacks can feel like a thousand chaotic voices.

This isn’t good.

That isn’t done.

You aren’t good enough.

What a failure.

When they start, I end up with waves of fear from my futile attempts to ward off the attacks.

I try silencing the voices.

I recoil in terror from all their accusations and predictions of doom and gloom.

My brain vibrates from the yelling and the shrinking, the pointing and the defending.

* * * * *

I’m learning to thank them, yes, appreciate their intention to protect me from — well — danger.

Danger from harm to the core of who I am.

Somehow, I ended up with a blinding fear of criticism about my judgment and decision-making abilities.

I have had to change my attitude of fear of criticism about my past unchangeable decisions.

* * * * *

Now I try to to tell myself:

  • I accept the past
  • I did the best that I could with what I had
  • There are consequences to all decisions
  • The only thing I can do is think about moving forward
  • My new decisions might still not be ideal
  • In the future I will be dealing with the consequences of my choices today
  • A knee-jerk reaction will be counterproductive
  • What’s the one baby step I can take right now that at least moves me in the right direction?

Okay panic attacks.

I’m ready for you.

I’m ready to listen to your warnings.

But I’m going to respond in a calm way to let you know that I can only do my best, that I did my best in the past, and that hounding me about what a terrible person I am is not going to make my life better. It’s making my present and future worse.

But I thank you for trying to protect me.

I thank you for trying to teach me.

So — now that I’ve heard you, I need you to be quiet so that I can figure out what next step to take.

BOOK REVIEW, LOVE FIRST, PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

There is a Better Way

The subtitle explains the book quite clearly: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason.

So many of us have grown up with the stick and the carrot as deterrents against and incentives for behaviour, so this can seem like a rational way to treat our children. Kohn argues that there is a better way.

When my kids were very little, I parented them that way: withholding approval until my kids behaved the way I wanted them to. 90% of my communications with them was to criticize them so that they could improve. However, something about it seemed off, even as I justified my punitive approach to correcting their behaviours. I became more aware that I was raging rather than disciplining.

Choosing to Parent Differently

When I finally realized that my children deeply feared me, I knew I had to change the way I parented. I started by verbally telling my kids all the time that I loved them no matter what. 

When we disagreed, we would often toss out to each other a reminder “I love you [Mommy/Kiddo]” as if the unspoken part was, “despite our disagreement or your poophead move just now”. 

Then I started shifting a higher percentage of our communication into conversations that built our relationship and trust, rather than me just doing parental “duties,” like nagging, reminding, cajoling and ordering, I watched the kiddie shows they liked to watch, we talked about their video games, etc. And slowly they stopped tensing up when I would come into the room, knowing that I wasn’t going to yell at them to do something they SHOULD be doing.

Now they say things like, “Mommy, you’re not going to like this, but…” and proceed to talk to me honestly. This change is a huge win for us because it means they aren’t trying to hide things from me but rather feel safe enough to share something that might have in the past made me very angry.

Why Unconditional Parenting is Important

The most striking long-term effect of love withdrawal is fear. Even as young adults, people who were treated that way by their parents are still likely to be unusually anxious. They may be afraid to show anger. Then tend to display a significant fear of failure. And their adult relationships may be warped by a need to avoid attachment—perhaps because they live in dread of being abandoned all over again.

Fundamentally Alfie Kohn’s argument is that behavioural scientists developed positive reinforcement as a way to control animal behaviour. Using this technique to influence children without taking the time to understand their thoughts, feelings, or intentions ends up being counterproductive for the longer-term goals we have for their success as self-sufficient and confident, resilient adults.

Parenting through fear may seem like it works in the short run, but a child experiences that as love that is conditional upon their behaviour. Because children fear the withdrawal of that love, they will often do whatever they can to stay in the good graces of their parents. They will be obedient regardless of their own feelings, perspectives, and ultimately what is actually right or wrong.

Creating obedient kids controlled by their fear of parents means that they may be easily controlled by others as well, like peers or authority figures and less able to fight for their needs or protect their boundaries.

Do we want to raise our kids to make decisions based on fear? Do we want them to have challenges with their relationships!? Do we want them to be easily manipulated by others? Or do we want them to know how they feel? To trust their own judgment about what is the morally right thing to do?

If I always tell my children that “they are wrong and I am right,” how are they to develop their judgment? If I dictate how they SHOULD feel, how can they learn how they DO feel, and to trust that? 

It’s about the Why

Shouldn’t our goal be for the children to refrain from doing certain things not because we’ve forbidden them, but just because they’re wrong? We want them to ask “How will doing x make that other kid feel?”not “Am I allowed to do x?” or “Will I get in trouble for doing x?” We want our children to understand the impact of their actions and intrinsically make good decisions.

In other words, we want to raise moral human beings, people who make decisions based on logical reasoning and empathy for those around them, not because they were told that something is right or wrong. 

The world is a complex place with many moving parts. The more we help them find their own way to interpret the multiple pieces of information, the more they will be able to live their lives the way they want to—with integrity and confidence.

We cannot just raise our kids based on how we see the world, but how they will need to see the world when they become adults.

Our Own Childhood

By the way, Kohn points out: “It’s pointless to talk about what holds you back from being a better parent without reflecting on how the way you were raised shapes your internal architecture. It affects not only what you do with your kids, but what you don’t do.” 

We must do the work to figure out where our parental playbook came from, how that impacted us, and which parts we want to change as we parent the next generation.

Just a gentle warning: For many of us, doing this work can be triggering. Understanding the past can help us connect the dots to why we behave in ways we don’t want to behave now as parents and lead to positive change. At the same time, it can be incredibly difficult to live through the fears from our childhood.

But we are all doing the best we can and change takes time, not measured in days or months, but years. We start where we start. 

PARENTAL ASPIRATIONS, PODCAST INTERVIEW, UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

A Recovering Perfectionist

Michelle Lee Diasinos is a Conscious Parent advocate, coach, author, and co-host of The Mothers’ Roundtable podcast with two children of her own. Read her chapter in the #1 International Best Selling Change Makers Volume 4, where she shares her personal transformation that led her into this place of service to parents navigating their unique path. A recovering perfectionist, Michelle delves into the challenges parents face when perfection becomes a problem. One of the many exciting projects she’s initiated is “Heal My Story,” a platform for people to anonymously write about their healing journey. Join our chat and hear what moved me to tears in what she said.

I chatted with Michelle about:

  • Motherhood was the first time she truly met herself.
  • She spent a lot of time doing work on her own, making peace with her past, releasing anger, frustration, and sadness. She was able to get to a place where she could be comfortable with the fact that her parents did the best they could at the time and did what they did with love.
  • Prior to parenthood, Michelle was a Special Education Teacher and worked in occupational therapy. She was a very calm person and thought she would be a patient mother. But being a parent is nothing like what you think it’s going to be like!
  • Michelle put immense on herself to be the best parent ever! She then realized that she was also pressuring her son to meet her perfectionist tendencies. As many parents did, she took her son’s behaviour to be a reflection of her (bad) parenting. This kind of situation made her realize she had a lot of work to do.
  • Even as a trained professional who was calm and using all the ‘right’ tools and techniques, she discovered she was capable of raging anger, explosions, and subsequent guilt. She’s come to realize that the anger is just an invitation to look deeper. All it meant was that she had a need that wasn’t being met.
  • Perfection is insidious! Most of us don’t even know we are perfectionists. Listen to the language you are using when speaking to yourself. For example when parents go to bed at night, they’re often thinking, “Did I do a good enough job?” This question might be driving their every action!
  • Children’s behaviour is an expression of their unmet needs. We as parents can do everything possible to meet their every need. How do we help them gain the tools to deal with not having their needs met?
  • Her “Heal My Story” project is a platform where anyone can share aspects of their healing story. I highly recommend you try it out if you are thinking about processing your trauma through writing. It is for anything that has surfaced during your healing journey that you want to put out there in the world.

Michelle’s message to Sandwich Parents is: “I acknowledge you. I know how tough this can be. I want to remind you that compassion is the salve. When you mess something up, and you inevitably will, because you are human, give compassion to yourself. Because each time that you do that, you are showing yourself unconditional love. You are showing your kids how to do the same, so that they can go out into the world and they can show it to others. This is sacred work. I see you. I thank you for doing this work.”

Join her on Instagram and Facebook, where you can learn more about how to live a truly Conscious Parenthood. And listen to her podcast, The Mother’s Roundtable, where every week she and her co-host Jessica Crescenzi  examine a topic related to parenting and give advice based on their expertise as parent coaches and their perspectives as mothers.