Love is the core layer of Sandwich Parenting.

Love is essential for developing a healthy and happy life. Children need love to thrive and their first experience with love is with their parents. We parents are busy creating a safe world for our children. But often our reactions to our children’s behaviour stem from fear, for their safety, for their future. We intend to do what is best for our children. If, however, our children do not feel love through interactions, they create unhelpful narratives in their minds, develop unhealthy coping mechanisms, and hear judgmental voices that sabotage their efforts.

From Overwhelmed to Surviving, from Surviving to Thriving

We must aim to put relationships first and practice unconditional love.

When we are overwhelmed by life and not aware of how our behaviours impact our children, the first step is just to be aware when we are behaving in a hurtful, unloving manner. Learn to apologize and explain that they do not deserve to be treated badly, but that we are human and may over-react due to our stresses, but that we do not want them to feel that they deserve to be treated badly. When we shift to a state of surviving, we can start to prioritize our relationship with our kids over our expectations of them. That’s when we have headspace to be more curious about their perspective and why they may be resistant or upset. A thriving relationship is one when we can model how to love ourselves and others, when they trust that we love them no matter what.

LOVERelationships FirstPractice Unconditional Love
OverwhelmedBe aware when acting unlovingApologize for unloving behaviour
SurvivingPrioritize relationship over achievementBe curious about emotional outbursts
ThrivingModel how to love yourselfLove regardless of behaviour