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How are you? Seriously... how are you?

 

It's been nearly a year since the world first faced a common foe, a tiny, mutating, unpredictable little bugger. It's almost like we all became Earthlings united in facing an alien attack against our world. However, this (let's call it a) situation has highlighted many social inequalities, fragile systems of the modern society, and divisive beliefs that tear families and countries apart. It's not just being physically distanced and masked up, but also intellectually and emotionally.  So, while we are all in it together, it has also been very isolating and lonely for many.

Online schooling, amiright?!

At least the Black Lives Matter movement has finally broken through some kind of soundproof wall into mainstream media. Activists and allies have made some progress that is beyond lip service or organizational policies with no teeth. That's good news. It has also brought to the forefront the plight of other POCs. I am grateful for their hard work.

How are you? To be honest, I have found it difficult to articulate a stance. I'm not sure if it's a cultural, personality, or conditioned thing, but it's been a struggle to figure out how to talk about race with my kids, my friends, and on the site. Swallowing the Bitterness of Asian American Racism captures a lot of how I feel about the recent Anti-Asian sentiments and attacks. While trying out the new social media darling Club House recently, I found out that an Asian influencer started StopAsianHate.info because while there was a hashtag (#stopasianhate), people were stumped about how to consistently share information about what was happening. Do check it out if you are interested.

Anyway, how are you? I'm not fine. I'm confused and stressed. But now, more than ever, it is so important for me to be the kind of parent that my kids need me to be. What does that mean? It doesn't mean being perfect. (In fact, I'm trying to say goodbye to that insidious judgey voice. I recently did an Ice Breaker Speech for my Toastmaster's Club titled: "Hi, I'm Sherry and I'm a Recovering Should-A-Holic.")

Seriously, how are you? I'm struggling with the gap between my expectations and the reality. BUT... I am going to be compassionate to myself, to my kids, to my husband, to my friends, to everyone around me. It means that while I'm going to raise the bar of what I'm aspiring to be as a parent, I'm not going to attack myself for mistakes (learning opportunities) or imperfection (pilot project). I'm going to learn, grow, and try out new ways to get where I want to go.

How are you? During a wonderful walk this morning, my friend responded to my rant about something by acting out her analogy. She walked into a pile of snow and declared, "Not every path we walk on will have the snow plowed. In fact, most won't. So we trudge through it or climb over it. It's gonna be hard. And that's life. We don't complain about having to walk through some snow. Happiness all the time is a fallacy, just like all paths are plowed is a fallacy." So my friends. I'm trudging a little right now. Through snow. On a path that I thought was going to be plowed. But I'm okay with not being okay.

And you? How are you?
This week's article:

Book Review: Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn


Prolific education and parenting author Alfie Kohn argues that there is a better way to parent than using rewards and punishments.

He points out that using the carrot and the stick methods is pretty much just two sides of the same coin. It's all about getting a child to comply with OUR expectation of what is right without taking into consideration the perspective, experiences, and thoughts of the child. And key point: All kids need is to feel unconditional love and support from us, that we will always be there to help no matter what.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is wondering about the validity of their approach to parenting. When I read this book, I delved into my own past and realized that conditional parenting (or feeling like one has to earn love) leads to perfectionism which leads to anxiety. It was a pattern that I was already starting to see in my own children and had fumbled around to change. So I had already started my change, but this book helped reconfirm that the hard work to DO THE WORK was completely worth it.

Lest you feel that reading books like this will make us feel like terrible parents because of our bad behaviours, au contraire. In fact, it gives you hope that it's never too late to change your beliefs and therefore your actions. We start where we start. Let's make our corner of the world a better place.
Thank you for your support!  Please forward to anyone who might enjoy Sandwich Parenting podcasts or articles. Sign up to be on my email list... and most of all, keep in touch with your thoughts or feedback. Stay safe, keep warm, and be loved. ~Sherry


Past articles!

Podcast: A Recovering Perfectionist
Michelle Lee Diasinos, is a Conscious Parent advocate, coach, author and co-host of The Mothers’ Roundtable podcast. A recovering perfectionist, she transforms her life once once she became a parent.

Book Review; Complex PTSD by Pete Walker
A wonderful book that describes Complex PTSD and how to heal from its devastating effects on daily life.
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