USA: Meditating With My Terrible Two

USA: Meditating With My Terrible Two

 

unnamedWhen meditation became the big thing last year, just like yoga in the 1970s, my editor at Taiwan’s Commonwealth Parenting Magazine wanted me to write a piece about meditating with children. So I interviewed Jeff Zlotnik of Meditation Initiative for this assignment. He told me that kids can begin to practice meditation at the age of five, starting with a two minute session.

“Seriously? Does that really work?”

“Yes.” He then explained to me, while scientific evidence shows that human brains benefit from meditation sessions longer than 40 minutes, it is almost impossible to ask a 5-year-old to sit and meditate for that long. A two minute session is appropriate for a 5-year-old, and “even a short session like that helps relief stress and calm kids down.” (more…)

To-Wen Tseng

Former TV reporter turned freelance journalist, children's book writer in wee hours, nursing mom by passion. To-wen blogs at I'd rather be breastfeeding. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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LAOS:  Life Transitions with Toddlers

LAOS: Life Transitions with Toddlers

Well we made it to Vientiane, Laos!

As I typed that exclamation point it feels slightly anti-climatic after going through all the pre-move drama of logistics and planning, the emotions of saying good-byes, surviving the 36-hour journey across the globe followed by the trauma of transitioning into a new life.

And yet adding more than one exclamation point feels overdone after four weeks of being here and starting to feel settled. Things are starting to come together logistically and emotionally, which compared to how I felt upon our arrival is a world apart from where we began.

I can hear everyone asking, “So what happened?” “How was the flight?” “How’s Vientiane? ” “How are the kids” “Tell us everything!” – all the things I would be asking myself if I wasn’t the one writing this post. And I wish we could all gather around with coffee or wine or both and have a long long chat, a much needed mother-to-mother chat. A chat that would be more for me than for you because this move was TOUGH.

It was tough on me, tough on the kids, tough on my husband. The transition was tough, just like all major life transitions are tough whether it is a move, a divorce, a death, illness, new sibling – it’s all tough on the kids despite of how much we believe they can “bounce back”. Sure. They do bounce back but those bumps can be hard for us parents to take. (more…)

Dee Harlow (Laos)

One of Dee’s earliest memories was flying on a trans-Pacific flight from her birthplace in Bangkok, Thailand, to the United States when she was six years old. Ever since then, it has always felt natural for her to criss-cross the globe. So after growing up in the northeast of the US, her life, her work and her curiosity have taken her to over 32 countries. And it was in the 30th country while serving in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan that she met her husband. Together they embarked on a career in international humanitarian aid working in refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan, and the tsunami torn coast of Aceh, Indonesia. Dee is now a full-time mother of three-year old twins and continues to criss-cross the globe every two years with her husband who is in the US Foreign Service. They currently live in Vientiane, Laos, and are loving it! You can read about their adventures at Wanderlustress.

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SWITZERLAND: We Call It The “Terrible Two’s”

I was recently venting to a Swiss mom friend about my youngest graduating into the “Terrible Two’s.” She looked at me completely puzzled. Turns out, it isn’t even in their vocabulary here.

Whether it’s in your vocabulary or not, if you are a mom and you have a child that is beyond, say, 18-months, it’s likely you are no foreigner to the new behaviors that blossom as our little ones approach two. I remember when my first son hit that phase and most of our friends had younger babies.

I remember how they looked at us with wide eyes and then back adoringly at their own innocent offspring. And they didn’t know they were thinking out loud but I guarantee they were…at least in my mind. It was as if they were saying, “Oh my, they have lost control of their little one. Whew, we have this under control. Ours will NEVER be that out of control.”

And oh how shocking when theirs, too, embarked on the same behavioral detour. Luckily, they got to watch my child do it first and they had evidence that we were still living and breathing to laugh about it on the other side.

My youngest son, Owen, has been approaching the edge of the ledge since about 15 months. He is a (more…)

Kristen

Kristen is a stay-at-home to two little boys, Jackson (4 yrs) and Owen (nearly 2 yrs). She was born in New York, but eventually made her way down to Texas. She and her husband, Seth, met in Dallas and were married in December 2005. Nine months into their marriage Seth received a call that he had landed his dream job, one catch, it involved world wide assignment. The adventure took them from Texas to Washington, D.C., on to Bogotá, Colombia and then back to Washington, D.C before bringing them to Bern, Switzerland! Kristen and her family have currently lived in Bern for more than 1 year, where her husband works for the US Department of State. Four moves and 2 children in nearly 6 years of marriage have made for quite the adventure in motherhood! Kristen finds motherhood to be one of the most humbling and character building things she has ever experienced. The responsibility of raising boys with integrity and respect at times feels daunting, but she couldn’t imagine doing anything else! Kristen is a Speech Language Pathologist but has taken time away from working to focus on her family. Although she enjoys the travel and adventure involved in her husband’s career, she often finds herself feeling far from home and working to make the most of time abroad! On her blog, Seasons Worth Savoring, Kristen writes about daily life with two little boys, including her experiences as she navigates a foreign culture and walks by faith. In her free time, or rather in her busy time with two boys attached to her legs, Kristen enjoys cooking, photography, antique and thrift store shopping, working on crafts, and blogging.

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What’s in a name?

Pumpkin, sugar, peanut, dumplin’ – I’ve even heard parents refer to their babies as “woobie.”   Many parents have special nicknames they assign their children. My oldest daughter has grown out of her baby nickname, which was “Siddy.”  Her real name is Sydney.  We have a nickname for my youngest daughter, but it isn’t as cutesy as the names I’ve listed above.  It’s “Destructor”.   Yup, and believe you me she lives up to the name!

My sweet little Destructor is two-years-old.  I never liked the label “terrible twos.”  I know it is a hard age (believe me, I do), but  I don’t like to think that any age or stage, for that matter, is terrible.   Other synonyms for the word terrible are: frightful, appalling, dire, horrifying, horrendous and horrid.  I mean c’mon! A little strong don’t ya think? (more…)

Courtney Cappallo (USA)

Courtney Cappallo is a mom of two girls, ages 7 and 4-years-old. She is living her dream life by residing on Cape Cod and being able to stay at home with her two little beauties. Courtney is currently homeschooling both of her daughters for 2nd grade and preschool, respectively.

Courtney uses a mix of Classical Education and Montessori. She is a strong believer in teaching to the five senses. Courtney’s homeschooling efforts are unique, as she uses the latest technology of the Smartboard. She is also taking on the task of learning Spanish as a second language, as well as, teaching her two children and husband Spanish.

Prior to becoming a homeschooling teacher, Courtney was the Director of Marketing for Simon Property Group, which is the largest U.S. real estate company. Courtney was Simon’s Director of Marketing for the Burlington Mall, Arsenal Mall and Cape Cod Mall. Courtney is a graduate of Villanova University and is proud of her small town roots from growing up in Oxford, Pennsylvania, which only has two traffic lights! She can be found making homeschooling lessons and more at Table of Four !

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