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Susan Engel

Susan Engel is a mother of two, writer and parent blogger for Empowering Parents.

Sibling Rivalry: When Everything is a Contest

“I win!” my seven year-old son shouted triumphantly as he shoved past his ten year-old brother and raced inside the door. “No, you didn’t,” the elder retorted smugly. “I won. I had my hand on the door first.” My younger son immediately howled, burst into tears, and then promptly delivered a smart thump on the back of... Read more »

The Wimpy Mom Syndrome: From Doormat to Doer

Before you had kids, were you the people-pleasing type who sought praise from others and preferred to avoid conflict –  sometimes at the expense of expressing your own opinions or needs?  I was. I believed that being “nice” earned you friends. While motherhood has, to some extent, forced me to don the cloak of assertiveness,... Read more »

The Fast Food Connection: Childhood Obesity and Academic Performance

As Americans, we have become an “obesogenic” society.  We have seen the consequences of our environment and the media promoting increased food intake, non-healthful foods, and physical inactivity. We know that our kids suffer the associated physical, emotional, and social tolls associated with obesity. Sadly, our kids’ performance in school may be another casualty in... Read more »

Do Skateboards Come With Attitudes?

*Sigh*… Kids and their wheels.  It all starts out so young and innocent, doesn’t it?  I remember dragging around a Fisher-Price “Little Snoopy” dog as a tot (which, other than being a beagle, doesn’t look like the Peanuts’ Snoopy at all).  Then I had one of those rickety, old, metal baby walkers from the (ahem!) late... Read more »

Is Your Family Blended? or in the Blender?

You're not my dad! my older son shouted at my fiance the other day. Hooo-boy. Here we go again with the blended family stuff. And once again, I am feeling more like I'm in a blender than a blended family. My fiance came into my life-- and into the lives of my two sons-- just over... Read more »

Open Parental Conflict: Taming Your Inner Lion

Two recent articles on Empowering Parents sharply caught my attention. James Lehman's recent article, "Differences in Parenting. How Your Child May Be Using it Against You", and EP Editor Elisabeth Wilkins blog, "Is Yelling the New Spanking" both hit home. I'm ashamed, but I must admit: My fiance and I occasionally roar at each other... Read more »

The Homework Wars: Stuck in the Trenches

The school year is in full swing now, and we are back to three hours of homework every night, various physical and mental antics done in order to avoid homework, and the kids calling each other names. That encompasses the majority of what back to school means for this mom. What That's not normal What is... Read more »