Richmond Times-Dispatch

Dear Abby

- Dear Abby: www.DearAbby.comor P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Dear Abby: I’ma 24-year-old woman who has beenmarrie­d for four years. My husband, “Jerry,” and I have two young boys. Jerry is military. I stay at home with the kids and work part time online on an associate degree. We struggle financiall­y, but our basic needs are met and, overall, I’mhappy withmy life.

My problem is I’mfindingmy­self struggling to control a very strong temper. The kids or my husbandmay be getting onmy nerves, or I’mlate turning in an assignment, or I’munable to get housework done— these frustratio­ns build up inside andmake me want to throw a fit, scream or throw things, essentiall­y NOT be the cool, responsibl­e adult I typically am.

I know this is incredibly immature, and I realize I’mwell off in the grand scheme of things, but this anger still brews. I have never had a problem controllin­g my temper before. Can you help? — FIRED UP IN FLORIDA

Dear FiredUp: Thequarant­ines and lockdownsm­ay be part of the cause of your near meltdowns. Many people are stressed and spread thin, and the isolation isn’t helping.

Because you are constantly with your children, it’s important that you manage your emotions before venting them on your little ones, which can be destructiv­e.

When an adult yells or acts out in front of a small child, the child will often shut down out of fear that violence may follow. This is why it’s so important for you to find appropriat­e ways to express your emotions.

My booklet “The Anger in All of Us andHow To DealWith It” offers suggestion­s for directing angry feelings in a healthy way. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus a check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, MountMorri­s, IL 610540447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

Sometimes when people are frustrated, they lose their temper with those presently around them. The ability to control your emotions is crucial so your children won’t grow up thinking that exploding is normal.

There are healthy ways of dealing with frustratio­n. Among them: leaving the room, going for a walk or, better yet, a short run, or saying to yourself, “Please, Lord, don’t let me lose my temper!” before opening yourmouth.

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