DEAR ABBY: I have four beautiful children. I have tried to raise them to appreciate the importance of family and understand that love is the most important thing of all.
My problem is my youngest daughter, "Samantha," who is 24. She's divorced with two boys, ages 5 and 15 months. She lives at home with me and my husband, which is not an issue. What does bother me is that she flies off the handle and yells and screams about anything and everything. She doesn't get that trait from me. She learned it from her father.
I know my daughter loves her children, but she is showing less and less patience with them. I have tried to help her overcome this problem, but so far nothing has worked. She is hollering more than ever. I think she functions better when she is working full time, rather than being a stay-at-home mom.
My husband and I worry about Samantha and the kids, but we would also like to have more harmony, peace and quiet around here. I realize that counseling might help her, but we can't afford it. Have you any other options? -- NEVADA MOM AND GRANDMA
DEAR NEVADA MOM: While it may be unrealistic for you to expect peace and quiet in a household with two active boys under the age of 6, your daughter is only fueling the fire by losing control and yelling and screaming.
Children learn by example, and my concern is that she may be perpetuating the same destructive habits she learned from her father and teaching her sons unacceptable behavior.
Your daughter may be frustrated because she feels trapped in her role as a stay-at-home mother and could possibly benefit by allowing herself some time for herself. As I say in my booklet, "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It," "Having one's freedom of movement restricted, or feeling 'tied down,' often makes one angry." The first step in dealing with one's anger is to recognize that you are getting angry BEFORE you lose control and express the anger inappropriately.
My anger booklet can be ordered by sending a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. If your daughter is willing to read my booklet, it should give her some helpful insight into the cause of her anger and some tools for coping with it.
DEAR ABBY: We are throwing our dad a surprise party for his 60th birthday. Instead of gifts for our dad, my sisters and I would like to have the gifts go to charity. How would we word that on the invitations? -- MARGARET IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR MARGARET: Include in the invitation a note that says: "The gift of your presence will be present enough for Dad. However, if you feel you must give something, then a donation to ( ) in his honor would be appreciated."
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