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Listen To Me!

by Pam

Hello. I'm not sure how to start this. I feel like I'm stressed all the time. My husband and I have 2 girls 9 and 14 and they are very active. I find myself sometimes yelling at them for silly stuff but in the moment I don't care.

Same for my husband. He has told me before they worry about what kind of mood I'll be in when I pull up in the driveway. I guess I expect perfection. I yell at my 9 yr old for her penmanship, her room, trash, being slow, her hair, not finishing her food.... you name it and I've yelled about it.

The issue with my oldest is her weight, I constantly am on her about it. I don't want her to end up like me. I am overweight. They do anything I ask but sometimes it's not the way I would've done it so I start yelling. The same with my husband, he's constantly saying if it's not your way, than it's no way. No one's happy unless I am.

He is always telling me not to sweat the little stuff so much--but how do I do that? I've spanked and called my family names, and that's not what I want to do. Later, I think about it and bring home a special dinner or take them out somewhere, but you can still see the hurt in their eyes.

I'm so stressed out and I feel like I'm on a roller coaster half the time. How do I stop this? I love my family more than anything in this world.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Pam, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell you're in a lot of pain, especially when you look at what you're doing to the people you love. I know you feel caught up in your anger, and I know that can be a very helpless feeling. I will try to help.

First, I suggest that you do all of the exercises on this FAQ page. If you take each exercise very seriously, Pam, and do them consistently for at least three months, you will get some lasting results. And, you will probably start feeling a lot better after just a few days.

If this doesn't work, you may want to consider counseling or an online anger management class.

One way or another, you can do this. Make up your mind to get to the bottom of your anger and need to control things around you, and you will.

By the way, the absolute worst thing you can do re. your daughter's weight is to monitor it and parent her about it. Tell her you're going to let her deal with it on her own, because that is the only possible way that she will ever get healthy with her eating and weight maintenance. Then let it go, and just focus on her positive aspects, praising her for those.

Make a list of ten things you like about your husband and children every day, and tell them by the end of the day. Stop the criticizing, advising, correcting and questioning of their choices. You won't be able to stop the negative feedback unless you implement the positive. Human beings are naturally self-corrective, and when you stop monitoring them they will start monitoring themselves.

And, rest assured Pam, they will never do it the way you would. That is the blessing of their being individuals. Be grateful for that. Celebrate their individuality, and tell them how much you enjoy their uniqueness.

Use this two part imagery process for positive mental rehearsal, to prepare yourself to be loving and supportive to your family. Do this at the beginning of the day, every day, until it becomes automatic.

You will be amazed at how good you feel, and how much more love will be in your family.

You can do this, Pam. Believe in yourself and make it happen.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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