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Girl needs to learn coping skills

Dear Abby: I am a teenage girl, and my family is important to me. I really wish I could treat them better. My mom and I always fight. She says little things, and I get mad at her. I feel bad for snapping at her and my sisters all the time because I really want them to know how much they mean to me. They are the best family you could ever get, and I just push them away.

Mom is going through a lot of health problems, and I know my being mean won't help her get better. Abby, help me, please.

-- Teenage Girl in Ohio

Dear Teenage Girl: The first thing you need to remember is that because your mother is experiencing health problems, she may not be at her best. Before you react and take her behavior personally, you need to remind yourself that she may be having a bad day.

When you are upset and under stress, you should not take it out on your sisters. A better way to cope would be, rather than saying something hurtful, to leave the room or take a walk and organize your thoughts. You'll then be better able to communicate your feelings in a rational way and avoid a fight.

Please try it. These are skills that take practice, but if you master them they will serve you for a lifetime.

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Make your own rules

Dear Abby: Is it OK to set different rules in our home than our grandchildren have in their own home?

We are inclined to limit running or wrestling indoors, but our daughter (their mother) doesn't feel that's necessary. At different times both children have been injured or gotten into trouble that could have been avoided by having a "no running or wrestling inside" rule. Is it our place to establish rules for our home?

-- Concerned in Texas

Dear C.I.T.: Absolutely, and without QUESTION it is your place to establish the rules of conduct in YOUR household!

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