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Why is my daughter so short tempered?

Q: My 10-year-old daughter, weighing 168 pounds, has a very fiery temper and screams and shouts at the drop of a hat. As long as everything is going her way she is fine. In the last 2 weeks she has started having problems sleeping, when she goes to bed. This is making her temper even worse than before. Can you give us any advice on what we can do?

A:I think your daughter is overweight. She is probably eating plenty of the wrong kind of food, like fried food, cola drinks, chocolates and pastries. All these foods should be avoided. Put her on a diet regimen, but do so gradually, after explaining it to her. She needs regular physical exercise. Give her a chance to do well in swimming or some sport and let her be motivated to pursue that sport. There are many TV shows that are scary and full of violence. TV watching should be rationed. Before bedtime, there should be soft music and story reading. She should go to sleep relaxed, so as to avoid nightmares. Make an effort to talk to your child and listen to her. She will then be able to accept certain rules that you suggest. The condition you describe could not have started suddenly, but must have come gradually. Do not expect a sudden change, but work on changing your child and your attitude to her.

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