Dear Feelings Doctor: I am writing to you because my daughter is the light of my life. She is very sweet, and our family revolves around her wants and needs. The problem is that lately she has a very bad temper. I don’t know where this is coming from, and need your advice. Tiff is 5 years old. Thank you.

— Fran in Ventura

Dear Fran: Your 5-year-old daughter should be the light of your life, and at the same time, everyone in the family should hold important positions, too — not just her!

Your sweet “Tiff” needs boundaries and rhythm in her daily life. She will not get that if you bend to her every whim. Set rules and guidelines, dos and don’ts with her, and see her blossom in a healthy direction.

Dear Feelings Doctor: I am in my late 40s and really would like to go back to school to finish my degree. I don’t feel like it is possible and that I may be too old. Your thoughts on this, please.

— Too Old in Santa Barbara

Dear Too Old: I have a question for you. How old will you be if you don’t go back to school? And what if you went forward to school? Sometimes we get caught up in how things look instead of how they feel to us. So, if you feel this is something you want to do, then it is possible. You decide — and then get to it, girl!

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Imagine This …

If we anticipate happiness, it will be there when we arrive. Write your own script of happiness today, and then again tomorrow. You can always plan for the future. Happiness likes to come along.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.