I was stuck feeling like it was my job to "baby" my now-26-year-old brother, as I had for years after our parents' nasty divorce. In fact, I called you about a year ago about this problem. You told me that I should leave him alone and let him be a man. In that one minute call, you released me from the burden of being the glue that held the family together. Since then, I don't badger my brother about his life, and I stopped letting our parents use me to smooth things over between them and my brother. I let them know that their relationship (or lack thereof) was between the three of them, and I would be happy to bring a pie for Christmas if I'm invited, but that's all.
Since I made this change, my brother and I are a lot closer. By my taking a step back, he has grown up a lot, and I now see that my behavior toward him was actually holding him back. My parents were less happy about my change in attitude, but eventually, they got the message.
Two months after I made this change, my boyfriend of two years asked me to marry him. He told me that my changing how I interacted with my family showed him that I was ready to be his wife. I hear calls on your program all the time about Moms "over-mothering" and handicapping their children in the long run. I am thankful I learned this lesson before having my own children. I had no idea this seemingly small change would make such a positive ripple in my life. Thank you Dr. Laura!