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The young Army doctor, our primary care physician many years ago, was chatting with me about child-rearing. My two were then 8 and 10. I said they sometimes lit my too-short fuse and I overreacted, speaking to them more harshly than I should. But if I thought I had been wrong, I was flexible enough to apologize to them. That’s good, the doctor said. But, he added, it’s much better not to do it in the first place.