I've got two theories of my own, I've never seen them written down in a magazine or a book, I've never even heard anybody mention them, I don't know why - they seem obvious to me. More to the point they are (I think) important, and definitely useful, if they are correct.
One of the theories is about fostering, the other isn't, but they are linked.
I'll start with the other, it's about the menstrual cycle.
The male doesn't have a cycle, or if they do it's almost invisible compared to a woman's. Men believe their bodies - and their emotions - stay in a level and constant state.
It's become common belief that at one point during the menstrual cycle women's emotions are jiggered about. Not long ago it was subject of all sorts of 'jokes' which don't bear repeating, jokes about moodiness, unreliability and the rest. I'm not going to pretend these things never happen, I'm grateful that attitudes are improving a bit, and instead of disapproval women sometimes get a bit of sympathy. Not enough, but it's a start.
But nature is all about cycles and compensations, and here's my theory which like I said is my own - maybe it's out there somewhere but I've not come across it and I think it deserves airing.
Yes, many women experience a point during the cycle when they are not at their best.
Women also experience a high point at the opposite end of the cycle.
Women enjoy a week where they are ultra calm, deeply thoughtful, amazingly quick witted, stupendously outgoing, loving, generous...you name it.
Women, in the high part of the cycle are Superwomen.
Surprise surprise; no jokes about that. No mention even. No mutterings from other halves over a pint about how glorious her indoors is at the moment.
No-one ever notices when other family members are flying.
That's one theory, the other is fostering related, it's this:
Children in care have to deal with horrendous emotions, really awful feelings. Fear, anger, longing, frustration, confusion and many more.
How they manage to regulate themselves to get through the day is beyond me, but bless them they do.
Most of the time.
But occasionally, and there's no denying it happens, they go off pop.
I've never been happy with any of the terms available for when a child finds it all too much for them.
They are rare, but worth thinking about. We foster parents have to be there for them with whatever safe care practices are right for the child.
But afterwards, I find, something magical happens.
And if you're not vigilant, you miss it.
They have peace.
The letting off steam might last 5 minutes, there might be stamping of feet and words.
But afterwards, for hours, sometimes even days, they are purged. They exude calm contentment - it's a joy to see.
The trick is to look out for it because good behaviour doesn't ping on the radar.
They'll talk to you more evenly and more openly than the norm. They'll sit quietly, eat their food carefully - they almost have that smile in the mind's eye they tell us you get after meditating.
The phenomenon helps me through the letting off of steam, because I know it's a) necessary and b) going to lead to an extended holiday of happy, measured behaviour.
Nature tries to give us highs after the lows, it's a shame we are always on the lookout for the lows and not the lovely highs.