Monday, February 14, 2011

Fit to Burst

It's a well-known joke that women need to speak a certain amount of words per day to be happy. Somewhere between twice and ten times as much as men. One interpretation of the joke claims women speak more because they have to repeat everything.

Either way, when women, men, or even children aren't given an opportunity to do or say the thing they need most, they become fit to burst. Like my roof.

This is a picture of a ceiling beam my husband had just refinished. A recent snow storm caused a build-up of ice on our roof, which crept up under the shingles and our roof became fit to burst. Water poured in through the ceiling. "Mommy! There's a waterfall!" my son said.

When you think about it, people aren't much different than roofs. We all have a certain stress tolerance level which, once reached, can cause us to burst at the slightest offense.

Take a young child throwing a tantrum. A friend of mine quoted a play therapist who said, "A tantrum happens when a child can no longer deal with their environment."

There are many ways to deal with tantrums. Removing the child from the stressful environment, ignoring the child, or giving them something fun to do in hopes of preventing the outburst. No one wants their child to have a temper tantrum, but of course, most children will at some point in their young lives.

What can be done to keep your child from becoming fit to burst?

Perhaps the easiest answer is to allot more time in their day for the things that matter most to him or her. The chance to "say all their words," or color, or simply, play.

©, 2011-2012

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