Tensions have been high in our household the last few days.
It's official exam time for my 14 year old which has come a year early really as the school have decided to play around with the idea of having them sit 1 exam to get it out of the way. Just that important exams require a certain level of maturity to prepare for...
My darling son thought it was a good idea to play on his playstation yesterday to help him 'relax' with his friends. I quietly disagreed, yet for teenage harmony I decided to go along with his desire for an hour and a half. However, there came a point where mama had to intervene and suggest he returned to his revision.
And no, he wasn't allowed to go on there again in the evening. This didn't land well. At 19.45pm my son had decided he wasn't going to do the exam at all today. Or eat his dinner. Or get out of bed, unless it was to play on his playstation.
So we had one of those parent - teen stand offs which is not the most relaxing way to prepare for the most important exam you've had so far.
I'm aware of my strengths. Handling my own stressed teenagers isn't yet top of my zones of genius - I clearly haven't quite done my 10 000 hours here yet - though I am getting rather a lot of practice recently!
Fortunately, knowing how to handle myself kind of is, which thankfully kind of helps. Being highly aware of hormone havoc also happens to land in my area of expertise and despite my son's best efforts to convince me that HIS body was different and would relax better before bed with the playstation routine, sadly for him it didn't really work.
So did I handle myself perfectly?
Er no. I have to admit there was shouting involved, threats. My tween daughter also got involved in the heightened stress drama too so at one stage it escalated into a 3 way stand-off!
Yet thankfully I know my kids well.
Despite my anger that they hadn't helped prepare supper at all (it's part of their chores), and feeling like throwing theirs in the bin, I decided it usually does help to have them fed. We all get rather 'hangry' in our house. Like the toddler phase really all over again. So we ate. In silence.
And then, like the wonder of a new day, my children gradually transformed into the delightful ones I'm proud to call my own. Polite, reasonable, apologetic.
Meanwhile I rediscovered a little more patience.
We were even able to discuss the Yerkes - Dodson stress curve, mindset for performance and mindful breathing, all in teen terms of course!
Peace was restored as the storm thankfully passed.
Food, patience, a new tool and 'space' in our house are so often the simple medicines required.