Class is, by and large, in session and in person. Sports, clubs, plays, band and other extracurricular activities are in full swing. This is the semester families have been waiting for. After missing out on sports seasons and graduations, dances, games and other rites of passage, adolescents and young adults essentially have their lives back. This should be an invigorating time for them. Right?
Not quite. My young clients, ranging in age from 10 to 22 years old, tell a different story. They are exhausted.
Here's why, along with some quick and easy 15-minute solutions to help them.
Over the past year and a half, many of our kids have become accustomed to rolling out of bed and logging into class, all within just a few minutes. No shower, no breakfast, perhaps no change of clothes. Now, new routines and habits need to be reestablished. If your child leaves little or no time to prepare for the day ahead, this contributes to their exhaustion.
15-minute solution: Encourage them to gradually wake up earlier, 15 minutes a week or so, to allow time to get ready. Within a few weeks, they should be back in their morning groove.
Going to sleep way too late
Despite our best efforts, many kids stayed up and slept in later during the pandemic. They were simply not getting enough sleep. Now back in school full time, kids haven't adjusted their sleep patterns. This adds to their sense of exhaustion, as they are still up late, but waking earlier, missing the eight to 10 hours they need each night.
15-minute solution: Make gradual adjustments to your kids' bedtimes, scaling back 15 minutes every few days until they are sleeping enough. Eliminating screens from bedrooms can help significantly here as well. And perhaps most importantly, make sure you establish sound household sleep patterns, including adjustments to your own sleep.
They didn't have to work hard
Kids are way out of practice academically. These past semesters have been a hodgepodge of learning methods, and kids tell me that none have been particularly effective. In moments of honesty, mos