Revitalizing your exhausted tweens and teens, post-quarantine

The pandemic coming to an end is exciting for kids, but they are exhausted, too. A psychologist explains how parents can help them.

Psychologist John Duffy, author of "Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety," practices in Chicago. He specializes in work with teens, parents, couples and families.

(CNN)After three long pandemic semesters, most parents are so happy for their tweens, teens and young adults to finally be back in school full time, with some inside-the-building face masks one of the few trappings of the pandemic remaining in their daily lives.

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.

      Not leaving home to go to school

      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