How parents can help their kids navigate COVID-19 fatigue

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By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Almost a full year into the pandemic, COVID-19 fatigue is hitting young kids and teens hard.

Children process time spans differently than adults, so the ongoing restrictions can appear more difficult for them.

“This is going to be going on a year and a year is still the same for that child, but the way they comprehend it and process it is definitely different. It feels like an eternity for them,” explained therapist Liza Piekarsky with Retreat Behavioral Health.

It may be hard to comprehend, but it’s important for kids to understand the consequences associated with getting COVID-19. “This pandemic is greater than us as an individual and it’s really about the ripple effects it could have on somebody else, and we want to be mindful of that.”

Parents are trying to set an example, she added, but they’re tired of the precautions, too. Piekarsky said parents can help their kids stay the course by finding things to look forward to.

“Having something for them to look forward to, even daily, and it doesn’t have to be something significant,” she said. “Just something like, OK when you finish your class we’re gonna go to the park or we’re gonna shoot some hoops.”

Try to not trivialize how your child is feeling, Piekarsky advised. Focus on your child’s mental state and applaud how well your family has adapted in the past year.

“It’s hard but it’s so important because they are looking to us. The kids are looking to us for that support, that security. They just want to have a sense of safety,” she added. “They just want to know that they are being heard and that their feelings are being recognized and validated.”