Expert shares tips on helping children cope with back-to-school anxiety

The transition back to school is going to be more difficult for students amid the coronavirus pandemic. Whether they're returning to school buildings for the first time since March or dealing with the isolation with virtual learning, the challenges are real.

Dr. Harold Koplewicz, an adolescent psychiatrist and president of the Child Mind Institute, says it's important to think about children in four different categories regarding their mental health: 60 percent are happy and go lucky; 15 percent are subclinical with symptoms but no disfunction; 20 percent have a mental health disorder and five percent have a severe disorder.

"Every one of them is affected by coronavirus," said Dr. Koplewicz.  "Their mental health. They are more anxious. They are more worried."

For children 5-12 years of age or kindergarten to 6th, the struggles are going to be harder because t's not back to school as they know it.

So how can parents help?

"Anxiety is very contagious. You have to really model for your kids that you are calm. If you are freaking out, and having a really bad time, take a break, you have to take care of yourself get away from your kids,and say i need take twenty minutes,whether its mindfulness, or yoga or calling your mom or your best friend and then coming back and showing your kids that you can regroup, " said Dr. Koplewicz. 

Along with exercising or meditating, which Dr. Koplewicz suggests families practice together, he says all families should express gratitude.

"At least once a week or more often sit around the table say why you are so thankful."