Anxiety doesn’t need to rule the house when kids are due back to school.

Is your child or teen anxious about school?

Do you feel familiar knots in your stomach as the new school year draws near, anticipating what’s going to happen with your anxious child or teenager? 

Have you dealt with tears, stomach aches and head aches, sleep issues, nausea, or tearful pleadings to stay home?

Have you spent time worrying where the anxiety your child or teenager feels about school could lead?


you’ve done an excellent job of compartmentalising the stress of your child or teen’s anxiety, and attempted to downplay it, while secreting knowing that it’s not going to go away by ignoring it?

Maybe their anxiety about school has had you contemplating reducing your full-time job to part-time or even quitting work altogether (though you don’t want to), to make sure they get through the school gate each morning. 


If so, welcome! Pull up a chair.
You’re in the right place.

Back-to-school anxiety

can be crippling.

Especially since the pandemic, back-to-school anxiety is at an all-time high. From pre-school age through to year 12, children and teens are wrestling with the challenges that come with anxiety, including inability to concentrate, excessive worry, overwhelming physical sensations, and big feelings. 

When this happens, children and teens retreat from so much of what makes life meaningful, enriching and fun – including school. 

Children or teens with school-related anxiety may exhibit a range of symptoms, including stomach aches or headaches, nausea or vomiting. 

They might experience sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep, or have recurring dreams about school. 

Anxious children or teens may experience unexplained illness or plead with you to stay home. They may become overly clingy, making school drop-offs extremely stressful. And you arriving at work feeling calm and in control? This is almost impossible. 

Anxious children and teens may excessively worry about school, seek constant reassurance, or obsess over their grades or school assessments.

They may avoid or obsess over social interactions, perhaps struggle to make friends, or tell you they feel lonely, which is heartbreaking to listen to.

The stress of contradictions

Parents of children and teens with back-to-school anxiety tend to feel stressed and anxious, with an added dollop of worry on top about how best to deal with this. 

There are loads of well-intentioned advice out there, much of it contradictory. Confusion reigns, with some advocating “she'll be right, mate” and others making false promises to “fix anxiety forever!”. 

Parents often feel judged and criticised, like their attempts at helping are making things worse. 

But when you’ve tried everything – from yelling and threats, to bribery, cuddles, plenty of talk about feelings and coping strategies – and nothing seems to resonate, then it’s easy to feel hopeless.

If you’re feeling stressed, annoyed, overwhelmed, or over it, then that’s totally understandable.

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And, I’m excited to share that there’s
so much you can do to help your anxious child or teen.

Hello, I’m Dr Jodi Richardson


I've developed a live, online program for parents just like you – who want to provide their kids with evidence-based, practical strategies to make the transition to school in 2024 smoother and less stressful.

I’m an anxiety educator with more than 25 years in the field of health, clinical practice, and wellbeing education. I’ve been speaking about anxiety in schools for eight years now and am also a published author, keynote speaker and host of the award-winning Well, hello anxiety podcast. 

I’ve also lived with anxiety since I was just four years old. Neither my parents, teachers, my initial psychologist, nor my colleagues later in life truly grasped the depths of my struggles, nor knew how to really help me. 

It took two long decades to finally receive a proper diagnosis, and an additional two decades of relentless research and self-discovery to equip myself with the insights, tools, and strategies needed to conquer anxiety’s grip on my life. 

As a Mum, I’ve dealt with my own little school refuser. As a parent, as well as a school educator, I know exactly how angst-ridden back-to-school can be for parents of anxious kids. And I’m committed to ensuring that you, your children, and their siblings have a markedly different experience than my own.

Kids with anxiety simply need more support


We, as parents, are the single biggest influence on our children. The way that we respond to our children's and teens’ anxiety makes a massive difference to how they face the challenges ahead. 

As a professional speaker and school educator, I know that schools are trying hard but are often under-resourced and limited in how much help they can give. Left unaddressed, school anxiety can lead to school refusal, and

when teens and children don’t go to school, problems compound. 

Gaps in academic achievement increase from Year 3 to Year 9.

On average, students with mental health challenges in Year 3 were 7-11 months behind their peers with no mental health challenges, but by Year 9, students with mental health challenges were on average 1.5-2.8 years behind their peers without (according to findings from the 2017 Young Minds Matter survey).

I’m not sharing this to make you feel worse! But can we agree that ignoring or minimising the problem, in the hope that it will resolve itself, isn’t useful? 

It’s you – the parent – who is the best person to turn things around for your child. And, in the process, you’ll empower and equip yourself as well as your child with invaluable life skills. You’ll likely become closer with your child. You’ll definitely reduce stress.

there's so much you can do

Let me show you how.

Introducing my

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My Well, Hello [School] Anxiety online program is for parents of anxious children and teens who want to better support them into school and through times of school transition. 

It’s meticulously and lovingly crafted for parents who want to equip their children with a toolbox of practical techniques and strategies that will empower them to better manage their anxiety.

Together with other parents, I’ll equip you with the insights and practical tools to confidently support your child.

  • You’ll find a better way to deal with your child’s anxiety so you can stop stressing about what you’re doing, saying or thinking, and hoping that it works out. 
  • Instead, you’ll design a custom plan and process for your child’s unique situation, so that they can transition into school, with less stress and upset. 
  • You’ll create new rituals, routines and habits to support your child, your family and your own wellbeing and peace-of-mind.
  • You’ll build a resilient family that is equipped to cope with change and disruptions that we all have, and to find a calm centre to better thrive, in school and beyond.

what's involved?

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Over four live, online weekly sessions, in the convenience of your own home, we’ll explore…

Session 01

Anxiety and your child

We kick off with a foundational understanding of anxiety, the brain and the interplay of physical, cognitive and emotional elements. You’ll learn how to distinguish between “normal” worries and specific school anxiety, so you can identify and address your child or teen's unique concerns, and respond with specific support. 

By the end of this session, you'll have a deeper insight into the intricate relationship between anxiety and the brain, equipping you with the tools to better support your child or teen to navigate their anxiety during the return to school. 

You’ll know: 

  • What to look for 
  • Identifying anxieties of concern (and how to respond) 
  • What to expect when your child returns to school.
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Session 02

Your anxiety toolkit

Together, we'll explore how anxiety manifests for them so that we can figure out the most effective approaches. We begin building a customised toolkit of strategies that are tailored specifically to your child's unique experience with anxiety. 

One of the key lessons will be your ability to recognise anxiety, even when it presents in subtle ways. This newfound insight will not only enable you to guide them through the peaks and valleys of anxiety, as well as strengthening your relationship. 

By the end of this session, you'll be able to foster a supportive environment that helps your child navigate the challenges of anxiety, ultimately deepening their wellbeing and resilience. 

You’ll have: 

  • An individual anxiety management plan for your child
  • A list of strategies your family can use before and after school starts
  • A clear understanding of exactly how you can enrol your children’s school to help you. 

Session 03

Plan into action

It’s time to dive into practical implementation of your plan. We’ll focus on guiding your child towards progress, even when the journey isn’t always straightforward. 

We’ll explore why avoidance is often a common response to anxiety, and how to recognise it in both yourself and your child so that we can address it effectively. You’ll learn additional strategies to nurture your child's growth and development.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Tackle avoidant behaviours head-on, with love and compassion
  • Connect and co-regulate with your child 
  • Reward progress – theirs and yours!
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Session 04

To the future

Our final session focuses on your family and future challenges you may face, so that you’re better equipped to deal with them. We’ll explore how your family deals with changes in routines, like when a teacher is unexpectedly absent and a substitute steps in, or when the pressure of upcoming exams starts to loom. 

We'll explore real-life challenges that your family may have encountered so that you can be equipped with insights and practical tools to navigate future disruptions and transitions more smoothly, helping your child or your teen to thrive.

You’ll be equipped with:

  • The confidence to manage your child’s anxiety year-round 
  • Access to additional, advanced strategies, tools and resources.

Anxiety doesn’t have to rule

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Anxiety can be hugely disruptive and, sometimes, downright devastating for families. 

Life is a hard enough juggle with working parents, school, commuting, extracurricular activities, mounting life admin, and endless competing demands on our time and attention. 

Anxiety can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But it doesn’t have to be.

We can learn how to better live with anxiety, and lovingly support ourselves and our family with tailored strategies to navigate the challenges that school anxiety brings. 

Let me show you how to thrive despite anxiety, while sharing invaluable life skills that your child or teen can use for the rest of their lives.

Join us!

Our Well, Hello [School] Anxiety program starts in January 2024 and we’d love you to join us.

Join us live, online, over four engaging evening sessions to equip yourself and your child with skills for life.


Tuesday, 16 January
at 7-8:30 pm AEDT


Tuesday, 23 January
at 7- 8:30 pm AEDT


Tuesday, 30 January
at 7-8:30 pm AEDT


Tuesday, 6 February
at 7- 8:30 pm AEDT

Gain expert guidance from renowned anxiety educator Dr Jodi Richardson, practical insights, and a suite of practical techniques to guide your child or teen through anxiety, and into resilience, success, and more peace.

You’ll gain a wealth of resources, as well as secure three months’ access to the recordings to refer to later.

Join us now, to set your family up for a more successful school year ahead.

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Early bird special!
save $150

Preparation and early intervention is always more effective than trying to solve a problem after it’s entrenched. Nab your discount by committing early and paying our limited early bird price. By committing now, you’ll gain the peace-of-mind of knowing that you’re doing your best to set up your child or teen for the school year.

Available for a limited time only.


As an exclusive bonus, you'll have the opportunity to choose between two of Dr Jodi Richardson’s books, mailed to your address (Australian addresses only!).


Anxious Kids

In collaboration with renowned parenting author Michael Grose, Dr. Richardson gives a fresh perspective and insights into the origins and biology of anxiety, how to calm physical symptoms, and practical strategies for nurturing emotional intelligence, resilience, mindfulness, and more. 

Anxious Mums

This empowering guide for mothers help you recognise and manage your own anxiety while enriching your family's wellbeing. Using acceptance and commitment therapy and positive psychology, this book equips you with techniques to tackle unhelpful thoughts, embrace change, and enhance your relationships, including nurturing emotionally intelligent children.


Frequently Asked Questions

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This program is specifically designed for parents and caregivers of children aged 4 to 17 who may be dealing with anxiety around school. They may be starting school for the first time, transitioning into high school, changing campuses, starting at a new school, or simply feeling anxious about school in general.

The program starts January 2024.

The program is delivered live online, over four sessions of 90 minutes each. We will connect virtually via Zoom, which you can access via a free mobile app, or via your computer. All details will be sent to you once you register.

Session 1: Tuesday 16 January at 7-8:30 pm (AEDT)
Session 2: Tuesday 23 January at 7- 8:30 pm (AEDT)
Session 3: Tuesday 30 January at 7-8:30 pm (AEDT)
Session 4: Tuesday 6 February at 7- 8:30 pm (AEDT) 

Once you've registered, you’ll receive your Zoom links to join, making this easy to add to your calendar.

Don't worry; we understand that life can be busy. Each session will be recorded for your convenience. So even if you can't make it to a live session, you'll have the opportunity to watch the recordings and you'll have access to these for up to three months after the program concludes.

You may choose to take your child to therapy of course. This doesn’t need to be an either/or situation. But many parents find the cost of therapy prohibitive or impractical, with long waitlists, and significant commuting times. 

Or, they’ve had a bad experience with a therapist and/or their child or teen doesn’t want to go. Or, they have found themselves in the dark, with little or no information or resources shared about how to better manage the child or teen’s anxiety. This program aims to equip and empower parents to take a proactive role in helping their child, not just with school related anxiety but with other life challenges too. An added bonus of this program is the option for two parents to get on the 'same page' when it comes to supporting their child or teen with anxiety. 

Dr Jodi Richardson is a dedicated anxiety educator, an accomplished podcast host, and influential keynote speaker. She has made a significant impact by working with schools throughout Australia to enhance the well-being of anxious children. Dr. Jodi is also the author of two best-selling books, each published in multiple languages: "Anxious Kids" and "Anxious Mums." To learn more visit the 'About' page on her website.  

Jodi will do her utmost to address as many questions as possible. However, please keep in mind that this is a group program, so we cannot provide one-to-one advice.

It’s our policy that there are no refunds given and all sales are final. If you are unable to make a session live, you’ll have access to the recordings for three months afterwards. I appreciate that you may be hesitant to join and I encourage you to check out my podcast if you haven’t already done so. This will give you more insight into me, my approach and my experience. If you have any other questions about this program, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask via the contact form here

Absolutely! You'll have a generous three-month window to access all the program materials and recordings at your convenience.

There are no mandatory assignments or assessments. While you'll have the option to complete worksheets and explore additional resources, participation in these activities is entirely up to you.

School refusal can feel like trying to untangle a knot made of a child's anxiety — it's complex and can be really upsetting for parents and caregivers. The program holds a collection of strategies and insights, crafted with care and expertise, aimed at shining a light on understanding and handling the anxieties rooted in the school setting. Nevertheless, each child experiencing school refusal is unique and overcoming school refusal, especially once entrenched, requires a multidisciplinary approach. While the program offers support, and we can't promise specific outcomes, as a member of the program you'll receive a suite of resources and suggested pathways when additional help is needed. 

I know I’ve given you a lot to consider

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As a parent, you are the most influential person in your child or teen’s life. Which makes your role doubly hard when your child or teen is struggling. Of course, you want to do anything and everything you can to try to minimise their distress. 

But anxiety isn’t straightforward and there’s no “one way” that works. 

Believe me when I tell you – I know exactly how frustrating it is to go from technique to technique, rolling through therapists, trying everything – and nothing seems to work. I had the same experience myself, as an anxious child and later, as a mother. 

My journey to understanding and getting effective help for my own anxiety led me to the work I do today. Over the last eight years as a school educator on anxiety, I know the breadth and depth of this issue.

But I’m here to share – this is not insurmountable. Anxiety doesn’t need to cripple our opportunities.

We can all learn and apply powerful techniques to help us better navigate anxiety. We can – and we will – thrive with anxiety while also gaining far deeper resilience and emotional intelligence in the process.

But time is of the essence, because prevention is always better than cure. When we can keep our children and teens in school, the outcomes will be better all round – academically and socially for our children, as well as for our relationships, careers and our own mental health and wellbeing.

I can’t wait to embark on this educational and empowering journey with you. Together, we’ll unlock the door to a more confident, less stressful start to the school year. I believe that every child deserves a smooth transition into the classroom, and I’m here to support you every step of the way.

In the spirit of reconciliation I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. I pay my respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.