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.
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.
And, I’m excited to share that there’s
so much you can do to help your anxious child or teen.
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.
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.
- What to look for
- Identifying anxieties of concern (and how to respond)
- What to expect when your child returns to school.
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.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
well, hello [school] anxiety program
Early bird special!
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!).
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.
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
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.