Cool Little Kids: Building young children's confidence!

A free online course for parents

Cool Little Kids Online is a free online program for Australian parents of shy or anxious young children aged 3 to 6 years

What is Cool Little Kids?

A parenting program that aims to increase the confidence of young children, so that they have fewer anxiety problems as they grow.

Cool Little Kids Online is adapted from the Cool Little Kids group parenting program, which has been safely and effectively used in Australia for over 10 years. Parents have found it helpful for improving young children’s fear and anxiety about:

  • Saying hello/goodbye
  • Separating from parents (e.g. at preschool)
  • Playing with unfamiliar people (e.g. playdates, parties)
  • Trying new activities (e.g. swimming lessons)
  • Going to sleep

What is involved?

Cool Little Kids Online is a web-based program designed to increase your knowledge and build practical skills.

The program contains 8 'modules' with easy to read information, practical skills, videos and stories from other parents who have done the program. Each module takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. The program does require a commitment of your time and effort—but the reward will be worth it—a more confident, less fearful child!

Currently the program is available as part of a research study—find out more about how to sign up to the study.

Module topics

  • 1

    Understanding anxiety

  • 2

    Introducing stepladders

  • 3

    Using rewards

  • 4

    Parenting an anxious child

  • 5

    Troubleshooting stepladders

  • 6

    Overcoming barriers

  • 7

    Managing worries

  • 8

    Planning for the future


You’ll gain insight into why your child is shy, the links between shyness and anxiety, and how to prevent anxiety problems

Practical skills

You’ll learn practical skills on what to do when your child is worried or scared and how to encourage their bravery

Real stories

You’ll hear from real parents who have done the program, what they learned and how they developed new skills

Who developed it?

The Cool Little Kids program was developed by a team of psychologists from Macquarie University. This online course was adapted for the web by a team from Macquarie University and La Trobe University. Find out more >>

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What will I learn?

  • How shyness and anxiety develop
  • How to gradually and gently teach your child to face their fears
  • How to use rewards to increase your child’s bravery
  • How to reduce unhelpful parenting strategies
  • How to help your child become more independent
  • How to keep your thoughts accurate
  • How to prepare for future challenges
89% of parents in our pilot study would recommend the program to others