Cool Kids Taking Control Online

Cool Kids Taking Control Online

A program for children experiencing peer victimisation and anxiety

Cool Kids - Taking Control is an online self-help program that is designed to help children who have been targets of bullying and who also have high levels of anxiety. It is based on the well-known Cool Kids anxiety program developed at Macquarie University. The efficacy of Cool Kids - Taking Control in reducing peer victimisaiton is currently being investigated by a team at Macquarie University Centre for Emotional Health. There are limited spaces available for this study.

What is the program about?

Cool Kids - Taking Control is designed for parents to work through with their child at home.

The program is delivered over the internet and involves eight lessons delivered over ten weeks. It teaches children: 

  • about bullying and anxiety, 
  • how to be confident in social situations, 
  • how to better manage fears,
  • helpful ways to act if they are bullied, and 
  • how to cope with bullying. 

Cool Kids – Taking Control includes instructions, examples, and videos for parents and their child. There are lots of practice exercises to help children master the skills.

What will my child learn

Lesson 1:
Being a COOL KID and Social Skills
You will learn all about Cool Kids - Taking Control and meet the Cool Kids children. Max, Abby, and Josh are part of the program and will learn alongside you about how to have more fun. You will make some gaols for what you want to be able to do by the end of Cool Kids. And you will start to learn how to feel more confident talking to other people by using social skills.
Lesson 2:
It is normal for children who are bullied to feel scared about a lot of different situations. These fears and worries can stop you from doing the things you like to do. They can make you miss out on fun and make you feel bad inside. Stepladders help us to face our fears slowly and help you feel more confident about dealing with worries. You will learn how to make stepladders for small worries and learn about getting rewards for doing steps.
Lesson 3:
Detective Thinking
Detective Thinking helps us deal with scary and worrying thoughts. Detective Thinking teaches you how to come up with helpful thoughts that help you feel calm.
Lesson 4:
Dealing with Bullying
Bullying is not OK and if you are being bullied, it is not your fault. But what can you do? You will learn about the three ways you can act - like a quiet mouse, a cranky crocodile, or a COOL KID. You will also learn how to act if you are bullied.
Lesson 5:
More on Stepladders and Detective Thinking
You will learn some tricks and tips for using Stepladders and Detective Thinking on bigger worries. By now you will be starting to become an expert at facing fears and using your skills to become a COOL KID.
Lesson 6:
Coping with Bullying
Bullying can make you feel worried, sad, alone, and different to other children. These feelings are normal and lots of children feel like this when they are bullied. You will learn helpful skills to help you cope with these feelings, including Bursting Bullying Beliefs, Cool Breathing and what you can do to make yourself feel better.
Lesson 7:
Keep Progress Going
You are almost at the end of the program. So it’s time to check that you understand and know how to use your new skills. You will see how the Cool Kids children have used their skills to act more confidently and feel happier.
Lesson 8:
Planning for the Future
Congratulations – you have finished the Cool Kids-Taking Control Program. You will look at the goals you set and think about all the things you can do now that you are a COOL KID. You will also plan how to keep practising your Cool Kids skills and make a plan for what to do if things get hard again.

Who can participate?

The Cool Kids - Taking Control program is suitable for your child if:

  • he or she is between 7 and 12 years of age
  • he or she is being victimised by peers at school AND anxiety is significant affecting your child’s day-to-day life
  • he or she is not accessing other psychological treatment
  • you and your child are proficient in English

Will I receive support to complete the program even though it's online?

Absolutely. The program will be supported by a member of the research team who is trained in Cool Kids - Taking Control. Each parent will receive a short (10-15 minutes) weekly phone call after each lesson to discuss goals and to work through any difficulties with the program.

What will we need to do?

  • An initial assessment to determine if our program is likely to be suitable and beneficial for your child. 
  • A 10-week treatment program
  • An assessment after you complete the program and then again three-months later

All assessments involve you and your child being interviewed over the telephone and completing questionnaires about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

There are no costs associated with assessment and treatment for the Cool Kids - Taking Control study.

How do I access the program? 

If you would like to be involved in the Cool Kids – Taking Control online study, please contact us at

This research has ethics approval from the Macquarie University Human Research Ethics Committee. All data collected is confidential, and is de-identified

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