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Carole Fogarty of the Healthy Living Lounge asked me this question for her readers: What are the top three fears facing teenagers today?
I have posted about the top 5 things teens worry about, but how about what teens fear? I asked a bunch of my teen friends and groups what they worry about most and summarized them here for you below:
1) Fear of Failing
I know, sometimes we act like we don’t care. We act like getting a C on a test is no big deal, but usually this is a cover. We want to succeed and do well just as much as you want us to. We fear failing on an academic level, in our relationships, in our friendships and even on home projects. I think as a teen, our self-esteem and self-confidence are extremely delicate, so when we fail it is a real blow and we cannot recover as quickly as most adults.
2) Fear of Disappointing You
Yup, parents put a lot of pressure on us. Whenever I did badly on tests, I had to not only deal with my own disappointment of not doing well, but then announcing it to my parents and dealing with their anger/ disappointment/ punishment—its really rough. We also know that if you do not like our boyfriend/girlfriend, set of friends or art project we also hear about it. If you do not like something we do, it feels like you do not like a part of us—and that is something we fear.
3) Fear of Being Misunderstood
I mean this on many levels. Many of the teens I asked, said they feared friends not liking an outfit or the way they looked. They feared someone defacing their Facebook page and having gossip spread at school. They feared their parents over-reacting and freaking out about something they did. I call this fear of being misunderstood because, as teens, everything we do is about experimenting with our image, identity and persona. We want to perfectly portray who we are…yet, we do not even know that ourselves!
I think that parents can address these fears head-on with their kids. Ask them what they fear, bring these fears up—even if they disagree with my list…at least they are talking to you about a deep subject!
I also want to mention here that I was reading Sue Blaney’s Ebook Guide: Parenting Teenagers The Agony and the Ecstasy she did a bunch of surveys and mentions what parents are also afraid of! Just three of her findings:
1) Kids doing drugs and alcohol and then driving under the influence
2) Peer pressure on their kids
3) Having poor communication