25 Feb How to Help Your Teen Conquer Their Fears
Fear is a natural human emotion. From the terrifying childhood monsters under the bed to fears of things much larger, we have all experienced fear at some point in our lives. For teens, learning how to navigate fear is a brand new skill.
The most common fears teens experience include the fear of failure, change, missing out (FOMO), rejection, and embarrassment – all things that they will likely experience at some point. Often, these fears can keep them from taking risks, and doing things that would help them succeed. As a parent, it’s natural to want to support your teen as they navigate this stage of life. Luckily, there are many ways you can help your teen with overcoming fear.
Having open communication with your teen is key in helping them overcome their fears. After all, if you don’t communicate, you won’t know what their fears are. Having an honest relationship with your teen helps them feel comfortable coming to you when they are feeling fear. Talk to your teen about the feelings they might be experiencing, how it could potentially be impacting their life, and really hear them out to understand where they are coming from.
Often when teens feel fear, it can be isolating. They may feel as though they are the only one going through this, or that others don’t understand, which can cause them to feel a sense of shame. Showing your teen that you empathize with them not only helps them feel more at ease, but also deepens your connection. Letting them know that you are there to support them and take their fear seriously is the first step towards reducing their fear.
As a parent, it might be your first instinct to fix everything for your child. You don’t want them to feel afraid, so you should remove whatever is causing that fear. Although a caring gesture, that’s not always the right approach, especially when your child is in their teen years. Without learning to solve problems independently, teens may experience this fear long-term. Let them know they are capable of facing their fears on their own, and even allow them to fail. Through these difficult experiences they will learn resilience and independence to develop skills that will help them face all sorts of challenges throughout their life.
The most important part of helping your teen with overcoming fear? Overcoming your own. Any opportunity you have to inspire your teen, take it! If you interview for a job and don’t get it, use this as a time to show that failure doesn’t mean giving up. If you have a big shift in your job, show them that change isn’t always scary and can often have a great outcome. Talk about the emotions you feel during these events and how you cope with them. Stand behind your advice – the best way for them to learn how to get over fear is to see someone they love do just that.
At Tilly’s Life Center, we are committed to providing teens with a safe space to learn all the skills they need to identify and overcome their fears. With our virtual workshops, we give them tactics they can practice to deal with stress, manage daily challenges, and conquer their fears. To learn more, visit https://tillyslifecenter.org/