What Do Teenagers Fear?

As the teenage years tick by, your child may start to experience fears that were not present in his younger days. There are plenty of pressures that can affect him during this time. You may notice some changes in his behavior, sleep and daily routines if he is feeling fearful. Offer a listening ear and see if you can help him through the issues that causing him anxiety.

Public Speaking

Speaking in front of others is pften one of a teen's top fears, according to KidsHealth 2. Whether it is a public speaking class, oral book report or class presentation, these situations can be quite stressful and nerve-wracking for your teen. Your teen’s fear of messing up, sounding stupid or failure in general can contribute to the scariness of the situation. Knowing that her crush is in the audience can significantly bump up her anxiety levels.

Peer Issues

Friends and social networks are very important to a teenager. Your teen may be afraid to speak up if he doesn’t agree with his friends. He may be scared of rejection, standing out or being different. According to the Blue Penguin Development website, your teen may harbor fear that others may use social networks and other technology to spread information about him that would negatively impact his life and his relationships 4.


Bullying has become a serious issue among young people. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” Threats, rumors, physical attacks, verbal attacks and purposeful exclusion of a person are all forms of bullying 1. Your teen may be scared of being bullied or may even be scared of a bully already. Talk to your child about this issue if you think this is the case and seek professional guidance, if needed.


Teenagers can feel the fear of failure just as much as an adult. Your teen may be afraid that he won’t succeed in his sports performance, academic achievement or college placement. The idea of letting his parents down can be terrifying. Talk to him about your expectations and reassure him that no matter what happens, you still love, approve and appreciate him.

Life After High School

The idea of setting off into the adult world after finishing high school can be very scary. Not only will she be on her own, away from her comfortable home, that unknown world is full of new pressures and stressors. She may be scared of failing out of college or disappointing her parents. The idea of making new friends and studying for difficult college classes can also strike up some fear.