Your teen and you both run your lives based on fear. Fear is the dominant emotion in your lives. Are you aware of it? Probably. But do you admit it? Rarely, if ever. Fear of people, places, and things. In other words, fear of most everything.

First of all, let’s start with the big one. You’re afraid you’re going to die. Because you catch a common cold. Therefore, you’re going to die from pneumonia. You cut your leg on a bush. Consequently gangrene sets in and therefore death follows. Your 16-year-old teen gets her driver’s license. Car crash. Emergency room. Fatality. Funeral. Burial. Heartbreak. And forever your lives are filled with pain and sorrow.

What causes all these fears?

First of all, mom and dad have lots of fear. So you pass your fears on to your children. This starts before your children are born. Even before pregnancy. Before marriage. Before meeting your spouse, fear is ingrained and you don’t realize it. It’s as normal as getting up in the morning and going to sleep at night.

Did your parents teach you this prayer? “Now I lay me down sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray the Lord my soul to take.” And did you teach it to your babies? What do your children remember? “I’m going to die in my sleep tonight!” What a comforting thought.

How about some of the most-prevalent fears you put into your toddler’s minds. “Don’t run with a stick in your hand.” Why? You’re going to fall and the stick’s going into your eye. You’ll be blind for life. “Stop crying and don’t be a baby.” Hold on. Your baby is a baby.

Let’s remember some of your grade school boy and girl’s fears that are your responsibility. “Why can’t you be a good boy like your brother?” “Why aren’t you pretty like your sister?” Maybe not so much fears, but certainly contributes to low self-esteem.

Your teenager lives in fear

As teenagers, your daughter and son finally reach the zenith of fear and self-loathing. Because they want so much to be liked, they are their own worst enemies. Most of all they think “I’m not good enough. No one likes me.” Furthermore, they actually believe this. It’s an out-and-out lie. Self-deception. They 100% believe it. It holds them back in each and every relationship in their lives. Friends. Family. Teachers. Even new people. Remember you taught them, “Never talk to strangers.” Isn’t every new person a stranger? However, your teenagers believe new people are scary. Therefore, they are afraid to talk to them.

Start now communicating positively

Finally, like most difficult problems, the solution is quite simple. Replace your negative, fear-based messages with positive ones. Take out a pen and paper. Write them down. “I believe in you.” “You are great.” “You make friends easily.” “Everyone you meet is a potential friend.” “It’s easy to meet someone. Hi, my name is Ryan or Lindsey, what’s yours?” “You can do anything you want.” Most of all, remember end every conversation with, “I love you. Always have. Always will.”

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