My Teen, Yeah I Worry About You A LOT… Here’s Why

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: My Teen, Yeah I Worry About You A LOT… Here’s Why

“Mooom… I’ll be FINE! Geeez, you worry WAY too much!”

Every time my kids venture out on a Friday night with their friends or grab the keys to the car and head out the door for school, work, or just to run errands, I can’t help myself… I always have to give my little (minute or two) lecture about safety, making good decisions, and the “don’ts” of driving.

“Listen, no texting and driving. It only takes a few seconds of glancing at your phone to get into an accident.” 

“I don’t care what your friends do, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Listen to your instincts – you don’t have to follow the crowd.” 

“If you’ll be later than your curfew, text me because you know I worry. And if I’m asleep, make sure you wake me so I know you made it home safe.” 

“And oh… please look both ways before you enter intersections, people run red lights all the time.”

In their defense, I probably am a bit annoying.

My Teen, Yeah I Worry About You A LOT… Here’s Why, Darling


If I’m being honest here, I’m a self-professed worrier. I even worry about crap that has pretty much zero chance of happening. But that doesn’t stop me from laying wide awake at night conjuring up ridiculous scenarios in my head. 

Someone once told me that worry is one of the many love languages of Moms. If that’s the case, then Moms of teens (and Dads, too, actually) have that “love language” market cornered because nearly every Mom of teens I know worries about her kids incessantly.

It’s not that we don’t necessarily trust our kids.

It’s not that we’re aiming for perfection. We all know “good” kids are capable of making crummy choices.

It’s not that we’re trying to control our kids… in fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s letting our kids venture out into the vast openness of the world (without us!) that sends our brains into overdrive. 

And, it’s not that we’re making a conscious choice to worry – heck, we’d all love to turn our brains off and get a peaceful night’s sleep, right?

We love our kids with every fiber in our being and the mere thought of anything happening to them is simply unbearable… so, we worry.

If you find yourself worrying far more than you ever thought you would with your teen, just know you’re not alone. In fact, we asked a bunch of parents of teens (in an unscientific poll) if they worry about their teens, and guess what? Apparently, parenting teens and worry goes hand-in-hand.

So, for my kids who think I worry FAR too much, here are the real reasons I lose sleep over you.

#1 I Worry About Your Happiness and Health

Are you lonely? Are you feeling left out in your friend group? Are you panicked about your grades, confused about whether you want to go to college, or what your future holds? Are you struggling with anxiety or depression? Are you afraid to tell me?

More than anything, I want you to be happy and healthy – physically and emotionally. I want you to be surrounded by people who accept and love you, and to know unequivocally that my love is steadfast and that nothing you do (or don’t do) will shake that.

I know happiness is fluid and that your swinging hormones can impact how happy you feel – you won’t always be happy. But as your mom, when you’re unhappy or hurting, I am, too. I feel everything you do. 

#2 I Worry About Snap Decisions

Should you break at the yellow light or hit the gas pedal? Should you tailgate to get the car in front of you to speed up? Should you skip class in high school or college because… well, why not? Should you throw caution to the wind and choose not to use protection in the heat of the moment? Oh yeah… I WORRY. 

Every decision you make has a consequence. Some have zero impact on your current life or future while others can alter the course of your life forever. You’re young and you feel invincible. Trust me, darling, you’re not. 

#3 I Worry the World is Putting Too Much Pressure on You to Succeed

I wish you could have lived a day in my teenage life. Life was so much simpler back then. No social media, no cellphones, not nearly the academic, college, or “planning for your future” pressure. We lived in the moment so much more, we had fun, and we didn’t freak out if we got a “C” on a test or feared we wouldn’t get into a good” college. 

It pains my heart to see the pressure you’re under. No matter how much I tell you that I love you just the way you are and that your grades will never define you, the world is constantly telling you to push harder. I worry that the fast-paced world you live in is robbing you of your childhood, that it’s making you grow up too fast, and that you’re far too young to handle the pressure that’s silently being placed on your shoulders. 

#4 I Worry About Peer Pressure

What fuels my worry is knowing a friend could hand you a pill claiming it will help you perform better on a test… but the pill is, in actuality, deadly. Or, that your friends can (innocently) encourage you to connect with someone on a hook-up app thinking you’re meeting someone your own age. I worry about who you hang with and how the wrong crowd can change the trajectory of your life without you even realizing it. Peer pressure is powerful… so powerful. 

#5 I Worry that Social Media Can Derail You

I  know you love scrolling through your Instagram or Snapchat feed and seeing what everyone you know is up to. It makes you feel more “in the know.” But social media can also make you feel isolated, inferior, and behind the eight ball.

When you see people out having fun and you weren’t invited. When you see a classmate land an internship you didn’t get. When you see someone you know who “appears” to have it all figured out – it can make you question yourself and your abilities.

There’s also a dark world online that I worry you’ll stumble onto. So when I put restrictions on your phone or monitor your online activity, just know I’m not trying to control you, I’m trying to protect you. 

#6 My Mind Gets Carried Away

There’s so much going on in the world that scares the living blazes out of me. And let’s not forget that every news story, crime documentary, and mother’s plea whose child has been victimized has a way of creeping into my head. I try so hard not to allow my worry or fear to squelch your adventurous spirit, but my dear, the world isn’t as safe as it used to be. 

For Every Parent Who Worries (Too Much), Keep This in Mind:

Worry Does Not Equal Prevention

Caution might. Educating our kids might. Reminding our kids might. But worry doesn’t. Worrying won’t reduce the likelihood that something upsetting or bad will happen.

Your Worry Could Be Pushing Your Teen Away

When we overreact, freak out, constantly nag, or attempt to over-protect our kids, we often do it out of sheer love and concern. But keep in mind, our kids are far more likely to share their lives with us (the good AND the bad) if they know we can handle it. (Fake it if you have to!)

Your Worry and Fear Could Be Instilling Doubt

Are you inadvertently sending the message to your teen that you don’t believe in them? For our kids to thrive they HAVE to go through life believing they CAN. 

There’s Always Going to Be Ups and Downs

Expect it. You ARE going to worry and, chances are, your teen IS going to mess up… maybe royally. Don’t dwell on the what-ifs. Compartmentalize your worries into “things that really could happen,” versus “my fear and anxiety just getting the best of me.” Take action and precautions if and when possible, be curious about your teen’s life, and be available when they need you. Above all, keep your eye on the horizon thinking positive thoughts instead of dismal ones. And remember, Mama, you worry SO much because you love SO hard… 

If you enjoyed reading, “My Teen, Yeah I Worry About You A LOT… Here’s Why,” here are a few other posts you might like!

12 Ways to Protect Your Teen (Without Helicoptering)

No One Told Me I’d Worry This Much About My Teen

When Your Kids Become Teenagers, That’s When the REAL Worry Kicks In

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