Avoidance of feared situations is a core feature of anxiety disorders. While avoidance is usually pretty easy to detect, some forms of avoidance are not so obvious. Indeed, some anxious kids may not overtly avoid a situation, but are sure to take specific actions to prevent a bad outcome. These actions are known as safety behaviors.
Most teens report feeling stressed out every so often, but for teens who chronically worry, the sense of being one step away from disaster never really goes away. Minor troubles are often blown out of proportion, leading to heightened anxiety and sometimes all-out panic attacks. Yet when parents try to coax teens to let go of their fears, their efforts are often met with resistance.
How do we get through to teens to stop the cycle of chronic worrying and anxiety?