My teen's reactions are too emotional

Parenthood   ›   My teen's reactions are too emotional

Sometimes it can seem like the ways teens react and express their emotions are too intense. If that sounds familiar, rest assured that there are ways you can intervene to help your teen manage these impulsive reactions.

All young people express their emotions, but some do it differently than others. When reactions are emotional, parents can:


  • Embrace their teen's perception of the situation by accepting that it's causing their emotions.
  • Try to understand, be empathetic, ask how you can help. If your teen is emotional, it's because the situation they're going through is important. Identifying why can help you better understand the situation.
  • Set limits: even if your teen is feeling emotional, there's a line that can't be crossed. If punching walls crosses that line and is something you can't tolerate, then it's important to say so.
  • Direct them toward resources: you may be worried if their reactions are very emotional and if they happen too often. If that's the case, don't hesitate to let your teen know and to direct them to resources that can help, like Tel-jeunes.


Setting limits for your teen often leads to negative reactions. They might grumble, protest, try to negotiate, etc. But sometimes, their reactions come with strong emotions and involve tantrums, anger, or sadness.


In such cases, parents can:


  • Embrace and accept their teen's emotions, and explain that it's normal.
  • Stand firm: rules are rules. You don't have to justify yourselves. You're there to provide structure for your child, which could lead to them being frustrated sometimes. (Pssst! It's not going to make them stop loving you!)