Why Are Your Teenagers Emotions So Out of Hand? (It’s Not Just Hormones!) 

It’s normal for teenagers to have a lot of emotions.

In fact, they’re going through so many changes that it’s no wonder their emotions are all over the place. Have you ever had your teenager exhibit any of the following behaviours?

  • Hiding in their bedroom and never come out
  • Giving you the silent treatment
  • Expressing random bursts of emotion
  • Being passive-aggressive
  • Making snarky, sarcastic comments
  • Zoning out while you’re talking with them
  • Consciously choose to do the wrong thing to rebel against you

It’s no secret that teenagers can be a bit moody – we normally blame puberty and the influx of developmental hormones for this sort of behaviour. While they are contributing factors, the real reason lies hidden.

The REAL Reason Behind Your Teenagers’ Intense Emotions

During puberty, the teenage brain is still under construction.

Specifically, the last area to develop is the pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for higher-level thinking, planning, and rational decision-making.

What this means is that teenagers are more likely to act on impulse and emotions, rather than logic. They also tend to have difficulty understanding and communicating their feelings.

As a result, they’re very emotionally sensitive to everything that happens around them – this is why they are especially susceptible to peer pressure and can be easily influenced by their friends.

On top of that, they have a lot of trouble perceiving information correctly when you try to communicate with them.

If you’ve ever experienced your teenager not doing tasks or snapping at you after you’ve asked them to do something, this is often the reason why, they simply haven’t processed what you asked them to do in the first place.

If you want to learn a little more about how to communicate with your teenager better, I talk about it in greater detail here.

How to Help Your Teenager Cope With Their Emotions

Now that you understand the scientific reason behind your teenager’s emotional outbursts or withdrawn behaviour, here are some tips on how you can help your teenager cope with them.

1. Don’t Take Their Emotions Personally

First and foremost, try not to take your teenager’s mood swings personally. It’s important to remember that their emotions are not an attack on your ability as a parent – they’re just a result of the changes taking place in their brain.

2. Encourage them to express their emotions

Secondly, encourage your teenager to express their emotions. This can be done in a number of ways, such as through writing, art, music, or my personal favourite – combat sport.

Not only will this help them to understand and process their feelings, but it will also give you a better insight into what’s going on in their head.

3. Be Patient With Them

Be patient with your teenager. It’s important to remember that they’re still learning how to deal with all of these new emotions, so cut them some slack. They’ll get there eventually.

4. Seek Professional Help If Needed

If you’re really struggling to cope with your teenager’s emotions, or if you’re concerned about their mental health, then it might be time to seek professional help. A therapist or counsellor can provide support and guidance on how to deal with your teenager’s emotions, as well as offer other coping strategies.

5. Enrol Your Teenager Into A CounterPunch Group Workshop

Alternatively, you can enrol your teenager into a CounterPunch™ Group Workshop.

It’s a 20 to 24-week results-based program that utilizes a mix of performance psychology, sports science, and boxing. The program teaches teenagers practical tools to both understand and effectively master the life skills needed to manage emotions such as stress, anxiety, anger and depression. If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here.


The teenage years can be tough – for both teenagers and their parents. But by understanding the reason behind your teenager’s intense emotions, you can learn how to better deal with them. And hopefully, make it through these years unscathed.

Mercedas Taaffe-Cooper


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