Emotional Development

Help your teen learn how to recognize and deal with stress, anger, and sadness; to exercise regularly and eat healthy foods; and to express feelings honestly as well as respect others’ feelings in friendships and romantic relationships. Your teen will continue to benefit from continuing to do his part around home and at school, and in taking care of his own well-being.

  • Emotionally, teenagers don’t typically like physical affection from their parents. Many do, however, like a lot of physical affection from their friends.
  • Expect a lot of tension and conflict with your teenager, because your teenager is separating from you. The path to independence is rocky for both parents and older teenagers.
  • Some older teenagers will go anywhere—except where their parents are. Be patient with this. Typically kids will draw closer to parents once they leave home. Once they’ve experienced “true independence,” they discover that their parents aren’t as idiotic as they thought when they were older teenagers.
  • Monitor your teenager’s emotional states. Most have an emotional state that they’re most comfortable with. Some are easygoing. Some get angry easily. Others get depressed. Intervene if emotions are overwhelming your older teenager.
  • Some teenagers will give you the silent treatment when they become angry—or if they don’t get their way. Give them time to simmer down. They’ll talk to you again (usually when they need something from you).
  • Some kids begin dabbling in more serious risk behaviors (such as self-harm, drinking alcohol, trying drugs, and having sex). Help kids steer clear of these behaviors. Talk with them about what they’re experiencing—and what they’re seeing going on with their peers. Some are struggling with difficult issues.

Learn more about high risk behaviors in teens >




Good advice, but it’s so difficult to carry out your suggestions if the open parent-child communication and bonding is not formed early in a child’s life.

For parenting handouts that readers may be helpful see: http://www.kellybear.com/ParentTips.html

You are right however it is never to late to try something different. In experience as a mother of three daughters I found it was important for me to make some changes in the way I raised topics or engaged with my daughters so they could make changes. Letting them know that I didn’t think I was always right, that this was my point of view on a topic ie benefits of the occasional early night in bed, answering your mobile phone when I call etc. How some of their behaviours and responses made me feel – hurt, frustrated, concerned, angry – helped them understand I had emotions. In having these emotions I still aimed (it took a lot of practice to achieve 99%) to speak in a calm, caring no emotional manner. Aiming not to esculate the emotions in myself (helped me keep calm) or in them so they would stay and listen.

Its not easy but I can vouch for the effort being well worth it.

Over approx a two year period significant changes were achieved with our middle daughter (one example of sicking my what you say: advising her she had to leave our house if she did not comply with our rules – she left, requested to come back and we drew up an agreement which was signed so everyone knew what was expected. still a few challenges but normal and manageable). We have a very good relationship now.

All our daughters talk to us about everything and anything quite directly. We have encouraged them to speak up if someone says some that is hurtful, disrespectful or lacks sensitivity of their particular situation and we do the same.

Communication, empathy and understanding has to be taught so it can be applied.

Keep the faith, changes you make really do make a difference after all our children really do want us in their lives regardless of what they say at times.