"We need more than parent coaching - we need an exorcist! Do your services include exorcism (lol)? Our daughter is the most selfish, insensitive teenager alive today - or so you would think if you had to live with her."
When a teenager seems insensitive or selfish, it is because she is in too much emotional pain to be able to consider the parent's feelings. Pain interferes with listening and with understanding where the parent is coming from. This is particularly hard to understand when the teenager hides her pain with rage or with the "silent-treatment."
Sometimes kids behave in manipulative, hurtful ways not because they think this will change the parent's behavior, but because they honestly feel they are doing the best they can given the circumstances.
If we, as parents, think our children do bad things because they have evil intentions, we may give up trying to influence them, become afraid of them, get angry with them, seek revenge, etc. Your daughter isn't “bad,” she's just desperate to find a solution to her problems and hasn’t found one yet.
Setting consequences for misbehavior takes some skill. When parents do it wrong, they end up making a bad problem worse. If they do it right and incorporate some incentives/rewards to go along with it, it can be the most rewarding experience they ever encounter.
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