Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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For the last 3-4 month my daughter (16) became increasingly harder and harder to deal with. She is always upset, angry and unhappy. She is fighting with everyone in sight and being very critical of us at home, most of her friends and almost all kids at church. Also she has had and still is having a MAJOR problem with her dad who beats her. I try to keep them apart because they do not get along at all. She is also jealous of her sister who is her dad's favorite. Recently, she started to have problems with me too. She is in my Sunday school class. Now she is complaining that she sees me all the time and she is tired of me being around. Yesterday, after one of those breakdowns, I asked her if I should take her to a psychologist to which she did not reply at all.

At your daughter's age many teens just do not listen as much and think they can make the right decisions for themselves, resenting their parents' advice.

The first and major problem I would like to address is her relationship with her father. The father figure is very important in the family. You cannot just exclude him because they do not get along. Also the fact that he beats her is totally unacceptable. A change of attitude has to take place from his part even if he dislikes what she does. Advise him to be more tolerant and have a good relationship with his daughter. Do not substitute him as a parent. The fact that your younger daughter can manipulate him and thus get away with things does not help. It is only natural that your older daughter will feel jealous. Even if he prefers one to the other, this favoritism could be detrimental when it becomes obvious. A father has to learn how to  treat all his children equal at least before them.

Sometimes being your own child's Sunday school teacher is not the best thing to do because it is important that they hear other servants teach them the same values you are stressing at home. When the child learns how to live a spiritual Christian life from others, it does have more impact on them because it complements what they hear at home. You might want to consider moving to another class to give her room to hear other servants who could have a good impact on her life

It might be a good idea to see a Christian counselor if she agrees to it. You can ask her to try one or two sessions and see if she will benefit from it.

Try to get the whole family to pray together once a day, maybe at night before going to bed. I also highly recommend that you read the Holy Bible together as a family. This would give you the opportunity to spend at least half an hour/day in harmony around the Word of the Lord. I am sure if you persist and succeed in committing that time, you will soften the heart of each one in the family and will help initiate a strong bond between all of you. Most important is for you to continue praying for her.
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