Q: When our daughter turned 13 and entered the 8th grade, it was like a switch was flipped. Almost overnight, she went from being a sweet, respectful and obedient child who had never given us any serious problems to being petulant, sassy, and often belligerent.

She wants nothing to do with us anymore and makes that clear in often hurtful ways. She stays in her room, on her smartphone, often refusing to even eat dinner with us. We tried taking her phone away, but she threw such a tantrum that we became concerned and gave it back to her.

Her grades are beginning to suffer. Should we perhaps put her in counseling?

A: My finding has been that professional counseling with young teens frequently makes matters worse. All too often, counselors give children your daughter’s age the impression that not only do their feelings “rule,” but that their disrespectful behavior is justified by their parents’ failings. That may not be the intention, but it is the all-too-frequent outcome. So I rarely recommend counseling or therapy for a child or young teen.

I am not aware of objective studies that would verify the effectiveness of counseling or therapy with children or teens (or even adults). However, you might be able to find a counselor for your daughter who would be a good “fit,” but you would be rolling the dice.

Take away your daughter’s smartphone and give her an old-fashioned flip phone. It’s becoming increasingly clear that smartphones are exerting a negative influence over children and teens. Her tantrum is a strong indicator of that, but the rest of your description also fits the profile. The next time you make the attempt, the storm is likely to be even more intense. If you capitulate to or compromise with her, then I would predict things going downhill.

If that fails to restore the daughter you’ve known for the first 13 years of her life, then take her door off her room while she’s at school and inform her that to restore her privacy she must act like a normal human being and family member for one straight month. I’m talking about an incident-free 30 days. If there’s an “episode” of some sort, then her month without a door begins anew the next day.

Parents who have delivered this one-two “punch” usually report that things go from bad to worse for three days to a week and then begin to improve. I don’t make guarantees, but these testimonials lead me to predict a positive outcome with your daughter. www.johnrosemond.com; email questions@rosemond.com.