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My Teenage Son Hits Me, What Should I Do?

Questioner

Z

Reply Date

Oct 22, 2018

Question

My husband died four years ago. After his death, my son, 14, turned into another person. He became very aggressive. He no longer obeys or respects me. Whenever I try to correct him he starts yelling at me and even beats me. When I try to stop him by spanking him he gets more violent and starts kicking and punching things around. Once, he grabbed me by the neck and said he’d kill me if I ever dared stop him again. I feel weak, depressed and don’t know what to do. How can I stop him from being aggressive and improve our relation?

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•I would kindly suggest sister that if there are other male relatives near by, please get them involved insha’Allah in your and your son’s life right now. Not only is your son a danger to you with his aggression, but he may also be a danger to himself.

•If there are not any family members who can help, please speak with the imam at your masjid to see if he or brothers there can assist.

•Please do reach out to others sister for help, as well as get your son into counseling as soon as possible. Additionally, if you ever do feel unsafe again, please have someone you can call for help, or call the local authorities.


As salamu alaykum dear sister,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. May Allah SWT grant mercy and ease to both you and your family. Although it has been four years, your son obviously has not dealt well with the death of his father and it has now festered into a situation that cannot and should not be tolerated. As you know disrespect of one’s parents is haram and physical abuse of anyone-especially of one’s mother is most sinful and haram.

Your son understandably is taking the death of his father very hard. While we all have our own ways of dealing with death, often teens have a much harder time dealing with death, especially when it is the death of a parent. There are several stages one usually goes through when a loved one dies.

These may include denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (PsychCentral). While the stages usually follow a sequence based on emotional ability and reasoning, they can often come in different sequences of being skipped altogether. Sister it sounds as if your son is not only obviously angry but depressed as well. His intensely violent reactions and disrespect come from a place that is deeply rooted in pain.


Check out this counseling video


 

While I am not sure if he has ever displayed instability or violence before, I would highly suggest dear sister that you contact his physician as soon as possible to have him evaluated and referred to counseling.

If there are any other family members who can talk with your son (male preferably), take him out, and spend time with him this may provide your son with an outlet for his anger and rage. He may be able to vent his pain more easily to a male figure who was not as closely connected to his father as you are as his wife. Sometimes when a parent dies, the remaining parent stands as a constant reminder of the missing parent and the child cannot cope with the loss.

I would kindly suggest sister that if there are other male relatives near by, please get them involved insha’Allah in your and your son’s life right now. Not only is your son a danger to you with his aggression, but he may also be a danger to himself. If there are not any family members who can help, please speak with the imam at your masjid to see if he or brothers there can assist.

Please do reach out to others sister for help, as well as get your son into counseling as soon as possible. Additionally, if you ever do feel unsafe again, please have someone you can call for help, or call the local authorities. Your son loves you sister, he just needs help right now and you need to ensure your safety as well as help your family heal from the trauma of your husband’s death.

You are in our prayers sister, please let us know how you are doing.


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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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