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My Teen Son Hates His Father, What Should I Do?

17 July, 2021
Q What do I do when my teenage son (almost 16) seems to literally hate his father?

I'm not talking about the "so-called" hate that teenagers proclaim towards their parents when they get angry and say things they don't mean.

I'm talking about never having a good thing to say about them, not believing they are loved by this parent and stuff along this line.

I thought it would get better but it seems to get worse. I always try and tell our son all the good things about his father and how much he loves him but he doesn't want to hear about it at all!

Answer

In this counseling answer:

Take him for lunch or for coffee.  While out, tell him how very much you love him and that you care about how he feels.

Just listen to him, support him in his feelings and ask questions if things are unclear.

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Ask him how he would like to be treated by his father and how he would like to see the situation change.

Please do try to get to the bottom of what has happened sister so you can help repair this most important relationship.


As -salamu alaykum,

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Thank you for writing to us.  I am sorry to hear about your son’s feelings for his dad.  Surely it must hurt you very much.  It sounds as if your son is holding in much pain and anger in regards to his father. 

I would kindly suggest that you try to get to the bottom of all this pain and anger. While maybe you cannot see a reason for it, in his mind there is a valid reason why.

Your statement about his not thinking or believing his dad loves him may be a good place to start.  It also may be the place from where all of the anger and alleged hatred is coming from.  Perhaps something was said and misunderstood between the two of them.

Maybe an action took place that was misdirected.  Perhaps your son overheard something and took it the wrong way.  However dear sister, you won’t know unless you speak with your son.

I would kindly suggest that you go somewhere with your son, maybe out to lunch or for coffee.  While out, tell him how very much you love him and that you care about how he feels. 

My Teen Son Hates His Father, What Should I Do? - About Islam

Explain to him you wish to know why he feels his father does not love him as it hurts you.   Ask for specific examples if he is vague.  If he does open up to you, please do insha’Allah acknowledge and validate his feelings and show empathy.

Don’t tell him “oh that can’t be true”, or “your wrong, that did not happen”.  Just listen to him, support him in his feelings and ask questions if things are unclear. 

If he is willing, insha’Allahask him how can you make the situation better for him so that he feels loved.  Ask him how he would like to be treated by his father and how he would like to see the situation change.

If your son won’t open up to you right away sister, you can begin the process insha’Allah by changing your approach. 

For instance, if your son says “my father doesn’t love me”.   Instead of saying “Yes he does” (which is a natural response) say “well that is a strong statement, what makes you feel that way”?

Every time your son makes a negative statement about his dad or their relationship, insha’Allah if you respond with an empathetic question, not only will you gain his trust enabling him to open up to you, but you will also insha’Allah create an environment wherein his feelings are validated rather than ignored or passed off.


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While your son is very wrong for saying bad things about his dad, there is also the possibility that something that caused him to feel unloved. 

Please do try to get to the bottom of what has happened sister so you can help repair this most important relationship insha’Allah.  Your son is hurting as I imagine you and your husband are as well.

If your son does not open up and talk to you about what is really bothering him after you have tried, please do seek out counseling in your area for your son so you can get some professional help in resolving this issue.

We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.