In this counseling answer:
You and your husband should have a clear plan of action on how you are going to raise your children.
•Try to win your son’s heart and become his friends by telling him that you forgive him for his past behavior.
•Let him know that no matter what, he can count on you to love him.
•Over time, perhaps your son will actually turn to you for help before losing his temper or becoming disrespectful.
As-salamu `alaikum sister,
Thank you for writing to us. We realize you are hurt and anxious about how to deal with your son. Here are some thoughts for your consideration.
First, remember that Allah Most High guides whom He wills and that your duty is to do everything possible to present the message of Islam to your children.
In this case, it is your duty to make sure that you son realizes that he is not just disobeying his parents when he disrespects them or shouts back or tells his mother that he hates her, he is also disobeying Allah.
Of course it is not easy to quote Qur’anic verses or hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) to teenagers in the middle of an argument or fight. So, try to catch your son off guard, when he is least expecting it, engage him in a conversation in which you share those teachings with him.
Remind him that Allah says in the Qur’an, “Thy Lord has decreed, that you worship none save Him, and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not ‘Fie’ unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word.” (Al-Israa’ 23)
If you do not think your son will listen to you, then write out such teachings and leave them where you know he is sure to see them. Allah knows best, but perhaps your son will be affected by such an approach and by the teachings.
Second, it is unclear to us how much your son influences you and your husband’s child-rearing strategies. You and your husband should have a clear plan of action on how you are going to raise your children. Of course, you can modify that plan and revise it for each child, but, in general, you are in charge, and therefore, your should have a plan of action.
It is never justifiable to say that the children “make” you hit them or abuse them. This is not true. No one can “make” you do something you do not wish to do. Surprise your son and do not engage him further if he begins to shout back.
Just when he expects that you will hit him, leave him alone. Let him be. You are not encouraging his behavior or letting him get away with it, you are just trying to change the way you deal with him with the hope that, in sha’ Allah, he will break this cycle of disrespect and shouting.
Third, both you and your husband should consult one another in dealing with your son, so that he and his sibling get a consistent message from you about what is expected of the children according to Islamic teachings. Do not forget as well to emphasize the rights of the children from their parents, as this will help them to consider you as fair people.
Try to win your son’s heart and become his friends by telling him that you forgive him for his past behavior. Let him know that no matter what, he can count on you to love him. Over time, perhaps your son will actually turn to you for help before losing his temper or becoming disrespectful.
Finally, Allah Most High has given such high regard for parents, especially the mother. You should know that you have a special status in Islam as even the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) has reminded us that heaven lies under the feet of the mother. Whatever has gone wrong with your son, correct it. Find out.
Do not delay and think that he’ll grow out of such behavior by himself. In sha’ Allah, without resorting to hitting him, you will be able to establish a good relationship with him in the near future. Keep the father involved as well, and together you can review how each of you is doing with your son.
Make lots of du`aa’ for your son and for your entire family.
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