Unable to Deal with Teenage Son after Divorce

23 May, 2019
Q After my divorce, I was given custody of all our children. My ex felt I had taken them from him when we migrated to another country after  I got married again to a Muslim living in the West. My eldest son is a teenager now, often he is refusing to take advice from him or his step father.  There is a lot of tendency in him to just not care anymore about his studies.  Many times he has gotten into trouble with his schools both secular ones and the Islamic weekend schools.

He talked down to me as though I am his maid and blamed me for asking him to do tougher subjects at school when it was a decision made by his teachers back then. I've asked him if he would like to return home, to live with his father because I am at a breaking point, crying myself to sleep.  He hates his biological father and does not communicate very much with his step father.  He deems me as being very soft, easily manipulated with demands for more and more clothes that he doesn't need.

His two brothers are looking at him as someone who is able to get his way with me. In Islam, is it right that the children should be in their father's custody once they reach puberty?  I am not wanting to dump them on him, but I want to know if perhaps I was wrong to "take" them away from him after the divorce?  Now I feel as though I am being tested and punished for that decision that I have made? Please help.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•You have to have patience and help your son any way you can, beginning with therapy.

•Islamic counseling from your local mosque or a good young Muslim group in your local mosques example; youth halaqa (circle) or Young Muslims (YM).

•I also recommend that you and the other kids go for family therapy.

•Make sure you make dua`aa’ for him every chance you can, it’s only Allah that has the power to change what’s in someone’s heart.


As-salamu `alaykum,

Your son is at a very sensitive age. Being a teenager who needs a sense of security and belonging is crucial during the adolescent phase which is not helped by the divorce, moving to a different country and away from family friends.

Yet, it doesn’t give him the right to treat you in that disrespectful manner, and it definitely doesn’t help him for you to give in to his demands, he’s manipulating you!! If you have younger kids most likely they will follow his footsteps, you have to set matters straight once and for all.

I’m not sure that sending him back to a father he hates (according to you) is going to help, but you have to be sure that it is hatred your son feels or is it resentment at being left by his father? It is important to decipher the difference because what may be best for your son right now is to do the very thing that he thinks that he does not want to do, see the person who has caused his pain to find out why.

Unable to Deal with Teenage Son after Divorce - About Islam

You have to have patience and help your son any way you can, beginning with therapy. Islamic counseling from your local mosque or a good young Muslim group in your local mosques example; youth halaqa (circle) or Young Muslims (YM). Usually, these groups are excellent in that the youth relate to each other and guide one another and the group leaders are great counselors.

I also recommend that you and the other kids go for family therapy, and just remember sister Allah (SWT) said our children, spouses and money are our hardest tests in this life and our beloved prophet (pbuh) said that all of are shepherd’s and all  are responsible – and the mother is responsible for her children.


Check out this counseling  video


Make sure you make dua`aa’ for him every chance you can, it’s only Allah that has the power to change what’s in someone’s heart.

May Allah guide your kids and have them amongst the chosen believer and protect them from the evil whispers of the shaytan.

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