How to Handle My Aggressive Teenager?

13 June, 2021
Q Salam Aleikom. I am a single mother. My 14 years old son gets aggressive with me quite often. If I dare to ask him to do something such as putting his dirty clothes in the laundry, he oftentimes starts shouting at me.

Last time, during a fight with him, he took the first thing he found (an empty cup) and throw it towards me. I started to be scared of my son. I don’t know how to handle him. I thought of taking him to a psychologist, but I am sure he won’t agree to it. What can I do with him? JazakAllah.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•I would kindly suggest dear sister that you sit with your son with someone else present and discuss his behavior.

•Tell him it cannot continue and ask him how you can help him regain control as well as try to find out the source of his anger.

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•You may have to petition the courts with a mental health advocate in order to get him in getting counseling.

•Please, do engage family or a trusted imam in this situation. Sit with your son and express concern as well as limitations for his behaviors.

•Give him the option to get help to restore not only himself but yours and his relationship.


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through with your son. Under no circumstances should he be treating you that way, it is abusive and not conducive to a peaceful home.

Sister, I would like you to think about how long he has been this way. Has it been years and getting worse or was it a sudden change? Do you think he is angry about a divorce? Does he see his father often? If his father is in his life, can you talk to him about how your son is acting?

If his father is not in his life, is there someone else such as the family who could help? Do you have a brother, uncle or father who could intervene? I would kindly suggest sister that you speak with family members about this or a trusted imam at your Masjid.

How to Handle My Aggressive Teenager? - About Islam

While I do not know what is going on with him, it is very obvious he is angry and goes into rages taking it out on you. This cannot continue. While he is your son and you love him, he is also almost grown, and as a young man out of control, he can do much damage and harm to you.

I would kindly suggest dear sister that you sit with your son with someone else present and discuss his behavior. Tell him it cannot continue and ask him how you can help him regain control as well as try to find out the source of his anger.

If he is non-compliant, you may have to have him stay with a family member or you may have to petition the courts with a mental health advocate in order to get him in getting counseling.

While this, of course, will make him angrier, I kindly suggest that you do not tell him ahead of time, just do it.

This would mean that while he may not go for counseling immediately, you would and at that point, your counselor would be able to offer you more concrete options of how to help your son get counseling as well as more importantly, how to keep yourself safe.


Check out this counseling answer:


In this situation, sister, you do not know what is going on. It could be a mental health issue; it could be drugs, or it could be deeply rooted anger. In sha’ Allah, it will be resolved, but it may take some time.

I am more concerned with your safety right now. Please, do engage family or a trusted imam in this situation. Sit with your son and express concern as well as limitations for his behaviors. Give him the option to get help to restore not only himself but yours and his relationship.

Please, get counseling as soon as possible. A counselor in your area can direct you to more appropriate resources to resolve this issue and provide a safety net for you in this abusive situation.

Please, let us know how you are.

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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 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 projects.