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My Son Wants To Leave Home, Help!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 24, 2019

Question

As-salamu `alaiukum dear counselor, My son is 15-year-old, he has said that he wants to move out at the age of sixteen. And now he is threatening me that he will leave home when we fight for any reason. I’m very worried, please help me to change his mind and remain him with us, what should I do?

Counselor

Answer


My Son Wants To Leave Home, Help! - About Islam

In this counseling answer:

•Pick a time when you are both in a good mental space and be sure that you are not going to get angry or let your emotions get the better of you. Pick a time when you can both be alone together with no distractions. Tell him your concerns.

•Let him know exactly why you think it’s a bad idea for him to leave. During this time, also give him the space to tell you exactly why he wants to leave as well. If you spend the whole time telling him your own concerns, but not listening to his then he will not feel respected and like he is not being listened to.


Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

The very thought of a child leaving home is a very difficult one for any parent to face regardless of the reason behind it, whether they go out of anger or whether they leave to be married or to get a new job. However, the fact that your son seems to have an angry attitude towards it is making it even more difficult for you, especially given that he is only 15 at present and may not yet even have the skills to care for himself on his own.

In this case, fighting him might only make him more likely to just pack up and go and will only heighten your distress as he leaves in anger and may be less likely to give you information on where he has gone, therefore, you might try talking with him calmly.

My Son Wants To Leave Home, Help! - About Islam

Pick a time when you are both in a good mental space and be sure that you are not going to get angry or let your emotions get the better of you. Pick a time when you can both be alone together with no distractions. Tell him your concerns. Let him know exactly why you think it’s a bad idea for him to leave.

During this time, also give him the space to tell you exactly why he wants to leave as well. If you spend the whole time telling him your own concerns, but not listening to his then he will not feel respected and like he is not being listened to.

It is important that he knows that you are listening to him as much as you want him to listen to you. This way he is more likely to listen to what you have to say as he is happy that you have listened to him. In fact, you might even begin the conversation by allowing him to have his say first before you respond with your own concerns.

It might be that he is not aware of all the responsibilities of living an independent life and it is during this conversation that you can talk about this. Find out if he is fully aware of what is needed and educate him on this and why this concerns you.

Once you have addressed this issue with a mutual respect between yourselves it might be that you can come up with a compromise that will please you both. So, for example, it may be that you agree to him leaving when he is 16 if you can be involved in the process of helping him to find a house and job.

That way he will feel your support and be less likely to just leave in a moment of rage. Also, you will feel comforted in knowing where he is living, the circumstances in which he is living and where he is working. Alternatively, it may be that you agree that he remains at home until he has learned all the necessary things to live an independent life away from his parents and is able to prove that to you.


Check out this counseling video:

If you feel unable to talk to him like this, or feel he will not respond to him then you might think of asking someone else who he is close to, who you feel he might listen to more instead. For example, his father, any uncles, cousins or siblings. Certainly, if you feel that he will not listen to you or that it will only end up in an argument that might push him away then this might be another option to think about instead.

May Allah bring you ease and guide your son to make a sensible decision about his future.

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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