How do I deal with my teenager having unIslamic behaviors and interests?

Question: My fourteen-year-old son likes listening to songs, watching foreign films, and imitating western fashions. Besides, he is lazy in performing his religious obligations. How should I deal with him?

The answer: Man often, especially in the transitional period from childhood to youth, becomes involved in some slips and sins. Perhaps he does not intend to commit them willingly, but because of the Satan’s incitement, he goes towards those prohibited things just for a change, out of curiosity, or as a new experiment.

If you follow the three steps mentioned below, you will be successful in guiding your son and rescuing him from the swamp of sins; otherwise, you will make him continue his sins if you follow the wrong manner of dealing with him.

To behave wisely, you should tolerate your son’s mistakes in this stage of his life because they will come to an end. You should remember that Allah is merciful to His people and He forgives their sins.

Here are the three steps:

First, you have to make friends with him and show him your love and kindness. You can go out with him to buy for him what he needs of clothes and other things. Always smile at him, and consult with him on some affairs with which you entrust him. Continue doing this until you become certain that he trusts you and begins obeying you sincerely.

Second, you have to prepare for him some alternatives, such as religious oratorios instead of songs and Islamic films instead of foreign films. Talk to him about the harms of imitating westerners. Tell him that nowadays many western people have begun imitating Islamic conducts because they find in them gravity, purity, and high morals.

Third, you have to take him with you to the mosque, to religious meetings, and to the meetings of the Ulama’. You have to acquaint him with good youth so he can befriend them.