This is a frightening situation and you have to take threats like these seriously. Any act of violence or threat thereof is absolutely impermissable. If he made this threat elsewhere the consequences would be severe and they should be at home as well. We are sorry you are having to experience this. It must be very painful for you to have to hear such things.
The good news is that there is help out there. It is great that he is currently in counseling. You probably already have, but make sure his counselor is aware of the threats he has made. The counselor needs to know so that he can address them with your son and further assess the situation. If he makes these threats again and you feel he may act on them, call the authorities. It may sound extreme, but it's too serious of a threat not to do. If your son has demonstrated violent behavior in the past towards other people or animals, this is another dangerous sign it may be best to get him into a residential treatment facility.
With situations like these, it is best to find a professional to dialogue with as every child and every home environment is going to have a different plan to maintain safety. Call a family support agency in your area or call us. We are a hotline that is specifically for parents and teens and with the dangerousness of this situation, we would love to speak with you about how to proceed. We have a long referral list of agencies from all over the country and are good at safety planning these sorts of incidents. Please call.
Boys Town National Hotline
It is good that your son is in counseling and you should definitely talk these concerns over with the counselor. Some counselors might want to see a child more often if there is a crisis. Some counselors might want a child to see his medical doctor or a child psychiatrist to figure out if medication would help temporarily.
What else you do depends on his age. Since you are already connected with a counselor it's best to work with that person on specific strategies. It might be time for you to go in and talk to the counselor separately from your son's appointment. These are difficult problems and it will be important to develop a plan that helps you respond consistently.
Be sure to notice those times when your child is not angry and misbehaving and say something positive to him then.
Jeanne H. Brockmyer, Ph. D.
education.com expert clinical child psychologist
I have a child who is now 16 but has always had anger issues beyond the norm!!! When she was 9 she grabbed a steaknife and put it to her neck and said "I swear I will slice my throat"" Well i did'nt have much time to react and I did'nt want to allow her to think she could get her way by threatening awful things.... so I calmly told her that she could try her threat but that I would be across the room in seconds to retrieve the knife and she still would not be in a different position then she was in then. (nevermind the fact that i knew if she cut herself she would stop immediately) I could'nt let her think she scared me though she did but i only heard that threat 1 or 2 more times b4 she gave up. Although she did go on to bigger and better threats still none ever worked due to my stubbornness and patience by waiting her out and then discussing how her threats would get her nowhere except straight to the psychiatrist office. hope i was some help. A good resource book to read is called "The Explosive Child" but I dont recall authors name.