Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How do I make my children’s Muslim father take responsibility?

lonely child, abandoned, father, son, child

I myself am not Muslim however my two children and their father are. The children were born out of wedlock.

My question is, does he have any duties he should be fulfilling towards my children? I do not care about him paying for them I simply request that he is there for them as he has regular absences from their lives.

My daughter is 5years old and now recognises that Daddy lets her down frequently and has taken a severe dislike to him. My son who is 1year of age is too young to yet notice this.

Their father is not married and although his parents know of the children they do not accept them not because of religion but because of tradition, even though my parents are deceased leaving them my children's only grandparents. Their aunts (the father's sisters) regularly see them and take them out but their father's inconsistency is starting to affect my daughter in a disturbing way (distrust of people and to be blunt a bad attitude).

I have tried everything I can think of to make him understand his behaviour is unacceptable and countless times he has made promises he will not keep. Is there anything I can do or say that will make him understand that our children are the most wonderful things he has ever created before I have to make the decision that he is no longer healthy for them?

Kind regards,

C


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6 Responses »

  1. That's a shame. Five year old daughters by nature love should their fathers. They should be able to look up to them and admire them.

    Make sure you are not teaching your daughter to dislike her father, perhaps by saying things like, "Sweetie, don't get your hopes up, you know your father is not very reliable." Or, "Well, your father has let you down again."

    It could also be that your attitude toward him is filtering down to your daughter, without you meaning it to.

    So please make sure that you are not teaching your children (consciously or unconsciously) to dislike their father. No child needs that kind of bitterness, or the distrust and bad attitude that you say your daughter is developing.

    Tell them good things about their father (even if that is personally difficult for you). Mention his good qualities, share any good memories that you have of him, etc. Do this not for the father, but for the children.

    Obviously there's nothing you can do to force the father to be active in the children's lives. You've already tried convincing him or guilting him into it and it hasn't worked. It would be nice if he had the desire and love to do it. But apparently he doesn't.

    As far as the money issue, in some countries you can pursue the father legally for child support. In the USA, if he doesn't pay he goes to jail. It's up to you whether you want to go that route or not.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. Dear Brother wael,

    asalamalikum,

    please forgive me but i must say this.

    as far as i can remember, my dad was not really loving towards me, although he was always in the house. and i developed a dislike for him , so much so that i still remember that i used to pray that he dies onhis way home( this sounds very cruel) but a child even if one doesnt get poisoned by other parent( as you have suggested) they are very clever and observant and sensitive. they just know who is not sincere towards them

    my dad always use to say to us( kids ) that your grand parents( my moms parents) are evil and a bad influence on us, but we as kids use to adore our grandparents and use to sneak out to see them as they were so loving and sincere.

    so please dont be judgemental about the questioner.

    this emotional absence of a parent in ones life can make a child actually develop dislike for that parent.iam telling you from experience and being a daughter.

  3. you are a gem big brother 🙂

  4. My Sister,

    This is very sad. But to answer the main question in your post,

    How do I make my children’s Muslim father take responsibility?

    the answer is that Only Allah (swt) can truly make the father of your children act in a responsible way.

    But that does not mean that there is nothing you can do! The power of dua is great. Pray dua that he becomes more responsible. Also pray that your children see the truth about their father, and understand that his lack of responsibility is not because they are not good enough or that they have done something wrong.

    When I pray dua about something, I find a wonderful thing happens. Allah places ideas in my mind on the things I can do to address whatever I am praying about. When Allah (swt) created us to live and thrive in the world which He provided us, part of the traits he gave us is the ability to be self reliant in many things. If there are things you can personally do to help improve the situation, do so. You are asking Allah (swt) for assistance AND guidance. Let Him guide you.

    Let me give you a simple example. If your children were always falling on broken glass in the street in front of your home, you would go out and sweep up the glass whenever you saw it. You might have to sweep it up daily. You would not pray to Allah (swt) to remove the glass, because it was something within your power to do. In the same way, when you pray for assistance and guidance from Allah, in many cases there are steps you can take to address the situation. Do so. Search your mind for your role and the things you can do.

    Allah (swt) will work His will on things outside of your control. He will guide you to things that you can do. Do your part, and allow Allah (swt) to accomplish His will in the manner of His choice.

    May Allah Sustain You,

    - American Muslim

  5. Unfortunately my daughter has learnt from the many times he has promised to visit her or take her out and when he does not show with no phone call text message or any reason why he cannot see her obviously she holds resentment at nearly 5years of age she has the same emotions that any other person would and in that same situation if your father mistreated you the way hers does then you yourself would learn that he was unreliable and have the same feelings towards him that she does with her father. I have come to the conclusion that my children are better off without their father until he has grown up and stopped putting drugs, drink and other women ahead of them, it was a very hard conclusion to come to as it means accepting the fact my children have only me to rely upon and ensure their childhood is the very best it can be religiously and in terms of enjoying the things this life has to offer. I have realised its a responsibility I have been undertaking for 5years as his contributions have been nothing more than an attempt at assuading his guilt. My mother passed away when my daughter was 2 months old and since then I think I have been giving him so many chances as they have no other family and as naïve as I was I now have accepted I am the only person (other than Allah swt) who loves them unconditionally whether they are ill or healthy whether they misbehave or are little angels that will be there 100% for them. Thankyou for your comments they have given me the strength I needed to accept he is to selfish to see them as a blessing as opposed to an inconvenience.

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