How Can I Convince My Husband To Be Equally Affectionate to Our Children?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


My husband is not a bad person at all, never has he abused me in any way, but he neglects our children. I have three girls, one of whom is deaf, and one son, but as my children grow, he shows no affection towards them, especially the deaf one. He is excellent with my son. I have fought with him, explained nicely, and arranged gatherings with family & friends to explain that this behavior is wrong. All attempts have failed. We have slept in separate rooms for over 6-8 months due to his inability to sleep because of the baby. I’m fed up and desperate for guidance.


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration about your husband ignoring his daughters, and I pray that you can find a better way to make him understand.

Equality with Children

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Act equally between your children; act equally between your sons.” [Abu Dawud]

It was narrated from Nu’man bin Bashir that his father gave him a gift of a slave, and he came to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) so that he could witness the gift. He said: “Have you given something to all of your children?” He said: “No.” He said: “Then take back (your gift).” [Ibn Maja]

For much more detail, please see this link as well:
Estate Division and the Sunna of Equal Treatment of Children in Gift Giving
Is It Permissible for a Man To Give His Home to His Only Son and Ignore His Daughters?

Role Model

The first thing that is apparent to me is that you should be a role model for him. You should spend good, quality time with all of your children equally, you should show affection to all of them, you should be cheerful and happy with all of them, you should pray with all of them, you should buy them all gifts equally, and you should do group activities with all of them, while your husband watches. He will slowly but eventually catch on that they should all be treated the same.

Forcing Him to Change

Unfortunately, one of the realities of life is that we can’t force our husbands to change. Many wives have tried, but most have failed, making both parties miserable due to the wasted time, effort, and spent emotions. Please stop trying. You must focus on yourself and submit his matter to Allah. Instead, conversing with Allah is far more powerful. Anything that you seek through yourself will be difficult, but anything you seek through Allah will be easy.


Try these steps, not as a way to make him change, but as a way to help you:

  1. Ask him to take over some parenting responsibilities, such as taking the children to the dentist. This will start building the bond;
  2. Arrange for him to read a story to each child separately, in turns (perhaps something different for your deaf daughter);
  3. Stop criticizing him completely;
  4. Each month, have your husband take one kid out for a ‘dad date.’ One-on-one time with each kid every month;
  5. And finally, keep up hope that he will change with time, most dads are uninvolved when the children are small, but as the children grow and become engaging, the fathers completely change;
  6. Pray and strive for love, tranquility, faith, knowledge and worship in your home; that is the central focus of the family.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.