What’s Islam’s Take on Nurturing Children?

One of the most common causes of family breakdowns is the lack of respect of the husband and wife for each other. If they don’t respect the reciprocal rights and don’t respect each other or not have patience toward each other and fail to forgive each other’s mistakes, trust would vanish from their relationship. Furthermore, the children who are brought up in an environment of mistrust would turn to be ignorant towards the rights of their parents and possibly of others. Therefore, respect for the spouse and upholding his/her rights can be regarded as a key principle for nurturing children.

When asked about “who the lowest of all people is”, Imam Hassan (PBUH) answered: “The lowest is the one who only thinks of himself and is ignorant towards his wife, leaving her on her own.”1
If one appreciates his wife and by respecting her rights provides for the calm and mental security of the household, his wife will be enabled to spend time and energy on the delicate task of parenting with an easy mind and a healthy spirit. The result would first benefit the parents and enable an environment for raising healthy children.

In our narrations the men are constantly advised to respect their wives and refrain from demanding overwhelming tasks. 2 The father as the main provider of the family must contribute to the role of the mother and help in her nurturing of their children. Therefore the father can reduce the mental and psychological pressures of the mother through kindness and verbal communication using a positive and affectionate approach and contributing to the training and growth of the children.


1.Tohfal Uqool, pg. 226
2. Mustadrak al-Wasail, vol. 14, pg. 251