In this counseling answer:
•The father can be directly involved in all the same tasks as the mother in raising children, from getting them ready in the morning, educating them and playing with them.
•The father can help by allowing the mother to have a break for the day, or at least a couple of hours to allow her to rest and recuperate from the demanding nature of the role of a mother on a day to day basis.
Wa ’Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,
This is a is a good question. As you say, we often hear about the mother’s role in raising children, and most commonly hear about the father’s role as the provider. Unfortunately, the other roles of the father can often be neglected.
It is useful for the fathers-to-be to be aware of their other roles also in order to be well prepared for it before fatherhood. Being prepared will enable them to do the best job which will ultimately result in healthier children.
Certainly, in Islam, it is emphasized that the primary role of the father is to provide for the family. But the father can also help not only directly, but also indirectly by supporting the mother in her role.
The father can be directly involved in all the same tasks as the mother in raising children, from getting them ready in the morning, educating them and playing with them.
Indirectly, the father can help by allowing the mother to have a break for the day, or at least a couple of hours to allow her to rest and recuperate from the demanding nature of the role of a mother on a day to day basis. This may involve taking care of the children alone for a short while or helping her with household chores whilst she tends to the children. A mother who is well rested will be in a better physical and emotional state to take good care of her children.
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This time alone with the children can help the father to appreciate the role that a mother fulfills on a day to day basis. It can help him develop a sense of love and respect for her role within the family. These strengthened relations between mother and father will ultimately be good for the children also.
From a psychological perspective, when a father engages in the upbringing of a child and has a large input in their day to day up bringing, it will help to strengthen bonds with the children. It will nurture a sense of protection and security which is related to a healthy upbringing. It also gives the children to potentially experience a different style of parenting which can be useful, for example, if the children have different interests that perhaps the mother is less likely to engage in. For example, a shared interest in soccer between father and son means that the son, in this case, gets to engage in a fun activity with their father with the same passion in a way that perhaps the mother could not provide if she does not have the same interest.
Psychological literature also supports the notion that a father’s involvement in their child up brings can have significant effects on the psychological health of the child all the way through to adulthood. Receiving love openly from both the mother and father tends to lead to a secure and happy individual that strives well in many realms of life. Furthermore, the support between husband and wife which is also viewed by the children will also be conducive to a happy childhood and better relationships with others in adulthood.
A relationship with the father will also provide the children with an idea of the role of men generally in society. The boy child learns from his father what their role will be as they grow up, or as a girl what she should expect from a good husband.
May Allah reward you for seeking to understand the full benefits of fatherhood as well as motherhood and its impact on raising healthy children. May Allah grant you righteous, pious children who will be the coolness of your eyes.
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