How to Tell Children about Polygamy

How to Tell Children about PolygamyMany parents wonder how to tell children about polygamy when the child’s father becomes polygamous. “Flower” who is a commentator here at polygamy 411 wrote a reply that is an excellent sample of how a parent can simplify the process. She related the following:

“I just wanted to touch on your issue with how to tell your children, as I, too, worried about how my children would react, and to my surprise, they didn’t feel or think about polygny in the same way that I did. I explained it to them like this:

In a very calm way:

Me: So, you know how we are Muslims, and we live differently than a lot of people we know. We pray 5 times a day, and we fast and we eat halal etc.

Them: Yeah

Me: So you know mommy is daddy’s wife and he and I are married.

Them: Yeah

Me: Well in Islam, which is our religion, a man can have 4 wives. That’s a lot isn’t it?

Them: (laughing) Yeah

Me: Well daddy got married again and now he has two wives, which is just 1 more, so not that many.

Them: (looking slightly confused) okay

Me: Her name is (name of wife) and because she’s daddy’s wife as well, just like mommy, he is going to spend time with her and look after her the same way he does with mommy.

Them: All the time?

Me: No, just sometimes. So tonight daddy will take care and spend time with us, and tomorrow he will go to (name of wife) and spend time with her. And daddy will come back after and be with us, and then we keep doing that.

Them: okay, so does that mean she is our mom too?

Me: No, you only have one mommy cuz you was in my belly, but you can go to her house and play and sleep over.

Them: oh, okay. Can we go now? I wanna see.

Me: maybe another time, soon.

Oldest one says: so do I have 2 wives or can I just have one.

Me: You can just have one, InShaa Allah.

Them: okay, can we play Xbox now?

“Flower” shares with us how to tell children about polygamy, she continued:

They understood and from then on till now they only ask if dad is here tonight, or is he coming back tonight? It’s completely normal to them. They are not affected negatively, as some claim happens, because I didn’t put my emotions and negativity on them. I’d say to you, just be really factual about it and never, never, never say they can’t see or speak to their father, BECAUSE he is with his other wife (as if that’s the only reason, although it might be). Just say he’ll be back when he is due back or just remind them that daddy is with (wife’s name), and maybe you can get them a phone to call him so he knows it’s the children that want to speak to him and not you. We did this but they hardly ever took the opportunity.

Once, they said, how come dad has to keep going, and I explained that it wouldn’t be fair to not look after his other wife because we wouldn’t like it if he just stayed with (name of wife) all the time. I told them it wouldn’t be very kind, and Muslims are kind.  We have to be fair, because she is dads wife too, just like mommy.

I hope this helps”

I’d like to thank “Flower” for sharing her experience with all of us on how to tell children about polygamy. Insha Allah, it will be a model for all. It will make the process easier for those parents who need help with how to tell their children about our way of life-polygamy in Islam. I pray Allah is well pleased with her.

Please note: Please discuss other topics in the assigned “Discussions” area.

how to tell children about polygamy


  • shattered

    November 2, 2017

    MaShaAllah sister flower did it the best possible way.
    but if my husband gets another wife it wont be easy coz my daughters are 9 and 11.and to make it worst,my younger one had a friend two years ago,and on daily basis she use to tell her how they have to live with their maternal grand parents coz of her fathers second wife and how the second wife and children enjoy every luxury of life while their father dont have time for them and her mom.and then she had to leave the school in the middle of the session just coz her father didnt had enough money to pay the fee.
    my little one used to get so upset coz of this that she used to ask me if their father have another wife or will her father will get them a step mom too.and i told her he has no intentions to do so .she dont have to worry.

  • anabellah

    October 16, 2017


    I think more than you being confused, the fathers who are polygamous and don’t want their children to know about it are confused. It’s the same with the man who hides his wife from his other wife and children.

    A wife needs to stand up to her husbands for what is right (unless he’s abusive, in which case she should consider leaving him). She should tell him that if he was man enough to marry another woman, he should be man enough to tell his children about it. After all, polygamy is lawful. Allah has made it halal.

    If the father refuses to tell the children the truth, it’s the wife’s responsibility to tell them it. We, as Muslim, are to be truthful. It’s ludicrous to tell children not to lie all the while the parents lie.

    A man who hides his wife from his other wife and children apparently cares nothing about Islam. He only cares about satisfying his desires. He conducts his affairs the same way that non-Muslims do; therefore he is of them. When Allah has allowed man to have more than one wife, there is no reason for him to hide and lie about it? If he must resort to such measures, he had no business becoming polygamous. It says a lot about his lack of faith. Allah sees and hears all things. He has created certain people for the Hellfire and He will have those people do thing to land them there.

  • Ira

    October 16, 2017

    I’m confused.

    If dad decides to take on the responsibility of another wife, how on earth can he duck the responsibility to be the one to inform his children??

  • Aisyah Abdullah

    October 11, 2017

    Waalaykum salaam sis Ana!May Allah swt reward you n all the other sisters in your jihad!

  • anabellah

    October 11, 2017

    Aisyah Abdullah, As Salaamu Alaikum

    Thank you for stopping in and letting us know that you like Sister Flower’s post. I love her post. It’s really cute and a nice easy way to explain polygamy to a child, as far as I can see.

    It was interesting that she noted the children were not affected negatively, as some people out there make out that they are. If the child is not an older one as in a teenager or maybe pre-teen they wouldn’t care much unless the mother shows adverse reactions to it.

    Perhaps others have some thoughts about the topic or the post.

  • Aisyah Abdullah

    October 11, 2017

    Masha Allah, sister Flower!You are IBU MITHALI, exemplary mother!👍

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