Teen Tells His Dad He Can 'Forget About Being Included In His Life' After He Prioritizes A Stepdaughter Over His High School Graduation

He told his dad that he feels neglected and discarded because of the way he favors his stepdaughter.

Black teenager ignoring scolding dad sitting on campus bench Motortion Films | Shutterstock

An 18-year-old boy admitted that he doesn't want the support of his father anymore after he missed a monumental and important event in his life in favor of his stepsister. 

Posting to the subreddit "r/AITA," he explained that his father often puts his stepdaughter's needs over his and decided that he'd rather not have his father in his life if that's the case.

He told his dad that he could 'forget about being included in his life' after he prioritized his stepdaughter over his high school graduation.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he would be graduating high school at the end of the month, and he expected his dad to be there but was disappointed after hearing that his stepsister, 14, was having an award ceremony for a competition on that same day and really wanted his father to be there as well. The teen's dad informed him that he couldn't possibly make both of the events, and since his wife and other children were going to his stepsister's event, he'd be going to that too.


"He told me he would make it up to me, and we could celebrate another time," he wrote. "I still live with him. My mom died when I was 7, and my dad got married again when I was 11 or 12. It's been a few years, anyway. His stepdaughter never knew her bio dad, so my dad has accepted her as his own. And he has prioritized her a lot in the last 5/6 years."

dad laughing and picking up daughter Evgeny Atamanenko | Shutterstock


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His father's favoritism of his stepdaughter wasn't always obvious, but over the years, the 18-year-old has definitely felt it. Any quality time that he would try to spend with his father would be put on "hiatus" because his father wanted to include his stepdaughter, but he would just spend quality time with her, leaving him feeling like an outsider.

Whenever he'd bring up how he felt, his father would argue that all he wanted was for him and his stepdaughter to bond instead of focusing on his relationship with him. 

father and daughter spending time together at park IOFOTO / Canva Pro


It's understandable that his father wanted to cultivate a relationship with his stepdaughter and bridge the gap between his biological son and her, but he shouldn't prioritize her over him, especially when it comes to a high school graduation.

A high school graduation only comes once, and she'll probably have multiple award ceremonies throughout her life. It's reasonable for the boy to feel hurt and neglected by his father's decision. This teen's father should be able to recognize the significance of important milestones in his son's life and make an effort to be present for them. 

It might not seem like a big deal to him, and he may think his son will be able to understand and forgive him, but these things have a way of staying with children, even in adulthood.

upset teenage boy sitting alone in room New Africa | Shutterstock


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He recalled his father prioritizing his stepdaughter's events over his in the past, as well.

"He has attended her dance things instead of my basketball games if they're on at the same time. It doesn't matter if mine was known about first; he will still skip my stuff to go to hers," he continued.

In one instance, he recalled that his fridge and shower had broken at the same time, and instead of his father fixing them, he took money out of his birthday fund to pay for his stepdaughter's birthday presents. His dad didn't give all of the money back in time for his son's birthday, so the teen received a $30 gift card while his stepsister got $250 worth of gifts.

"When my dad told me he wouldn't be at my graduation to go and support her, I told him there is no making up for that, and he [could] forget about being included in my life going forward. He told me he would make it up to me, and I told him I will always come second to his little princess, and I'm not going to be okay with that."


sad son being scolded by dad SolStock / Canva Pro

He confided in his dad that he felt "discarded" and wouldn't stand for it anymore. His father tried to encourage him to be "reasonable" about the situation, but the teen was adamant about not changing his mind. 

It's such a painful realization for a teenager to essentially go "no contact" with one or both of their parents because they feel undervalued or ignored, whether it's with their biological siblings or stepsiblings.


At the end of the day, hopefully, the teen's honesty with his father offers a sobering reminder that children are more than capable of feeling unseen and that parental actions, even unintentional ones, can deeply impact a child's sense of worth and belonging within a family. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.