Daughter Explains Why She Prefers To Have An Absent Father Versus An Inconsistent One

She noticed an improvement in her behavior during the years when her father was absent versus when he was inconsistent.

dad and daughter hugging Helgy via Canva Pro

The relationship a parent forges with their child can have lasting effects on how they approach other relationships in their lives along with how they view themselves, especially as adults. The best thing you can hope for is to have loving, supportive, and emotionally available parents, but that's not always the case.

In a TikTok video, a woman named Mariah shared that she didn't have the best relationship with her father growing up, and revealed why her life improved during the times when her father wasn't in her life compared to when he was around but not putting in any effort.


Mariah explained why she prefers an absent father versus an inconsistent one.

In Mariah's video, she stitched another video from a content creator named Morgan, who was questioning whether it's better for a child to have an absent father compared to an inconsistent one who may not be there emotionally, or doesn't do all they can to fulfill a healthy fatherly role. 

In response, Mariah shared that she feels "uniquely qualified" to speak on the topic since she had both an absent and inconsistent father during her childhood. She explained that the years when her father was inconsistent were probably the most traumatic years of her life.




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"Those were definitely the most stressful years of my life as a child. Children shouldn't be stressed," Mariah said. She explained that it's only now that she's an adult and has been in therapy to work through her childhood trauma that was she able to work through her dad issues and how much he impacted her when he was inconsistent.

"The things that I didn't realize is how much those years of inconsistency actually impacted me," she continued. "After those years of him being inconsistent, I completely withdrew from everybody. I wasn't talking in class, I wasn't making friends. I wasn't doing any of my schoolwork. I was literally a zombie."


When her father stopped showing up, Mariah saw an improvement in her social skills and behavior.

However, during the years when Mariah's father was completely absent from her life, she began coming out of her shell, and life was breathed back into her. She wasn't as anxious anymore, and her peace wasn't being disturbed because of the chaos that her father brought into her life from his inconsistency.

When she was withdrawn in school due to his inconsistent parenting, she ended up being held back a grade, but after her dad vanished, she managed to ace a test that allowed her to skip a grade and get back on track academically. 

Daughter Says She Prefers To Have An Absent Father Versus An Inconsistent OnePhoto: FatCamera / Canva Pro


"Turns out I was extremely intelligent. Turns out I had a very happy personality. Turns out my classmates liked being around me, and all my teachers enjoyed having me in class," she recalled.

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Mariah started doing well in sports and extracurricular activities as well.

She became the first person in her family to graduate from high school and get a college scholarship so she could study social justice and political science.

She offered advice for mothers debating whether to let an absent versus inconsistent father into their child's life, saying that from her own personal experience, she preferred a dad who wasn't there. "For any moms watching this wondering if inconsistency is better than absence, in my situation absence was 100% better than inconsistency." 


Recent studies have found that more and more adult children are withdrawing from their parents.

According to the Journal of Marriage and Family, from conducting interviews with thousands of adult children, it was found that 26% reported estrangement from fathers, while a much smaller group, 6%, reported cutting ties with their mothers.

In an interview with The Hill, Rin Reczek, the lead author of the study, explained why more and more adults are choosing to put some space between their parents and the unhealthy relationship that many of them most likely have.

"I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships," he said. "There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family." 

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As someone who grew up with an inconsistent father who failed to form an emotional connection with me, much like Mariah, it wasn't until I became an adult and was actively in therapy working through all of that trauma that I began to realize just how much it affected me during my childhood.

I was an anxious child — still am, just an adult version of that child. I have trouble depending on people and putting my trust in others.


All a child wants is to have an emotionally available, loving, supportive, caring father who shows up. I spent years during my childhood wondering if there was something wrong with me, if there was anything I could do differently that would make my father want to spend time with me.

It wasn't until I became an adult that I realized it wasn't my fault. It's a parent's job to form a connection with their child and make sure that their child doesn't think of them as a stranger, not the other way around.

Everyone's experience is different, but I agree that sometimes, having an absent father is better than having your hopes up that one day, the inconsistency will change. One day he'll actually show up in all the ways that a dad should. 

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