10 Absolute Signs Of An Emotionally Absent Father in 2021

Parenting can be hell tough because of the responsibilities that come with it. This is why an emotionally absent father leaves healing wounds in a child’s life.

We all know one thing for sure that to have children is in the will of nature but to be parents is in our own hands. We are the ones who decide to leave or abandon a child. Sometimes, the physical bruises do heal with time but the mental bruises are the ones that keep on persisting even after we have grown up. These bruises keep on pinching us deep down and take alternate shapes of trauma that last forever.


  • An emotionally absent father is someone who is not there to meet the emotional needs and understand the feelings of his own child.
  • He is someone who has a patronizing and aggressive attitude.
  • The toxic attitude displayed by such an individual can result because of his own past experiences of trauma and negation.
  • Such an individual becomes a nightmare for the child throughout his life because he takes the much-needed confidence, capability, and positivity from the child.

Who Is An Emotionally Absent Father?

An emotionally absent father is someone who is there to fulfill all the physical needs of a child including clothing, food, and shelter.

However, things take a very contrasting turn when he is said to be there for a child in order to meet the emotional needs of a child.

The needs are far more important to fulfill than the merely physical ones. Research proves that today in the U.S every 1 out of 8 children has an emotionally absent father who is unable to understand the thoughts, fears, and desires of his child.

He is also unsuccessful when it comes to understanding the needs of love and providing the much-needed paternal warmth to a child.

10 Signs Of An Emotionally Absent Father

An emotionally absent father can be abusive intentionally or unintentionally. There is no fixed criterion. The emotional absence from him sometimes comes in waves and sometimes it is initiated because of some trigger. Experts of the psychological field express that an emotionally absent father has the following signs:

  1. He is consistently angry about everything
  2. He never considers the demands and needs of a child.
  3. He puts certain conditions in order to gain his love.
  4. He never checks on the child and his academics.
  5. Often he has a negative image of his own child.
  6. He picks up on the child by comparing him incessantly.
  7. He doesn’t appreciate his child for good things but makes him feel guilty about the bad ones.
  8. He has a contrasting personality.
  9. He is against the idea of letting his child live on his own terms.
  10. He continuously dehumanizes the child.

Extreme Anger

A father who doesn’t care about the mental health of his child always prefers himself and his anger over everything else. This is why quite often we find the child living in a continuous state of fear and turmoil.

This is because he doesn’t know about the uncertainty of his father’s anger. An angry father always has reasons to humiliate the child as well as the spouse for a number of apparently small reasons. Despite getting angry a lot, he is the one who holds the other person accountable for any misdeed.

This is the biggest sign of an emotionally absent father as he is unaware of the long-lasting crushing impacts he would be leaving in the mind of the child. I have an interesting example to share in this regard.

I once had this relative’s daughter at my place who started drawing. Upon being asked, she said it was her mother along with herself and the monster.

This “monster” eventually came up to be known as his father because later on, my mother informed me that the guy used to beat the mother and shout at her in front of the child.

This created a very negative impact on the mind of the girl as she started getting distant and associated her father with a monster. It is proof that children whose fathers remain angry for no apparent reason start trapping their emotions and living under a “perceptive sense of what they feel.”

Ignorant Towards Needs And Demands

A father is always the first person who comes to mind whenever we have something to ask for. Because we know that a father is one such entity who is never going to refuse our demand at any cost.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen in the case of an emotionally absent father. He is the one who is never caring about what the child actually needs. He is the one who decides everything for the child and never lets the child move out of his own comfort zone.

To him, the demands coming from the children are ridiculous and not worthy of any particular attention making the child utterly disappointed.

Putting Conditions

Our parents are the only human beings who love us unconditionally. This is what we are sure of. This thought itself is so comforting that we don’t think of anything else and always expect to eat from our patterns.

However, to an emotionally absent father, expectations are everything and on the edge of that conditions create life.

He keeps on pressuring the child to fulfill certain conditions for getting their share of love.

If these conditions are not fulfilled by the child, then even love itself becomes inaccessible in that case. He is basically a toxic father who operates on a conditional pattern. In his life, every achievement deserves a reward and every failure deserves a failure.

Zero Check On Child And His Academics

Researches prove that when parents are super conscious of their child’s progress in any way of life, their encouragement boosts up their performance as well. This is why the researchers always advise the parents to keep a check on their children and encourage them in life. We don’t find this attitude in an emotionally absent father. He is always ignorant of whatever progress the child is making in the field. This leaves a sense of abandonment within the child. Disappointed from the ignorance of such a vital member of his family makes him feel low in terms of self-esteem too.

A Negative Image Of The Child

Would you believe that there are some parents who hate their own children for no particular reason in general? This works for an emotionally absent father too. He always thinks that the child is not his priority because there is something unattractive about him.

This feeling is commonly present in fathers who themselves are exposed to childhood trauma and negative experiences in their past life. The hatred toward a child makes a father accuse him of anything bad happening in life.

He never accepts the fact that a child can be innocent and goes on punishing him for the sake of relaxing his own mind.

Unnecessary Comparison

Though this behavior is common in a number of parents these days, this isn’t healthy behavior and needs to be eliminated sooner or later.

An emotionally absent father always finds the reason for unnecessary and stupid sort of comparison. He puts his child on the inferior ladder and then compares him to someone he considers standing at the superior ladder. This attitude becomes killing for the child because he feels useless and incapable of anything.

Often such children who are exposed to the so-called “models of perfection” for so long end up harming themselves or suicide. This happens when they think that they are not capable enough to be the ideal set by the father.

Not Appreciating Child & Recurrent Guilt Exposure

This is a very strange behavior exhibited by an emotionally absent father that despite his absence from his duties, he always accuses the child guilty for simply being not “good enough” that one could think of looking after him or even love him.

Also, he never makes time or creates a situation where he could appreciate the child for the good in his personality. This kind of attitude sucks the mental peace from a child and negativity starts depleting the mental health.

The common examples of such an attitude are: holding the child accountable for any mishap in the house or mocking him for being ugly or not perfect enough to be considered loveable.

A Contrastive Personality

It is believed that every person has two faces. One that is displayed before the public and the other which is shown in private. An emotionally absent father takes two different roles in the form of these contrastive faces.

To the world, he is simply a father who is trying hard to earn and provide for his family and is doing all his best to make the children happy and still things don’t go well because of a lack of understanding from the children’s side.

It is only the private facade that tells that the situation is entirely different and everything which he receives from society or at work in terms of bad comments or sympathy, he directs this anger by ignoring and hating his children because to him they are the reason for every failure and misery that is inflicted upon him.

Against The Sense Of Freedom

Freedom is the basic right of every individual. Say it to an adult or a child. You can never enclose a child especially in four walls and direct him to do whatever you want.

This clashes with the opinions of an emotionally absent father who believes that a child should not decide for his life because of immaturity. This makes him distant from the child because the child then starts considering him as a hurdle in his path.

In his attempt to release himself from this cage, he becomes rebellious against the decisions of the father and thus the emotional bondage ends.

Incessant Dehumanization

A dehumanizing attitude is always associated with a toxic display of loath. An emotionally absent father is not aware of this sense. For him, the child doesn’t count much more than just random stuff laying somewhere at the farthest corner of his house.

This makes him ignorant about the requisites of treatment that are needed to assure a child of love and warmth. The incessant dehumanization makes the child lose his own personality and live in the deception of the persona created by his father.


An emotionally absent father is not only toxic for the mental health of a child but it diminishes the physical health of a child as well. When a child finds that there is no way out of the trap set forth by a toxic person who doesn’t even get to the basic needs of his child, things always fall in a disastrous pattern. This attitude not only leaves its imprints on the present life of an individual but also makes his future life traumatic till the end.

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