Is Naruto A Bad Father In The Boruto Sequel Series?

After spending his life as an orphan, many assumed Naruto would be a doting parent, but he's a largely absent Dad. Is the Hokage a bad dad?

Naruto and Himawari in Boruto

Naruto's parenting as the Hokage of Konoha village has been called into question since the start of Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, but is the criticism justified? In the original Naruto series, a defining trait of the title character is his lack of parents, having been orphaned at birth when the Nine Tailed Fox attacked his home village. Naruto lives alone, with most other citizens of Konoha too scared to befriend him, and the ninja's younger years are a lonely, desperate period in his life. As Naruto progresses, however, the exuberant youngster finds ways of winning people around, gradually gathering friends and admirers thanks to a likable mixture of personality and perseverance until the entire village reveres him as a savior.

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In the Boruto sequel series, Naruto is an adult and has finally achieved his lifelong goal of becoming the head of the village. He also has two children of his own: Boruto and Himawari. Given how badly Naruto suffered by going through childhood without parents, many fans would've expected him to make absolutely sure his own offspring didn't endure the same fate, but this has not been the case thus far. Instead, Naruto has become fully consumed with his duties as Hokage, leaving virtually no time for his family. This has led to some questionable incidents such as sending a shadow clone to his daughter's birthday and barely making time to train his son, earning Boruto's disdain as a result.

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Since Boruto is not written by the franchise's original creator, Masashi Kishimoto, some claim that this lack of parental responsibility is out of keeping with Naruto's established character, and that he would've made a far greater effort as a father, however, this isn't necessarily a fair criticism. While many, perhaps understandably, assumed that Naruto's tough upbringing would make him the ideal, doting parent, there's a counter to this - that Naruto wouldn't have any idea what it meant to be a father. While certainly not the upbeat ending many would've wanted, it's arguably more realistic that being an orphan would cause Naruto to struggle as a parent, having not been shown what the role entails. Combine this with his responsibilities leading the village, and it's easy to see why Naruto might do things that make him seem like an absent dad.

Boruto Rescuing Naruto S1E64

The second argument in defense of Naruto's parenting skills is that Boruto is simply ungrateful. There's no disputing that the Hokage should be making more time for his family, but Boruto's constant complaining and criticizing (in the first part of the story at least) lacks a sense of perspective. His father may not be around as much as Boruto would like, but he can at least visit or talk to his dad whenever he pleases; a luxury Naruto himself never had. Even Sarada, whose father is alive but constantly away from the village, is more understanding towards her situation, despite actually having far more reason to be upset.

Naruto himself would undoubtedly plead that by protecting the village, he is effectively also protecting his own family and providing a positive example to his children. This is something that his son gradually seems to be coming to understand as Boruto: Naruto Next Generations progresses. Without Naruto's work as the Hokage, Konoha might not have enjoyed the same period of peace it's currently experiencing, meaning Boruto and Himawari would likely be immediately sent out to the battlefield. Naruto might not know how to talk to his kids sometimes, and might not have the same caring touch as Hinata, but he is at least dedicated to creating a world in which his children will be safe and happy. And that's more that can be said for Shou Tucker.

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