Raising kids together can often be a tough situation, especially when you may not see eye to eye on everything that comes up in parenting in modern society. It can often be easy to undermine each other when you’re together. This problem can be magnified when parents are no longer raising their children as a couple. One issue that can come up when trying to co-parent a child or children is one parent becoming a Disneyland parent. Let’s look deeper into what is a Disneyland parent, why this may happen, and tips on handling it.
What Is a Disneyland Parent?
This term is defined as a non-custodial parent that turns their parenting style into a never-ending trip to Disneyland. They want to be the fun and cool parent that never says no or places rules on the children. A Disneyland parent will buy their kid lots of items, give them ice cream for breakfast, and generally turn all of their time with the child into fun-time. They will often indulge the child as much as possible before sending them home to the custodial parent. The no-fun, have to follow the rules, custodial parent that the child may start to resent.
What Are the Reasons Your Spouse or You May Become a Disneyland Parent?
There are a few reasons why you or your spouse may become a Disneyland parent. The first is guilt. It’s easy to feel guilty that they aren’t in their kid’s life as much as they were before, so to make up for it, they go overboard. This reason is often less nefarious than some of the other reasons.
Another reason a parent may transform into a Disneyland parent is spite. They want to be vengeful for a perceived wrong. This parent is trying to get back at the other parent by using their kids as a weapon.
A final reason for a Disneyland parent developing is that they think that this could serve their purpose in the future. Perhaps they thought they should’ve gotten custody, and making the kids think that they are the fun parent may make the kids tell the judge that they would rather be with the non-custodial parent. They are seeking to manipulate the situation.
5 Tips for Dealing with a Disneyland Parent
- Try to speak with the other parent. If they are doing it out of guilt, they may see the error of their ways if pointed out to them. Even if a parent is trying to be spiteful or manipulative this method may work. It’s essential to point out the harm that this could be causing the child. Just remember that to be effective in getting through, you can’t raise your voice or turn it into a confrontation. Achieving this level of calm can be hard, especially if you’re having to pick up the pieces of your kid’s actions after time away. However, going after the other parent in a negative fashion more than likely won’t resolve this issue.
- Keep in mind that the Disneyland parent will probably get burned out over time. They may not always be able to afford a spur of the moment trip to a sporting event or big-ticket items. They may get sick of having to clean up after a no rules weekend. Think of it like the tortoise and the hare.
- Don’t double down on being the strict parent. Rather than focusing on the damage done to your regular routine by the Disneyland parent, focus on your relationship with your child. Don’t be the bad cop that says no screen time because they had extra screen time while visiting the other parent. Stick with the regular routine and grow your relationship.
- Try to remember that those extravagant gifts and actions are a temporary bandage to the situation. They may make the kid feel good right away, but if they are hurt or have a nightmare, it’s you that the child will turn to for love and affection.
- Get legal assistance. You may find that this situation is harming your child’s development or emotions. It may be time to speak to a lawyer about your options. It may be necessary for family therapy or other solutions to be offered through more official channels. Talking with an experienced family law professional may help you to determine which options will be best to tackle such a difficult issue. They can often advise you on what actions you should be documenting, and how best to move forward legally.
Family law can be a complex situation to deal with on your own. If you’re facing family law issues thanks to a Disneyland parent, contact Bansmer Law today. Let’s go over your situation and the different options that you have available to you through the courts. You shouldn’t have to suffer issues with your kids because of co-parenting. Let us help you get back on track.