Dealing with a “Disneyland Dad”

by | Jun 23, 2020 | Child Custody

For those living outside of California, Disneyland is the embodiment of the ultimate family vacation destination. Yet if you are a divorced parent, sadly Disneyland may come to be the representation of your ex-spouse’s efforts (be they intentional or not) to undermine your parenting. 

Many clients come to us here at Laughlin Legal, PC complaining that their ex-spouses are “Disneyland Dads” (the equivalent term for mothers is “Mall Moms”). These parents tend to shower their kids with gifts and consistently take them on outings and vacations while ignoring any type of structured home environment. If this describes your ex-spouse, you know exactly how frustrating it can be. 

Spoiling contributing to parental alienation 

Doting on your kids is not necessarily a bad thing. If those gestures occur in conjunction with also trying to impose household rules and discipline, then they are perfectly fine. Yet the typical “Disneyland Dad” or “Mall Mom” only wants to spend their custodial or visitation time spoiling the kids. Their ultimate goal is to be “the fun parent” at the expense of their ex-spouse. 

Your ex-spouse may indeed spoil your kids in an attempt to damage your relationship, yet even if their efforts do not appear intentional, they can indeed make you trying to impose some sort of structure when they are with you (whether that be doing homework and chores or going to bed at a decent hour) next to impossible. 

The trouble with “Disneyland Dads” 

It can be difficult to deal with the perception of you being the authoritative parent. Yet keep in mind that (according to information shared by the Huffington Post), the affection bought by spoiling is typically fleeting. Your kids will likely feel more comfortable with the stability you offer as they mature. 

You can discover more information on parenting with your ex-spouse by continuing to explore our site.