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Is your ex-spouse a “Disneyland Dad?”

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | Child Custody, Divorce |

Your divorce in Florida will no doubt take a toll on you personally, but it will also have a dramatic impact on your kids. For them, the conclusion of your proceedings introduces an entirely new family dynamic, one which can lead to continued tension depending on your actions and those of your ex-spouse.

Providing a well-structured home for your kids following your divorce is challenging, yet at the same time necessary to help them cope with their new situation. That becomes even more difficult, however, if your ex-spouse decides to become a “Disneyland Dad.”

Constantly spoiling your kids

According to the online publication, the following are traits of a typical “Disneyland Dad”:

  • Buys the kids anything they want
  • Constantly takes them out to eat
  • Fills time with fun activities rather than daily routines
  • Rarely enforces household rules

Some accused of these actions may claim that they engage in them simply because they want to make the most of the limited time they have with the kids. Yet oftentimes, their motivation is twofold: to be the proverbial “fun parent” and to undermine your parenting efforts by portraying you as the strict authoritarian.

The trouble with “Disneyland Dads”

You may feel tempted to respond in kind to your ex-spouse’s spoiling of your kids, yet most family counselors recommend you stay the course in continuing to provide your kids with structure and discipline. For all of the fun they may experience with your ex-spouse, spoiling often actually has the opposite effect the one engaging in it intends. While a “Disneyland Dad” is all about the fun, the kids often do not take them seriously when a situation calls for actual parental guidance. Rather, they look to you to help them with their real problems, thus establishing a deeper relationship than the superficial one that comes from constant spoiling.