Divorce is challenging for everyone involved. But it is often the children who suffer the most when their parents split up.
No decent parent wants their children to be sad. To stave off feelings of sadness and regret in the kids, some parents go overboard and become “Disneyland parents.” This is not to be taken in the literal sense – although some parents do indeed overcompensate by taking children to visit the Mouse – but in their regular interactions with their offspring during parenting time.
How “Disneyland parents” harm children
Even with the best of intentions, this type of parenting can be quite harmful. Usually, it’s the parent who spends less time with the kids who tries to make up for the lack of time together by planning nothing but fun activities.
While that is lots of fun for the children, it gives them a skewed perspective on their relationship with both parents.
Are you stuck being the disciplinarian?
When one parent is perceived as the “fun” parent, it usually falls to the other to enforce the rules, dole out the necessary punishments for infractions and deal with the mundane (but vital) parenting tasks. Therefore, your children might begin to view you as a “mean mom” or “demanding dad.” That’s not fair for either parents or kids.
Can you reach a co-parenting consensus?
Ideally, you and your ex can work collaboratively as co-parents who place the children’s best interests above their own. If you don’t have that type of relationship with your child’s other parent, understand that you have little control over the activities they undertake when they exercise their parenting time.
However, if the situation becomes truly dangerous or untenable, you may need to modify your custody agreement through the family law courts.