The Problem With Disneyland Dads and Mall Moms

While your divorce in Fayetteville affects a drastic change in your life, it is important to remember that it has an equally extensive impact on your kids. You should thus remain committed to being the best parent possible to help them adjust to their new situation. Yet that becomes difficult when whenever the kids are with your ex-spouse, the emphasis is all about having fun rather than promoting stability. This describes the scenario facing many of those that we here at the Hardin Law Firm PLLC have worked with in the past, and can be a thinly veiled attempt to undermine your parenting.

Divorced parents who make their custodial time all about having fun with the kids are referred to as “Disneyland Dads” or “Mall Moms.” According to information shared by the Huffington Post, some common elements that they employ include:

  • Constantly showering the kids with extravagant gifts
  • Frequently taking the kids on vacations and trips
  • Imposing little structure and few household rules during custodial time
  • Avoiding any sort of daily patterns (e.g. no set bedtime) during visits

While part of your ex-spouse’s motivation for doing these things may indeed by to maximize their time with the kids, it is often also due to them wanting to be viewed as “the fun parent,” while portraying you as the strict authoritarian.

How can you best deal with a Disneyland Dad/Mall Mom? While it may be frustrating to feel as though your kids favor your ex, you should know that research shows that kids typically develop little respect for overly indulgent parents. When they inevitably experience issues, it is the parent who offers stability that they tend to turn to (which typically forges stronger familial bonds).

More information on dealing with your custody situation can be found throughout our site.

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