We recently talked about how to avoid becoming a "Disneyland Dad," but what if your ex-spouse has become one? Dealing with an ex who sends the kids back to you ramped up on weekend adventures and no rules is frustrating, to say the least, and it puts you in the difficult position of being the "bad guy" who has to enforce bedtimes, dole out punishment, and get everyone back on schedule before the other parent messes it up again on the weekend. As Phoenix divorce lawyers, we have often seen this happen in divorced couples who are sharing parenting time, and "Disneyland Dad" syndrome can affect mothers and fathers alike.
What Can I Do if I'm Dealing with a Disneyland Parent?
Each situation is different, but many times, the Disneyland syndrome is the result of guilt about the divorce, combined with poor parenting skills. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best "fix" is to try handing more responsibility over to your ex. Asking your ex to handle a homework project or a dental appointment helps put them in the role of parent instead of "best friend."
And, if possible, just having an honest and amicable conversation about the effects on both you and the kids can be eye-opening for the Disneyland parent. Make sure that you have explained your expectations and rules, and try to always take the “high road” if it evolves into a fight. Parenting effectively after a divorce in Phoenix can be a challenge, and it generally requires compromise between the custodial and non-custodial parents.
If you need help with parenting time or custody in Phoenix, speak with one of our expert Phoenix divorce lawyers today at 1-888-929-5292. For more information about who we are and what we do, please request your completely free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.