It can be really frustrating for the parent that feels like they are doing damage control everytime their children returns home from the narcissistic Disneyland parents home. It can be really hard getting them back into healthy routines and activities and foods.
If you don’t know what the Disneyland parenting style is, I’ll link the video.
But, if you are dealing with someone that you believe is a healthy parent, and they are not narcissistic or toxic, then it’s possible they are not intentional with this parenting style and you can have a healthy, adult, co parenting conversation and try to come to an agreement. But, if you are dealing with a narcissist, forget it.
I want to give you a few tips. I’ll talk about acceptance and then I’ll get into some steps you can take.
First, is to accept the reality of the situation. You are dealing with an unhealthy, toxic parent, period. So many of us waste energy and time trying to explain to a narcissist what their doing is hurtful or harmful, and the reality is, they don’t care.
Accept that you will not be coparenting. Narcissists do not co parent, they do not have the child’s best interest at heart and they most likely hate you and view you as competition. So, you want to be mindful of where you put your energy and you want to choose your battles wisely. You will go mad and you will be depleted if you do not.
You want to also accept some things are out of your control, what happens at the narcissist home you will likely not be able to change or influence, they have an agenda and they are focused on that agenda, so put your energy into what you can change, which I will go into shortly.
And have some peace around the fact that most kids will see the differences between the two homes as they get older, they will see the other relationship is superficial, especially if your home offers them what they need as a child and prepares them for adulthood.
This is not a competition so you don’t have to “win” your child’s approval or acceptance of your parenting. It can be toxic for them to believe they have to “choose” a parent. So, you don’t want to be part of that. Don’t put down the other parent. If they bring up something that hurt them, support them, ask them questions and tell them you are sorry they experienced that, but don’t put down the other parent. This can cause them to turn against you or have a negative impact on how they feel about themselves because that other parent is part of them. So, it’s toxic, don’t do it.
You may want to incorporate therapy into your child’s life. This is a great tool because it’s someone outside of the family so they can be willing to open up and talk about their experiences at both homes. This can help with any healing they may need from split up, hurtful events or the toxic parenting.
And the Disneyland parenting style usually backfires. I’ve seen cases where the child will choose to live with the Disneyland parent, but end up returning and have greater respect for the other parent within time.