The Disneyland Parent is a parent who really overindulges their child, and leaves most or all of the parenting and disciplinary responsibilities to the other parent. This could be unintentional and I’ll explain why, but if you are dealing with a toxic, high conflict, controlling narcissistic parent, it’s most likely intentional.
It could look different depending on the parent, and this could be a mother or a father, but they will overindulging the child in sugar, junk food, toys, gifts, money, shopping, vacations, concerts, amusement parks, unmonitored video game and technology time, late bedtimes, no routines or schedules. Etc. It can feel like their birthday, Christmas or a celebration every time they are with the disneyland parent.
I believe this is very damaging to a child and sets them up to struggle as they get older and in their adulthood. This also can cause a strain on the other parent, because the child may see them as too strict, or boring or just not fun. And this can also cause a strain on the disney land parents relationship with their child as they get older, because it’s really a superficial relationship and children are likely to see that sooner or later.
I also believe that with frequent and higher levels of being overstimulated in this manner the child may search for those same “excitement” levels or high dopamine levels as they get older and this can turn into an addictions, such as food, alcohol, drugs, porn, video games, social media, sex, shopping, etc. And probably more than one. Plus, they can struggle with healthy routines, schedules, self-control and discipline, relationships, mindfulness and really taking care of themselves.
In the next few blogs, I’ll talk about how the Disneyland parenting style is used by toxic and narcissistic parents and what you can do as a parent that’s on the other end.