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The Vindictive Disneyland Parent by Fred Campos,

The Vindictive Disneyland Parent Syndrome

The Vindictive Parent by Fred Campos, @FullCustodyDad bloggerI am in a series discussing the The Disneyland Parent Syndrome Defined. We talked previously on The Guilty Disneyland Parent, who tries to over compensate for the guilt they feel when missing their kids by over doing the gifts, trips, and bending the parenting rules. To the Manipulative Disneyland Parent that works their controlling agenda on their kids, to finally focusing on the deepest level when the non-custodial parent pushes their hurt revengeful feeling into their kids.

Bill, a Special Forces sniper returned from his final tour of duty overseas only to find an empty house and divorce paperwork. He tried everything to gain his wife back from her new found love–Paul. He hired an attorney and fought hard for better access to his boys, but in the end had nothing more than every other weekend access. The entire process made him very bitter, jealous of Paul in his Ex’s life, and hollow about the limited time he now has with his kids.

The Making of a Vindictive Disneyland Parent

The weekends started out as party time with the kids, church and homework were forgotten and replaced with endless ice cream, no bedtime movie nights, and regular trips to the toy store… The Guilty Disneyland Parent kicked in. But bitterness turned to hate, and hate turned to revenge when he learned of Paul’s proposal to his Ex.

Bill started bad mouthing both his Ex and Paul in front of the boys. Encouraging them to become spies reporting anything and everything they didn’t like about mom’s house back to him. Explaining to his boys that they would betray his love for him, if they were nice to their new step-father, Paul. Bill making up silly hurtful songs about his Ex, encouraging the boys to cry at exchanges, and told them it was their mother’s fault they didn’t see him more. Telling them stories that if they lived with him all would be better in the world. He even goes as far as encouraging them to act out at mom’s house. Bill has clearly stepped into the “Vindictive Disneyland Parent.”

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How have you seen the Vindictive Disneyland Parent play out? How have you been hurt by the Vindictive Disneyland Parent?

Fred Campos is father to three and primary custodian to his daughter Caitlyn from a previous relationship. Image courtesy of ImageryMajestic at

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Fred Campos, Top Geek, blogs about everything from House of Cards to Subway. In addition to blogging, he is a public speaker and humorist in child custody, social media, web development and parenting. He is married to one @SuperParentMom, and raising three world changers. For more details on his custody course visit, Like this post? Make sure you subscribe to this blog.

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  • RJ Lavallee February 3, 2014, 10:21 am

    It’s not hard to find Disneyland parenting. It easy to not be hurt by it. Set distinct boundaries, own them, and be confident in what you’ve set as your boundaries. Also be compassionate and understand the what and why the offending Disneyland parent is behaving the way they are. Compassion is disarming and healing.

    • Fred Campos February 3, 2014, 6:12 pm

      Well said RJ! Compassion IS disarming and healing. Thanks for the comment.

  • lw February 6, 2018, 8:36 am

    Good article that hits important points, but you should flesh out one distinction: often, the Disneyland Parent is forced into this situation. If a Dad only sees his child sparsely, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up on day-to-day parenting. The only choice you have, for those rare few days you see the child, is to hang out and just be together and have fun.

    • FullCustodyDad February 6, 2018, 9:09 am

      Very good point, and I don’t disagree. It becomes an ongoing cycle of falling into the trap of a Disneyland Parent when you don’t get to see your kids as often as normal. – FullCustodyDad