Divorce is a difficult and draining phase of life for anyone to pass through, but what’s even harder is learning to co-parent amicably after separating. The transition from couple to divorced co-parents is not always as seamless as we assume it to be. Endless negotiations, mediation, blurred lines about the future of the children and antagonistic emotions from a difficult past would all cumulate in one big quagmire where co-existing peacefully just won’t be possible.
However, for the sake of the children who would inevitably be caught in the middle of everything, it’s important to agree to be mature adults and act responsibly toward one another. Watching one’s parents go through divorce and co-parent with negative feelings towards one another could give rise to emotional trauma, possibly leading to dysfunctional behavior in adulthood.
It costs nothing to be kind
For 32-year-old Codie LaChelle McPhate’s, her parents’ divorce when she was only four didn’t have a negative impact on her development. In fact, she learned kindness and unconditional love in the many years that followed.
The Austin-based woman wrote an article on Facebook that portrayed co-parenting at its best . In 2018, her father had visited her during his vacation and just as if they were regular old friends and not divorcees for 28 years, he went over to her mom’s place to mow her overgrown front lawn.
My mom has bad knees, and my stepdad works out of town. When my younger siblings questioned, “Why is your dad mowing mom’s lawn?” I told them, “Because, she needed help, and he knew she couldn’t get out here to do it, so he did. This is how lucky I am to have four parents who respect each other, and know that at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is showing your children (even ones that are 32 years old) how to treat people and how to love your family, no matter how it came together,” she wrote.
He didn’t do it for recognition
Codie’s father wasn’t trying to make a statement about being the best ex-husband anybody could have. He didn’t even know his photos were being taken until much later. He only wanted to lend a hand to his ex-wife who needed it, and while doing that, he taught his kids a valuable lesson of kindness and love always making a difference. They may not have been together for the past 28 years, but he still loves his ex-wife.
“So not only did he do something selflessly for her, he did it for her while he was on his VACATION. He wants everyone to know, “I’m no saint.” He just wants to show others that you don’t need to act like an angelic pastor on Lent, but that we should all choose kindness whenever we can,” Codie wrote.
According to Codie, while her parents were working through their divorce, they decided to be cordial and pleasant to one another for the sake of their child. She didn’t have to grow up with two parents who couldn’t stand each other. She deserved to have a life full of parental love and positivity, and they made sure she got it.
“He [Dad] said my mom and he decided when they were going through their divorce they would both choose to be adults and treat each other with respect and compassion because no matter how their marriage ended, they both loved each other very much at one point, and that that love — counts for something. That if they were going to raise their children to be good, kind people, they needed to be good kind people,” Codie wrote.
The best emotional security a child can have is parents who respect each other. According to heather Hetchler of Cafesmom, Co-parenting is not a competition between two homes. It’s a collaboration of parents doing what’s best for the kids.
- Contributor. My Dad Still Mows My Mom’s Lawn — Even Though They’ve Been Divorced for 28 Years. Café Mom. https://thestir.cafemom.com/love/215265/dad-mows-moms-lawn-after-divorce/256696/my_dad_said_he_didn_t_do_this_for_the_recognition_nbsp/3. Retrieved 06-01-2020
- Codie McPhates. Facebook. https://web.facebook.com/CodieLaChelleMcPhate/posts/10214813308878789. Retrieved 06-01-2020