A Boston dad is reminding parents that just because you're divorced doesn't mean you can stop being kind to one another.
Billy Flynn Gadbois wrote a Facebook post about how he woke up early to buy flowers, cards and breakfast ingredients so his kids could surprise their mom, his ex-wife, on her birthday.
"Per usual someone asked me why the hell I still do things for her all the time," Gadbois wrote. "This annoys me. So I'ma break it down for you all. I'm raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships."
Gadbois, 36, told TODAY Parents his point was that divorced parents shouldn't let negative feelings about each other lead to petty behavior in front of the kids.
"We decided early on that we were going to put the effort into co-parenting," he said. "We just think it's really important to show each other respect and care in front of the kids. Kids want to take care of their parents, and they can't do it alone. So if it's Mother's Day and the kid doesn't have anything to give to his mom... that doesn't feel so great."
It's a two-way street: On Father's Day, Gadbois's ex-wife makes sure their sons, ages 4 and 8, have a present for him, too.
Of course, peaceful co-parenting after a difficult divorce is sometimes easier said than done — but Gadbois, a lawyer and model, believes it's worth the effort.
"Divorce can really bring out the worst in people, and it takes work to get the relationship to a point where you can co-parent like this," he said.
Gadbois' post went viral after it was shared by the Love What Matters Facebook page.
"I'm not saying everyone needs to help the kids make breakfast," he said. "But the message people are getting is that you can show each other respect and care in front of the kids, and help the kids care for that parent, regardless of how you feel about each other."
This story was first published on Feb. 15, 2017.