A recently released email between Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan shows that the two are skilled at co-parenting their son Jack. (Photo: Getty Images)
New England Patriot Tom Brady is at the center of controversy these days, especially since a number of his personal emails were unsealed this week as a part of the “deflate-gate” scandal. But one issue that’s not up for dispute: The dad of three’s solid skills when it comes to co-parenting his oldest son.
Brady, who has two children with wife and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, also has a 7-year-old son, Jack, with ex-girlfriend and Blue Bloods actress Bridget Moynahan. And, as evidenced by one of the leaked emails, an October exchange between the former couple about Jack’s reading skills, the two are clearly winning at co-parenting.
An email from Moynahan to Brady read: “Isn’t it cool that jack got a reading award!? he gets to wear a reading star pin now too. so proud”
Later that day, Tom responded: “He is such a smart boy. And he is a hard worker. I’m so proud of him.”
Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, embraces the quarterback’s ex, Bridget Moynahan, alongside the former couple’s 7-year-old son, Jack. (Photo: Splash News)
Rachel Sussman, psychotherapist and author of The Breakup Bible, says this brief exchange is exactly what relationship therapists love to see between exes who share children. “It’s the perfect model of how it should be,” she tells Yahoo Parenting. “Just because a relationship ends, that doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life being nasty to your ex. You will always be co-parents, you aren’t giving up that title, and it’s your most important role. You should be able to celebrate your child’s achievements together.”
And what isn’t written in the email exchange is almost as significant as what is, says Amy Morin, psychotherapist and author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. “Both Bridget and Tom are able to discuss their child’s positive attributes, without any hint of competition,” Morin tells Yahoo Parenting. “Rather than claim, ‘He learned that from me,’ or 'I’m glad he got my work ethic,’ they keep the focus on their child without making it about them.”
Brady and Moynahan’s correspondence shows that they’re communicating well about their child, rather than making Jack a middle man. “It’s clear they really want to share information with one another about their son,” Morin says. “Instead of keeping secrets or making it Jack’s responsibility to tell the other parent what’s going on, they’re able to talk about his accomplishments freely.”
And even though the exchange is only between the parents, Jack will benefit from their positive interaction, Sussman says. “Believe me, if that is how a couple treats each other over email, they treat each other that way in person as well,” she says. “Kids see their parents together at sports games or handoffs, and if they can’t stand each other, their kids will know. Children will eventually accept the fact that their parents aren’t together, but they like to know that they can at least be in the same room.”
Down the line, Sussman says, the former flames might have to deal with parenting issues that aren’t so pleasant as a reading award – like discipline problems. “They may need to partner up regarding the tough stuff one day,” she says. “This exchange shows they’ll likely be able to do that successfully.”