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Being a high-value parent

Whether you’re doing it on your own or together, these three ‘high value’ behaviours will help you be the best parent you can be, says KELLY EDEN-CALCOTT.

As a newly solo parent, I’ve been thinking about co-parenting and how to make the most of shared care. Co-parenting is one of those tricky things that you never plan on doing. But now that we’re here, I want to get it right for my kids.

My parents were divorced and did an amazing job of respectful co-parenting. They were generous in their flexibility with each other, cooperative and kind. Perhaps that’s the key to successful co-parenting? A podcast I listen to, The Art of Charm, talks about this. It argues that cooperation, kindness and generosity are the three qualities that make you a ‘high value’ person. Someone who is great to have around. A great friend, work mate, and partner.

Being a high-value person
High-value people attract other high-value people, because who doesn’t want to have cooperative, kind and generous friends? And I’m not necessarily talking about generosity with money here. When you generously give people the attention, acceptance and approval that we all need and desire that’s even more valuable than gifts or money.

How often do you get someone’s undivided attention nowadays? We are competing with so many things and undivided attention isn’t an easy thing to give. But if you are kind and generous with your time, you’ll find it’s greatly appreciated and other people will act the same towards you.

Being a high-value parent
Use the three qualities of a high-value person in your parenting:

  • Cooperation: Collaborate with your kids and their other parent whenever you can. Encourage teamwork.
  • Kindness: We have a favourite saying in our family, “if you can choose, then choose to be kind.”
  • Generosity: Give your kids the three A’s: Acceptance, Attention and Approval.

Avoid low-value parenting
To me, the alternative to high-value parenting (and co-parenting) doesn’t sit well. Low-value parenting seems like the best way to end up spiralling down into a pretty negative place. Low value behaviours – like blaming, arguing, or competition – can be tempting at times but are generally short-term fixes to problems.

Blaming is tricky to avoid. When things go wrong – the kids are being hard work, or you’re running late for their dance class again – it’s so easy to blame the other parent
or our children.

Being argumentative or combative is also a tough one, especially in the co-parenting situation where, obviously, things haven’t been going well between you and the
other parent.

Other low value behaviours include being passive, begging, people pleasing and being competitive. Competitive parenting and comparing ourselves to other parents, as easy as it is to do, just puts us on the slippery slope to depression.

So, let’s all do our best to drop those low-value behaviours that hold us back and keep us miserable! Let’s aim to be cooperative, kind and generous. To be those high-value people and high-value parents our kids need – whether we are parenting together, alone or co-parenting!

To find out more about being a high-value person visit

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