The relationship between parents plays a pivotal role in shaping a child’s behaviour and personality. Life coach Thandi Vellem outlines three habits that you as parents should demonstrate for your kids so they can foster healthy relationships as adults.

Autonomy is important 
It’s essential for children to observe their parents as individuals who are able to operate without their spouse.

Vellem explains that children need to know that it’s okay to be a fully functioning individual, and that a relationship isn’t something that seeks to obliterate one’s individuality, but rather to enhance it.

“In as far as possible, and in as far as it’s in agreement with your partner, keep your hobbies and friends, and have a life outside the couplehood,” she says.

And don’t surrender your inclinations. Whether it’s your religious affiliation, food preferences, friends or value system, remain true to yourself and don’t compromise on who you are.

READ MORE: How to raise financially savvy children

Effective conflict management
Children need to understand how to handle a situation of conflict and be privy to its resolution. Arguing with your spouse should be an exercise in solving a problem rather than winning a fight.

“It’s important that they learn from experience that it’s well and good to agree to disagree or, on the other hand, extend an olive branch to one’s partner,” Vellem says.

They need to understand that not every conflict in a relationship has to be addressed and that not every disagreement has to be an earth-shattering event or issue.

Children also need to learn how to argue. “Most importantly, they should learn that fights do not have to degenerate into name-calling matches,” she says.

Through effective conflict resolution, your children are taught that both sides need to be heard and are equally important. Once the fight is resolved, they’re able to see that holding grudges isn’t healthy.

READ MORE: Navigating the challenges of blended families

The power of love
Loving imperfect qualities is one of the most precious lessons you can teach your children.

Vellem believes too many people have set an example of giving up on those we love and those who love us because we view love selfishly. “We need to teach our children that love is a place of giving more than it is a place of taking.”