Its summer breaks and children all over the country are home for 15 days. While few will be engaged meaningfully, many will be taking the opportunity of the freedom from the strict watchfulness of the school teachers, wardens and matrons and taking advantage of the unconditional love of the parents.
A young boy of 16 years old has already succumbed to stabbing in a gang fight around Norling area in Changangkha. There are others who are found in groups in their favourite hangouts. Some of the most common places children frequent in groups are around Norling Building area in Changangkha, Yellow Building in Changzamtog, City Bus Parking area in the main town, Red Building in Olakha, Twin Building in Babesa, cinema theatres and all the dark and dingy places. If your children are not home at certain time, do check out these places and all the bars and restaurants around Norzin Lam. Children flocking in the town and streets are like a time bomb. Any time the bomb may blast and we may hear news of another child either being in the hospital or in the custody of the police.
Children are on vacation and it’s time for them to relax, rejuvenate, and recuperate to prepare them for the next half of the academic session. As such, they do deserve some outings to chill out with their friends, share their teenage stuffs that they can only share with their friends. However, these outings will have to be guided so that they don’t get into the peer pressure or any harmful temptations. Parents should constantly stay informed of the whereabouts of their children, the kind of friends they are hanging out with and the details of the parental backgrounds of their friends.
Parents should also make conscious effort to leave their office on time so that they can spend quality time with their children thereby ensuring that children do not feel the need to hang out much with their friends. There are so many beautiful places that you can hang out with your children if one is in Thimphu. Why not take a healthy walk around the Ludrong Memorial Garden, appreciate the beauty of the nature and enjoy a cool lunch amidst the nature. Or for that matter why not hike up the nature trail around the Kuenselphodrang Park, or drive up to Lamperi Park over a day’s picnic. This may just sound like outings and picnics but this is when parents are together with their children and this is when bonding between the two are enhanced.
I know most parents do know of this but it is our human nature to forget amidst the busy schedule of our daily work unless we continuously remind ourselves and make conscious effort to keep the flame of family bonding burning all the time. It is in this conscious effort that we will save our children from becoming one of the victims of the social ills.
While parents play their role, it is equally important for all the operators of the bars and clubs to be socially responsible and mindful and not to engage in indulging our youth in damaging activities. We can’t shy away from our roles and responsibilities when it comes to our youth- be it our own children or somebody else children. Every individual is responsible. Let’s roll up our sleeve and save a child from social ills.