Looking at parental suicide through the eyes of children who are left behind

It is very sad to know that out of 361 suicide cases recorded by the Royal Bhutan Police and health facilities across the country from 2009-2013, 66 percent of the victims constituted married people. This means that it’s not only youth who are dying by suicide in Bhutan. Many parents are also killing themselves every year leaving behind their innocent children at the mercy of the surviving parent or their relatives.

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Basic tips on how to encourage children to eat healthy foods

Children are generally fussy eaters. They always have to be coaxed into eating with us during the usual mealtimes but again, they don’t easily eat what they are served. All the parents would have experienced how difficult it is to make children eat healthy foods. My children still refuse to take many vegetables especially the ones we don’t take every day. I don’t know why but potato has become their only all-time favorite vegetable. We have been trying every possibility to make them take other vegetables as well but we have not been able to change their food habits as we have wanted.

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How television can be bad for children

Television has become an integral part of our life at home today. It has become so ubiquitous across the globe that it is hard to imagine life without it. Nowadays, most of us have at least two to three television sets at home. The advent of television era has definitely changed the world and how we view it. While television has opened our door to the outside world, it comes with both necessary and unnecessary channels. Just with the point and the click of a button, the viewing options are endless. There are literarily hundreds of channels to choose from. Cartoons, cooking shows, news and other entertainment shows fill up the airwaves. With so many channels available to turn to, choosing the appropriate channels especially for children is increasingly becoming a concern. Some studies have indicated that television is bad for children since it often promotes violence and aggression, be it through cartoons or movies.

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Connecting urban children with rural life

Most of our children today grow up in cities and towns leading sophisticated lifestyles and as a result, they hardly get the opportunity to experience a unique type of life their parents and grandparents have enjoyed back in the village. Although the towns and cities do have various modern facilities that make life in general easier and more comfortable, villages have their own unique natural beauty and charm. So while many parents in urban centers are busy looking for means to engage their children meaningfully during this long winter vacation, I and my wife are sending our children to the village to let them experience a unique way of rustic life as well as to get them closer to their grandparents. We have been taking them to the village at least for a month every winter with the hope that they would learn to appreciate the beauty of rural life and realize the real value of family and community bonding.

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A sad reality of urban life

Photo of my son Thukten Subba and daughter Anju Rai

The shops around Thai Temple area are just within a walking distance from where I live and my children often go there on their own to buy things. But last year, my eldest son Thukten Subba was made to realize that going to even to the nearest shop alone and that too with money in hand is not always safe in Thimphu.
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