This is yet another time when we as parents and elders have to be more responsible.

Schools have closed for summer break. Children are on vacation.

This is also the time when in the rural parts of the country families get a little addition to the much-needed farmhands as children go to help their parents with farms activities back home in the villages. Plantation season is on.

For our teachers, this small lacuna of time is more than just precious in the sense that they finally get some moments outside the strictures of classrooms routine for their own critically important professional development exercises.

When the education ministry decided to lengthen the summer break by some more days, there were doubts in the minds of average Bhutanese. Some took to the social media, pouring out their views about the advantages and disadvantages of increasing the vacation time.  With good reason. Our conditioned minds and ways take time to adjust to change.

In the hindsight, though, it appears lengthening the summer break was a well thought out plan.

Today, particularly this season, many activities are being launched here and there to engage our children during the break. But these are all small and selective groups. Only a handful of our children are taking part in the activities that the different organisations have opened for them. However, we must accept that half a loaf of bread is by much better than no bread at all.

The affluent lot are flying out of the country for a well-deserved family vacation. The talented and sensible young individuals have enlisted themselves in the programmes made available to them until the end of the summer break. Put together, however, all these account for only a small number of our children.

Where do the rest go? What are they doing? In the meanwhile, what are our parents doing? Children by nature of what they are, active and inquisitive, will launch themselves into the vast possibilities that unguided freedom offers. In the urban areas, especially, parents are busy chasing their small dreams leaving their children on their own. This perhaps is a sign of a rapidly changing society where traditional values system is fast losing its pride of place. A pity.

Come the second half of the academic session, some children might not return to school because of conflict with law. At a time when we have given fecund grounds for the growth of unhealthy influences and sanctuaries, children are caught in the whirlwind.

Parents: Take parental responsibilities seriously. Guide and engage your children in productive activities.