Using free time effectively

Vacation season has come and our streets are already awash with many bright, young and promising faces. Exams are over and our children are celebrating their free time moving around, visiting friends and family. It is important that children are allowed some stress-free time after a year-long struggle with academic requirements. Unstrained mind and unburdened head help young minds reflect on the essence of their being and to chart their aims and dreams.

However, as is too often said, too much free time is certainly a monkey’s paw in disguise. The danger is that excessive free time has a way of making one’s life utterly structureless.

Unable to handle too much free time, children engage in activities that are detrimental to both parents and themselves. Often they come in conflict with law. Devoid of guidance and care from parents and elders, young people loiter around towns seeking trouble. Already a sizeable number of them are in the city corners dark and bright, engaging themselves in unhealthful habits.

Very soon another group of young people will come out on the street. Class X and XII students will finish their exams on Saturday. This is the time when crime rate in the towns and cities go up. This is the time when parents need to watch what their children are doing.

It doesn’t have to be that young people should be left on their own, to do whatever they want to do, just because they are out of school for sometime. There are many activities aimed at engaging young people gainfully. Many skills development programmes are being planned to encourage young people to participate. Parents could do well by exploring them and encouraging children to participate in some of the programmes which will go a long way in shaping their future.

What about reading, the most easy and profitable of all engagements? Parents could take children to libraries and bookshops and teach them to love books. In this competitive age, it is important that our children read, and read a lot. Employment scenario is changing by the day and jobs are becoming scarcer. It is not enough that our children do well. They need to outshine their peers.

This is also the season when children will travel a lot. It is important that you do so with caution. Disasters can be averted if we are a little careful.

Happy holiday!

3 replies
  1. bhutjolokia
    bhutjolokia says:

    if i was a youngster today in bhutanese society, i would do all the bad things during the long holidays,cause
    in the rest of my time only discipline counts. sports, games, meditation,yoga, reading, writing, politics is something for Philistines, like the above…when one is young…let’s rock & roll !!!

  2. irfan
    irfan says:

    That’s one headache for the parents; isn’t it? How to keep the young students busy during long school holidays? But it’s not that students are out of options to consider. They can be involved in sports and music or in volunteering activities. They can choose to travel or be part of some holiday camps. They can be involved in day long trekking or cycling expeditions. They can visit friends and relatives, go shopping, watch movies or even visit the libraries for that enriching experience of reading. It’s just a matter of what available options they have for some constructive activities.

    But I hope that parents can also motivate their kids to maintain a ‘Holiday Diary’, not to keep records of the dates and activities but to record the experience and all the new learnings that happen. They can also include their views on what needs to be unlearnt for that judgemental prospective. Each such diary can give them the structure to formulate a path for the next holiday that awaits. And at the end of the holidays, they can read their diaries out to their friends, parents, relatives, teachers and to themselves.

    There is nothing to substitute a self learning experience for cultivated wisdom. After a certain age our kids grow into humans on their own. Parents can always guide them, but it will probably be a misconception if we think that we are doing all the magic for our children. They will only read what they are capable of, but the right paths can be shown by the parents and elders of the societies including the teachers and their schools.

    • MIGNIEN
      MIGNIEN says:

      I read every comment of irfan very attentively ; and I take account of his deep opinion in my comment to enrich the debate.
      The problem with the youngs after class X and XII is the same in many so called evoluted country : this is the problem of passing from adolescence time up to adults engaged in a job.
      In schools there is “live rails” : teachers , caretakers discipline ,assign books on syllabus , and curriculum all long year.
      But nowadays , during so long holidays , excessive free time is an huge empty day for some of the young who have nothing to do .
      Although , as say Irfan , the country offer many sports : even reading in Library ( cerebral sports ! ) .
      Why they do not use this time like a sabbatical leave time ? And try to choose what they will do in the future. Young are full of energy they often cannot manage ; because they lack of orientation . And sometimes they are disappointed with those energies they do not know themselves. . How to manage and how to return to quietness , this is their question. . Even having love with other sex do not calm adolescent in revolt ( hello guys use codom ! HIV is in stay in Bhutan ; do not forget your penis raincoat ! ) .
      For parents , I quote many ideas for their kids . But , after a day working , are they ready to take part of sports activities with their kids? Indoor or outdoor sports are numerous ; parents must appropriate to the feeling of their kids ; accompany their child up to adult period is a hard work . This is their responsability . Otherwise , if parents are absent of their kid life and environment , that may give alcoholism , addiction , robbery . So parents must be vigilant if the feel of their responsability .
      So , I propose for those Young in the state of ill being , in fitting depression , sports which use much energy like judo , aikido , rugby , football , hand ball . But , alas , i cannot suggest how to swim : there is few swimming pools in Bhutan . Ther is so many water sports in summer ( rafting , cannoing , kayaking .over the many torents )

      And dancing with friends outside or in a disk jokey party is a good execise for the youth ; they love that . But I am a little worried that sometimes there is an elder with go in some parties : is it a political commissionner to check the Young to prevent things from getting out of hand ? .

      And I do not forget the engagment of one’s body like yoga can teach . Meditation exercises can eliminate youth stress. There is many courses of yoga in Thimphu .

      Trip holidays out of Bhutan is another way to discover the world. But this is expensive . For instance in Germany , before continuing studies after class XII ( equivalent ) and before higher studies a youth can obtain a grant according parent’s ressource to realize a trip project .

      In Bhutan , the facility to come to India ( no visa required for bhutanese ) and to travel over the most thrilling area like technological places . But , according me , the Young travellers must be gathered in group . For their security reason first . But , more , in some big indian town , Bhutanesess are not welcomed . I have some testimonies about those dangers.

      The best , if a Young wants to travell in foreign countries , is to have a friend or a familly friend who sponsors and confirm the commitement of full Financial support for the bhutanese guest for all his expenses during his stay in France , for instance , with a compulsory insurance ( consult the embassy concerned)

      Whithout forgetting the main sport in Bhutan : archery ( but a good Equipment like technical bow is very expensive ) Archery clubs would lend equipment , bows and sparrows And would organize competitions with Young . I noticed that , for youg people who are not rich , this sport is not attractive . May be the elders do not help the youths ?

      Maintaining a “Holiday Diary” is a good idea ; because , as say in Latin Words , “verba volent , sripta manent ” Everybody can understand those words ” the words vanish , but the writings stay” .

      For those youths ,all the ideas to calm them is welcomed.

      For Young who stay alone during work day of their parents , and want nothing to do , parents may suggest either outdoor games like football , handball , cycling , drafting ( in summer if they know how to swim !! ) , trekking , walking and so on ; they can to join association or just group of friends. .

      Or parents can suggest indoor games for the others :all games of skill , card games , chess game , skittle set , bowls , puzzle , snake and ladder , treasure hunts , parlour games , board games ( Monopoly , scrabble ) , some TV games , but avoid to stay them a too long time in front of the “telly” . It is preferable to practice sports for the health of the body .

      But , altough , ever attempt to get their kids in a dynamic energy , and turned to their dreams , parents will be powerless in front of ouburst of inner energy of their child’s energy.

      At the end ,some of them will do what they want whaterver parents opinions !!!

      Le the Lord help them to stay patient up to their kid become adult …and have a job!!!

      jcmignien@orange.fr

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