Deserving parents

What good parenting does

Dago Pema Retty deserves to be congratulated. Dago, who is a Class VII student at Pelkhil School, recently participated in the 9th International Clubs Open Taekwondo Championship in Vietnam. He bought home a bronze medal from that tournament.

Dago’s parents, Aum Pem Dem and Gyambo Sithey, also deserve to be congratulated. They spotted their son’s interest in taekwondo, and went out of their way to cultivate that interest. They hired a private coach for their son. And even though Dago was the only Bhutanese participant in the Vietnam tournament, they sent him there, and they bore all the expenses.

Our children are naturally talented. And we, parents, must nurture their talent. But too few of us do so. That’s why most of our children end up with mediocre standards at best – unable to fulfill their potentials.

If we want our children to become artists and musicians; if we want them to excel in games and sports; if we want them to do well in science and mathematics; if we want them to become wholesome citizens with well rounded values and a sense of civic responsibility; if we want our children to be able to compete and succeed internationally … we, parents, must take parenting more seriously.

Yes, our schools play an important role in developing our children. And so does civil society, like, in Dago’s case, the taekwondo federation. But we can’t escape the fact that, if we want our children to excel, we, parents, must ultimately take the biggest responsibility.

Aum Pem Dem and Gyambo Sithey are doing their part. Are you?

Photo credit: Bhutan Today


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  1. Motor Mouth says

    we need a ministry of sports, an overhaul of personnel in the federations and we must encourage the private and corporate sector to contribute towards sports.

    like i asked OL earlier, to which i got no response, what is the parliamentary committee for sports and youth doing?

  2. No we don’t need any more ministry, Bhutan already has more than it needs, when it comes to ministers. Do you want to add more to the bureaucratic red tape by adding one more ministry?

    I agree sports is important, but we need to get our priorities right, ours is a underdeveloped country, we have more important things like alleviating poverty.

    Instead of creating new ministry, we need to revamp BOC. Right now it is a useless pile of shit. We need to make BOC more effective.

  3. Motor Mouth says

    @truth: good points. i had overlooked the whole dynamics of a new ministry entering our fragile democracy.

    @OL: i would request you to keep us updated on the workings of the aforementioned committee.

  4. JAMYANG for sports says

    No, absolutely no addition of another ministry. We have our very capable Prince Jigyel as Gyaltshab in the BOC and that will more than suffice. Looks like the BOC is doing a great job in exercising the vision of His Majesty for sports. We have seen positive changes in the management of various sports organizations and they are faring well. However, there are still some very very useless people stuck in the BOC that needs to be replaced asap if not these few rotten apples will ruin the whole new bunch again. We need to see the old timers leave and make way for the new capable people with new initiatives. We need people in the BOC who has vision for the future and who can assists Prince Jigyel to move the BOIC forward. The National Assembly sports committee is a joke with bunch of members with egos as committee members and doing nothing. BOC cannot work with them as they seem to be very egoistic and not approachable. I reiterate that some of the sports federations need new people. The old timers who have been there for over a decade should consider resigning before getting fired. My final plea is to provide a drainage to the Chang Jiji football ground that can drain out rain water and keep the football ground dry or at least use-able. When you drive by on a rainy day – take a look at what I mean. My two cents.

  5. Dear Jamyang for Sports,
    We are happy and fortunate that HRH is there on the helm of BOC but you should not be critical to the old timers as they were the ones who brought the organization so far and they have done their best. Is sad to hear from people like you to blame these people. I think we should be grateful to them.

    Mr. Truth, do not ever say that our country is underdeveloped. I would rather term it as a country on the road to developement. When I go out for training, I always stress that our countries are countries on the road to development and not underdeveloped. Anyway it is ones perception. Thanks.

  6. “Aum Pem Dem and Gyambo Sithey are doing their part. Are you?” OL, what a silly observation!

    Mr. Gyambo Sithey and Aum Pem Pem no doubt did a good job. Every family in Bhutan will inspire to follow their suit of being a responsible parent…..but, are all the parents in Bhutan well-off like Mr. Gyambo Sithey and Aum Pem Pem?

    Should they afford, I have no doubt all parents across the globe will like to excel their children in Sports, Education, Musics or whatever.

    • Dear YPenjor:

      Good parenting is not the preserve of the rich. In fact, we could argue that the rich are more careless at bringing up their children. Yes, in this case–i.e., to hire a private coach and bear all expenses to participate in an international tournament–money is needed. And Dago’s parents came up with that money. But I’m sure they made sacrifices to to save the money that was required. And even if they had an unlimited source of money, they still would need the commitment to continuously guide and support their son.

      I’m trying to get at a bigger issue – parenting. As parents (rich or poor) we need to get more involved in our children’s upbringing. We need to take responsibility for our children. Too often we leave upbringing up to our schools, and that’s when, more often than not, things go wrong.

      In the past, when we lived in villages, parenting was not very important. Our communities were small, so even if a parent was negligent, the community, collectively, knowingly or otherwise, took on the role of parent. Today, in an increasingly urbanised setting, especially one in which many youth struggle to find employment in a society in transition, good parenting has become critically important.


  7. YPenjor has a point, also I saw the dad whining saying the government is not supporting them. What they fail to mention is they are rich people, if not how can they afford to enroll their kid at Pelkhil school when education is free in Bhutan up till high school and even beyond if the kids are capable.

  8. shatsa, you do have a point, but we don’t have to sugar coat it, we are one of the Least Developed Countries(LDC) and no amount of sugar coating and change that fact.

  9. frankly speaking says

    how about the womens cricket team which reaced the finals. and our cricket team that has made so many strides in the region . we do not even have a decent cricket ground. we want to know the suggestions of OL on this la

    • Dear “frankly speaking” – our cricket teams (both women’s and men’s) are doing a great job. They’re improving year by year. And, what’s more, they’re doing it all on their own…with virtually no support from the government. I applaud the Bhutan Cricket Council, their supporters, members and the cricketers for the wonderful work they’re doing. Now what would help, is some government support to the Cricket Council to further their game. The government also needs to spend much more money on sports in general, including support to the BOC. Tshering

  10. I fully support that parenting is important. But, affordibility has a strong influence.

    I belive in improving the systems (education and at the school management level) as a primary parent responsibility. Therefore, I have always been a vocal parent in wherever my children went for their schooling. Ofcourse, at times the scenarios are not pleasant. Individually, the parents can support one’s own children. Collectively, parents can support all the present and future children!

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