‘Do you know your child’ turns the long­est run­ning show on BBS

The show is into its fifth season this year

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Lucky Wangmo from Thim­phu

With a lot of fan let­ters pour­ing in and as many de­voted view­ers, ‘Do you know your child,’ has be­come one of the most pop­u­lar and the long­est run­ning show on Bhutan Broad­cast­ing Ser­vice (BBS) run­ning into its fifth season this year.

Since its in­cep­tion in 2013, about 264 chil­dren have par­tic­i­pated in the show. It has brought to­gether a lot of fam­i­lies and also shed new light on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween a par­ent and child.

The old­est to come on the show is a 15-year old, whereas the youngest to come to the show is a four year old boy. Talk­ing to Busi­ness

Bhutan, the pro­ducer of the show, Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den, 37, said that the show aimed to bring par­ents and chil­dren closer and to im­prove the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­la­tion­ship be­tween them.

“It is my baby pro­ject,” said Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den. She added that the idea to come up with such a show was con­ceived af­ter some­one sug­gested hav­ing both par­ents and chil­dren in the same room and throw­ing the same ques­tions to both of them. “I did a lot of re­search be­fore com­ing up with the show,” she said.

Now with the show run­ning into its sixth year, the show has reached al­most all the dzongkhags. The next show will be held out­side Thim­phu.

Speak­ing on a per­sonal note, Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den, a mother of two, said that the show deep­ened the bond be­tween her and her chil­dren. “When the ques­tions are asked on the show to both the child and the par­ent, it also makes you ques­tion whether you know those things about your chil­dren,” said Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den.

She also added that there is no per­fect par­ent­ing but you can al­ways be a good par­ent. She said that spend­ing qual­ity time with chil­dren is very im­por­tant, a les­son she also main­tains in her per­sonal life.

The sec­tion in the show where both the child and par­ent write let­ters to each other has been one of the high­lights of the show. Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den said that 99% of the time, it is the par­ent’s first let­ter to their child which makes it more spe­cial. She said that the team frames the let­ter and gives it to the par­ents at the end of ev­ery show.

A teacher of Rinchen­gang Pri­mary School in Wang­duepho­drang, Bal Ba­hadur Pow­drel, who came to the show with his daugh­ter in 2016, said that be­ing on the show has helped im­prove their re­la­tion­ship. He said that both his chil­dren are very emo­tion­ally de­pen­dent on him, how­ever, since the show, his daugh­ter who is now in sev­enth stan­dard has be­come more in­de­pen­dent.

“The show has helped im­prove her English as well,” he said. He also said that the prom­ise made on the show to do ev­ery­thing with very lit­tle help from par­ents is be­ing kept. “They should con­tinue with the pro­gram,” he said. “It helps chil­dren who are in need of con­fi­dence and also en­cour­ages chil­dren with their stud­ies. I hardly have to tell my daugh­ter to study now. She is more fo­cused than ever.”

Sim­i­larly, another teacher from Samtel­ing Pri­mary School in Sarpang, Sonam Phuntsho, who came to the show with his 10 year old son, said that the prom­ise made to each other on the show is be­ing kept. “I promised to quit doma and my son promised to study hard. Both of us are keep­ing our prom­ises,” he said.

Sonam Phuntsho also said that since ap­pear­ing on the show, his re­la­tion­ship with his son has im­proved im­mensely. “I thought I knew ev­ery­thing about my sons but the show proved me wrong,” said the fa­ther of two.

The an­chor of the show, Choni Selden, also said that she is priv­i­leged to be a part of such an ini­tia­tive that ad­dresses not only the house­holds but the na­tion as a whole.

“I learnt a lot through the pro­gram,” she said. She also added that there were lot of crit­i­cisms and hate mails ini­tially when the show started off, but she took it pos­i­tively. “I had a lot of groom­ing to do as I had blond hair when I started off the show which re­ceived a lot of crit­i­cism,” she said. She added that later on she colored her hair to look Bhutanese to the Bhutanese kids.

Choni Selden said that ear­lier she did not feel cred­i­ble enough as she was not a mother then. But now, she said that with a child of her own, she is more ex­cited to do the com­ing shows and an­tic­i­pates what is in store for her. “Now that I am a mother, I am more ex­cited to do this season,” she said.

The show ‘Do you know your child’ bagged two awards, Best talk show and pro­gram of the year, in 2015 and 2016 re­spec­tively dur­ing the An­nual Journalism Award.

De­spite the success of the show right now, Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den said that it was not easy dur­ing the ini­tial stages. She said that there were two failed pilot pro­grams in 2013 and be­ing the sole script writer, managing the floor, and dé­cor of the show among others, Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den said it has been a beau­ti­ful jour­ney.

She said that the de­signs, graph­ics, mu­sic, and sets are all dif­fer­ent in ev­ery season and this season is en­tirely dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous ones. Ev­ery season has seen an im­prove­ment and im­pro­vi­sa­tion.

Tsh­er­ing Ch­ho­den said that her show has nine lo­cal au­thors who spon­sor the books to pro­mote read­ing among the chil­dren. She also added that UNICEF (United Na­tions Chil­dren’s Emer­gency Fund) is also one of the spon­sors. How­ever, the main spon­sor has been Kushu En­ter­prise that spon­sor TI­TAN watch for ev­ery child on the show.

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