Institution of family honoured, though break-ups increase in Thailand

Institution of family honoured, though break-ups increase in Thailand

As Thailand reflected on National Family Day yesterday, the state of the family institution looked fragile, with more breaking up under the stress of contemporary lifestyles.

Families splitting up have surged by 23 per cent over the past decade, according to the Public Health Ministry.

Last year, the Interior Ministry's Provincial Administration Department reported that 296,258 couples registered their marriage, while 111,810 couples filed for divorce.

Many such cases resulted from impatience due to the modern value of independence and pressure from work, said Panpimol Wipulakorn, spokeswoman for the Public Health Ministry and a mental-health expert.

She urged married couples to maintain a good and loving relationship via such practices as developing common interests, doing activities together, staying consistent, listening to each other, using kind words and actions to encourage each other, apologising when at fault, refraining from arguing until tempers cool down, and keeping away from such vices as alcoholism and gambling.

People should stop finding faults in their partner and look at their good side, appreciate the person's qualities and be sympathetic, not just run out of patience.

As failed marriages increase, so do single-parent households.

Although the children may understand why their mother and father live separately, they still expect to receive care from both of them, especially the one they live with.

Those with custody of the children should allow their ex to meet and do activities with them so that the kids won't feel abandoned, Panpimol said.

A 2012 survey found that Thais over 15 felt a happy family was an overwhelming component of life happiness, giving it 7.17 points out of 9, she noted.

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