It is every parent’s desire to see their children excel in life. That’s why parents go extra miles just to fulfill their children’s needs from teaching them good morals to ensuring they acquire the best education. However, this is not always the case. There are things or people they may come across who can lure them into other activities. While the things that can influence your child’s future are countless, this article focuses more on online gambling and the impact they have on children and teenagers.
In most cases, the problem occurs because the parents think it’s too early to talk about gambling with their children. Others assume that theirs cannot fall in this hobby. Although the legal age for one to start gambling in most countries is 18 years, some children start as early as 10 years. By the age of 15, they are already struggling with the problems associated to gambling. If you are a parent, a guardian or a caregiver, the information contained here will help you understand online gaming in children and how you can protect them from being gamblers at such a tender age.
Why do children take gambling to be fun?
Many children are hooked into gambling and online casino games. This is so partly because they were exposed to it by the people who would have protected them and partly because the advertisements done about gambling makes it look super cool and fun. Children view the whole thing as excited and the urge to try it out is just irresistible.
It is deeply concerning to note that the availability of gambling platforms is everywhere right from our TVs during football games, video games, computers to smartphones. Meaning, if your children wants to try it out, they can do so without your knowledge. Children also have the opportunity to follow gambling companies on social media and that’s why they are easily lured to spend money on gambling.
The fact that there is room to make money while gambling, it becomes difficult for a child to resist the urge of gambling especially if they have already seen the habit with other kids or even adults. Besides, online gambling is designed in such a way that players tend to win a lot in the beginning. This makes the players get the perception that winning streak will keep going on as they continue to play. Most addicted gamblers will tell you that they found themselves where they are now because they saw an amazing opportunity to make good money.
Since gambling is based on chance, even when you lose, it’s extremely tempting to think you are going to win next time. If this continues, you might find that you have already used all the money you had and gained nothing in return.
Spotting gambling problems in children
Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell when a child is having gambling problems. However, below are some warning signs that your child is dealing with gambling issues.
- Withdrawal from friends and social activities
- Sudden poor performance at school
- Changes in mood, becoming easily irritable and looking tired all the time
- Sudden interest towards internet gaming sites, stimulated gaming apps and general gaming activities
- Secrets over issues and denying there is a problem
- Sudden change in the money your child usually has. Your child could have lots of money one moment the next one they are borrowing or even stealing
- More focus on sports odds other than the sport itself
Ways to prevent children from getting into gambling problems
Although it’s easy to stop teens from entering into land-based casinos, it’s impossible to stop a teen from placing bets online. So long as they have access to the internet, they have the freedom to register at an online gambling website without your knowledge. So, how do you protect your children from getting into gambling at a tender age? Here are ways you can use to protect them.
Lead by example
Simple, if you don’t want your children to gamble, you shouldn’t gamble as well. This will send a clear message to them that you don’t advocate for gambling. And don’t think you can do it in private and hide it from them. These millennials are super smart and they will soon find out.
Share the information you know about gambling
There is nothing good like your child learning something from you instead of hearing about it from friends and strangers. Not sharing the things you know about gambling won’t stop your children from looking for information in other sources. Therefore, it can greatly help to teach them what online gambling is all about and the consequences associated with it. Explain to them how they are unlikely to make lots of money by gambling as opposed to what they see on advertisements. You could tell them it’s because these companies are in business and so they must make more money than what they are paying out to gamblers. Otherwise, they won’t be able to stay in business.
Consider your family attitude towards gambling
Do you know the perception you have as a family about gambling can influence your child to gamble or not? For instance, if your child is less exposed to gambling, their interest to gamble will be less as compared to the kids you are more exposed. If a close family member gambles regularly, the children will grow seeing gambling as a normal behavior. The whole scenario may look like a fun way to make money. They will also acquire the habit the moment they can the slightest chance.
Engage your children on useful activities
Some children fall in the trap of online gambling because they lack something better to do. Encourage positive extracurricular activities. Give your children the chance to choose what they want to do and then give them the support they need. The activities will keep their minds occupied and they won’t have time to think about gambling.
Well, from the information above, it’s easy to see why these games are a problem. As a parent you need to be on the lookout. Encourage conversations about gaming with your children whenever possible. Shining light on this trend will ensure your children knows what it is, at what age they can participate and on what limit. Also, don’t forget to lead by example. Be a role model.