Gambling is the new trend and it has taken the world like a storm. Not only adults but also children are gambling. Gambling is not harmful if there is control and one understands to the limit they should engage in this activity. Sadly, children are involved in gambling without supervision, which has led to a large number of them to being addicted. It has been proven by several researches that children as young as ten years are gambling. Many parents are struggling with the issue of their kids engaging in gambling without limits. Gambling addiction has led many children to start engaging in weird activities. Something has to be done or else many young ones will lose focus towards their destinies and aspirations. Below are some areas to consider as a parent to help your kid come out of gambling addiction,
What pushes kids to gambling?
Gambling is available on the internet and this has encouraged many children to start gambling using their parent’s mobile phones. Nowadays many families have access to laptops and computers which are left un manned or locked. This has pushed many kids into gambling and if the trend goes unchecked, it leads to addiction. There are advertising messages everywhere about gambling, which are very influential to children. Some gambling sites come up with very appealing promises of big wins thereby creating curiosity and anxiousness to the kids. They can also pick up the habits from their parents, close relatives, or people who have influence on their lives. The television, radio, magazines, and newspapers have also played a role in letting the kids know about gambling. Peer pressure is another aspect that comes into play here. Some games require people to play in pairs, which force the kids to introduce their friends to gambling. Gambling is gaining more popularity because of the invites and referrals.
How to detect addiction
Gambling can be used as an alternative of managing stress and boredom among other problems. However, when it goes above board or the kid starts behaving funny or doing things they never used to do, then this might mean it is an addiction. Most children do not know how to handle stress so they withdraw from other people and social events. When they are lonely, they isolate and engage in weird activities to forget their problems. Gambling is an example of such activities. When one becomes dependant on gambling then it shifts from being a leisure activity to become an addiction. When someone is addicted to something most of their thoughts revolve around that. If your child is addicted to gambling most of the things they will be talking about will always be or point to gambling. For example, your child can try to gamble by betting that they can swim to the end of the pull only if you promise them something like two boxes of pizza.
Your child will also want to be updated on everything happening on the gambling site they are signed. Your child can start asking for more money from you, relatives or friends to cater for their gambling needs. Remember when one is addicted to gambling, they always use any amount of money at their disposal to gamble forgetting that gambling is just luck. If a child is addicted to gambling, they will not admit it and will try to keep their activities a secret. They also do not sleep on time and may even forget to take their meals or bath.
Prevent your kids gambling routine
You should avoid sharing gambling messages with your children because this will encourage or motivate the kids to start gambling. Encourage your children to involve themselves in communal activities, which promote openness and sharing so that they learn to manage their time and resources. You can also limit the amount of time they spend on the internet/ media and most importantly, what they listen to or watch. Help them have budgets on how to use their money and always have records to show how they spend money. This will discourage them from indulging in gambling. Make it clear to your children that gambling is not a good and reliable means of making income. Do not let your children get the notion that you are unable to pay your bills because this may force them to start gambling to assist. By so doing your children will not feel the need to gamble so that they can help. If you allow them to gamble, educate them on what gambling entails, and let them be ready to either lose or win. Help them plan their time so that they can always do what they are supposed to at the right time and place. Whenever you notice them trying to isolate themselves, reach out to them, talk, and if possible provide solutions to their problems.
Consequences of gambling
Your child will be more interested in the odds instead of enjoying the sport. They are also at a risk of being exposed to other immoral activities like pornography because of spending time on the internet. As they withdrawal from people and other social events, they can develop fear or resentment and this can lead to things like low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Gambling addiction can lead to a drop in grades at school because time meant for study and revision is used on gambling. The child’s health could be at risk because they lack of sleep or food as they spend most of their time gambling. The kid can be tempted to steal or cheat to get money for gambling. Gambling can be frustrating at times and if the child is not able to handle this well, it can result to force the kid to indulge in activities like drinking, using drugs, or even becoming violent. If the child consistently gets no returns even after putting in large sums of money, they can end up depressed, which can culminate into committing suicide.
Gambling, if not monitored well, could be disastrous to your children. If they should gamble, let them be under your guidance and supervision. When gambling goes from being a normal hobby to an addiction then invoke some discipline to your kids. There might be need to seek the services of a counselor or a therapist to help them to return to normalcy.