There was a story not too long ago about parents who were arrested and charged with three counts of abuse and neglect of a minor. They had left their three young children (aged 7yrs, 5yrs, and 8 months) alone in the car while they went to gamble at a casino on a Tuesday night.
While this story is shocking, it unfortunately not an isolated case and illustrates the detrimental impacts of gambling and addiction on families. Compulsive gambling has a huge effect on the family and the children. When parents focus on gambling rather than childcare, the children live a life without attention, stability, parental predictability, or emotional validation.
How to tell if your child is affected by your gambling
We asked thegamer.eu, an expert of online gaming;
- Emotional: Does your child experience anger, anxiety, confusion, depression, guilt, hurt, hopelessness, insecurity and or inadequacy and loneliness.
- Physical: Is your child exhibiting stress-related symptoms or illnesses such as allergies, asthma, chronic gastrointestinal problems and/or chronic headaches?
- Behavioral: Is your child taking part in alcohol abuse, drug use, criminal activity and/or attempted suicide, lower academic school performance, over-eating, smoking, or running away?
It is time to take a close look at how much time you spend gambling, and how it is affecting your family. Taking care of your family and your children should come first. If you find you are struggling to step away from gambling, and feel you may an addition, you need to get help. Speak to a counselor or call a helpline.
Once you have taken the steps to stop compulsive gambling, you can now focus on repairing your relationship with your children. Validate your child’s feelings. Let them talk about what happened and how it affected them. Create a structured environment, and set aside time as ‘quality time’ to spend with them. If necessary, get professional help. This will help them express themselves and work through their feelings.