The digital world that we live in can be a minefield for families and parents/carers. The way in which children ‘game’ now is completely different to how modern day parents/carers would have experienced.
The ‘monetization’ of gaming is at the forefront of research and there are increasing concerns surrounding online gaming and the subsequent links this has with underage gambling.
10 Signs for Parents to Look For
Disordered gambling is sometimes referred to as the 'silent killer'. Unlike drug or alcohol addictions the signs are sometimes harder to spot and if not dealt with at an early age can have a devastating effect on both the gambler and their families later on in life.
10 Top Tips for Parents
If you think that your child may be at risk of developing a gaming addiction then there are a series of measures that you can put in place. This is by no means an exhaustive list but just some strategies that could ensure a potential situation does not escalate.
Recognising the early warning signs and putting barriers in place is the key to supporting a youngster who is at risk of developing a gambling addiction. For many this may be the first time living away from home; in possession of a relatively large sum of money and being responsible for managing their own finances.
Supporting from a distance can be challenging but using the advice and guidance from the ‘Early Years’ and ‘Preparing for 18’ programmes may make this easier to manage.
If you have discovered that someone in your family has developed a gambling disorder, you may not know which way to turn.
There isn’t a ‘one-size fits all’ recovery programme and what works for one person or family may not work for another but it is important that you are aware of all of the help that is available so please do visit the useful links page too.
The ‘12 Things To Do’ suggestions are practical barriers you can put in place to help your family member in their recovery, whilst providing you with peace of mind during your own recovery.
Some actions will be easier than others to implement and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good starting point.
If you are concerned about the amount of time your son/daughter is spending gaming online or the content they are accessing then as a parent/carer you can set up various controls on their devices. Any restrictions that you put in place must be monitored on a regular basis. Our children are very resourceful and with the best will in the world any barriers that we set up are always at risk of being switched off.