Gambling parent?

Responsible Service of GamblingGambling is an addiction that not only affects the addicted person but also their loved ones, sometimes the impact is obvious and other times less obvious. But at the end of the day, the children of gambling parents are affected. They are the ones left at home, forgotten at school and often neglected.

Parental gambling problems often leave a family financially unsteady, leading to little money for school activities and school lunches. This can affect the child’s overall social stability and isolation from peers at school.

Where the parent is a problem gambler, children may exhibit:

  • A high level of stress-related illnesses such as asthma, allergies and digestive disorders

  • Lower than average school achievement

  • Indulge or find themselves being involved in health-threatening activities such as smoking, drinking, drug use, underage sexual activities and/or over eating

They are also:

  • Twice as likely to attempt suicide

  • Twice as likely to come from a broken home

  • More likely to develop a gambling problem in the future

Children with gambling parents, more often than not, will not come forward, and blame themselves for the issues their parents are experiencing. When talking to a student affected by gambling in a family, you should try to:

  • Reduce the guilt that they feel, as they feel as though they are the reason for the issue

  • Reduce the guilt about breaking possible ‘family secrets’

  • Provide them with referrals to counsellors and/or the Gambling Help line as these services are not only restricted to the addicted person (1800 858 858) or provide them with the kids help line (1800 55 1800)

If you see a child that is suffering due to their parent being affected by a gambling addiction, talk to them about the situation, as more often than not, they are baring the secret. Children from a family that is struggling with a gambling addiction suffer as a result and need as much support as their parent, to overcome the issue and to feel as though they are not at fault.

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