It is very healthy to avoid the risks of gambling for lots of important reasons, including the negative impact it can have on family, finances, and personal well-being. Savvy investors don’t build multi-billion dollar casinos to lose THEIR money—but to take OURS.
The odds are typically stacked against the gambler, making it more likely to lose money than to win. Allow this fact to resonate. Compulsive and addictive gambling can lead to financial hardship, debt, and financial stress, negatively affecting the entire family. If dad’s gambling habits cause big problems, this can create tension, conflict, and evoke feelings of betrayal or disappointment among family members.
As a role model for our children, gambling sends the wrong message about financial management and decision-making. Children learn more from what dad does than we what dad says. If they observe dad gambling and then imitate him, this can potentially lead to their own gambling in the future. Teaching children not to gamble involves imparting a sense of responsibility, correct understanding of risk, and honest awareness of potential consequences.
A father’s primary responsibilities are to our family, career, and personal development. Gambling can be time-consuming, diverting energy and resources away from quality time with loved ones. Problem gambling can have a detrimental impact on mental health; stress, anxiety, and guilt associated with gambling losses can take a toll on our well-being, making it more difficult to be emotionally present and available.
Explain that gambling is designed to favor the house, so the odds are against the player. Help children understand the potential consequences, such as financial losses, addiction, and strained relationships. Share sad stories—how gambling may have destroyed someone’s life. Help kids explore the topic of risks and rewards by closely examining various real-life situations, while holding an awareness of most likely vs. least likely possibilities.
Teach Financial Literacy
Educate children about responsible money management, budgeting, and saving. Emphasize the importance of not risking money they can’t afford to lose. Explain why we may have chosen not to gamble or to gamble in moderation, based on our values and principles.
Peer Pressure & Unhealthy Influences
Teach kids to recognize and resist peer pressure. Encourage them to make choices based on their values.
If we suspect that our child is struggling with gambling addiction, gently remind them that they can always come to us for guidance. Support them; if needed, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in gambling addiction.
Some people enjoy recreational gambling responsibly. Some people struggle with gambling addiction and allow it to take over their lives. If the latter is true, help and support are essential. Ultimately, avoiding gambling altogether is the most prudent choice. Remember, teaching children about responsibility is an ongoing process. By periodically reinforcing healthy messages and encouraging open communication, nurturing fathers raise well-equipped children who feel comfortable coming to dad to discuss any of the concerns of their heart, including gambling.
“Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.”
—Proverbs 13:11 NLT
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.