Posted May 11, 2014 by John Baintree in News

Effects of A Parents Gambling on Children

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When gambling becomes an addiction the first people to be affected are the close family members of the individual with the problem. In particular, children are vulnerable to the effects of gambling addiction. Any parent with a gambling addiction problem needs to be aware of the potential damage that their lifestyle choice can cause young children. What follows are some of the risks that children face growing up around problem gambling.

Poor emotional validation skills can frequently be seen in children who grow up around gambling. Instabiltiy in family life can lead to a lack of their feelings and emotions being confirmed. Children who grow up without parental guidance about what are good feelings and what are bad frequently show an inability to distinguish between good and bad emotions themselves.

A lack of environmental stability can easily be the outcome of problem gambling. As debts increase, mortgages and rent are frequently the first to go unpaid. Children living in this environment have unexplained changes forced upon them frequently. This lack of stability in their physical environment can lead to them failing to learn the value of work and other social skills such as tolerance and how to deal with frustration.

The turmoil that is caused by problem gambling can also affect the emotional stability of children. In a nurturing home, parents will respond to children with approval and love to meet their needs and with sanctions to help establish boundaries. The secret to ensuring a child grows into a well balanced adult is to ensure the correct balance between love and sanction is achieved. A parent with a gambling addiction issue will often overcompensate for the failings their addiction imposes on children and by doing so upset the required balance between love and sanction.

As gambling addiction worsens parents are likely to experience more and more severe depression and anxiety. When introduced into what should be a balanced environment for the child, this can often lead to behavioural issues and learning difficulties in school.

Children who experience gambling addiction in their parents are also more likely to gamble themselves. Without any form of framework to identify addition as undesirable, children become very vulnerable themselves.

Empirical studies of children affected by problem gambling have identified a number of conditions that children may develop. A loss of trust and a feeling of powerlessness to deal with the problem can all too often lead to children blaming themselves for the problem.