In recent months, Stop Gambling Sites has received many e-mails related to teenage gambling addiction.
With all new programs on cable and local TV, this negative exposure affects our youth.
I recently found that my first cousins son lives and breathes and sleeps games. Degrees in school fall and his future education is now up to date. You ask yourself why? How did this happen? He was an excellent student, good friends and a promising future.
I decided to call him and find out whats happening in his life. He knew he was in trouble but had no where to turn. He never used drugs or alcohol. Again you ask yourself how did this happen? From something that was so innocent as watching a poker game on tv to have one hundred dollars plus one weeks game problem. He had told me that the program seemed to fascinate him. It gave him a rush that he could win tons and lots of money. He wanted to buy his girlfriend and parents nice things. The whole thing seemed so innocent to him and the next thing he noticed, he could not win, borrowed money and now owes thousands of dollars and his life is crumbling. I asked him how he could play with his parents to know. He simply told me that they would be busy to notice. He said since I did honor roll, I did not drink or did drugs, they had no worries. These were the only three things they ever cared for. They never even asked to see my report cards, I always had As. They made me do what I ever wanted. They treated me like I was an adult.
His response was amazing to me. I realized that more education is needed for both parents of a teenager and potential parents for future teenagers. The goal is to educate all parents.
People tried to educate parents when it came to computer games but parents were not susceptible. These video games play parents a break from there children. Have you noticed that nobody wants to take action when it comes to violent video games or the new poker show on television? It is obvious that our society must pay the price again. When I was a teenager, there were no games on the TV, Pac Man was the preferred video game and drugs were the number one subject in school.
When society changes, we must change it. When we implement something new, we have to look at what are the consequences.
They no longer advertise cigarettes on cable or television because they discovered that cigarettes are harmful. Everyone really knows that video games that are violent affect the mind. I tried an experiment the other day. I played video games with my nephew who is fourteen years old. In addition to a pair of swollen fingers, I did quite well. The game rotated around to shoot the enemy. I remember when we stopped and went outside, I was still in the game mode. Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! I was surprised. I think all parents should play these games, you will not allow your children to play them anymore.
Now the teenage gambling addiction is the same. Continuous exposure to unrealistic expectations leads to self-destructive behavior. A teenager who looks at his parents plays and only hears about the profits that the parents have leads to a false impression that his parents are winning all the time.
Now that you have a teenager who is addicted to games, you ask yourself what I do. Most people can either take him to the doctor, talk to the school adviser or talk and let their teens tell them that it will never happen again. It seems ninety percent go with It will never happen again. The reason they are so willing to go with It Will Never Happen is simple, they do not want anyone to know that their children have a problem. I remember growing up and the girl next door, who was seventeen, had a drug problem. I knew that I saw how she changed and even smoked cigarettes. The parents did not want anyone to know so they waited until the school year ended and then put her in a rehabilitation place in another state for a part of the summer. They told everyone that she was going to Europe on a exchange program. She told me the truth and what had happened to her. She learned a lot in the treatment program and also acknowledged her parents denial of the whole situation, which made it more difficult for her.
Parents must face reality. The parents need to be trained. Parents need to be more involved with their children. It does not matter if there is a parent or two. Parents have to end the excuses, there is no one to blame. Instead, focuses on the problem at hand.
I received an e-mail from a parent who told me what big parents they were and how could it happen. These parents need to focus on the matter at hand and work for a solution that worries about how it can happen