The yearbooks have been signed, school’s out, and kids all across the state are as excited as ever to dive head first into summer vacation. As internet access and video games are just a quick reach away, it is important to establish responsible gaming practices at a young age. According to data collected from our 888-ADMIT-IT Helpline, the majority of problem gamblers began gambling before the age of twenty-five (25). Although it is prohibited for children under the age of eighteen (18) to gamble, knowing when to walk away or when to take a break from video games could help your kids avoid some behaviors that could lead to a gambling problem in the future.
Be Aware of Emotional Gaming
For example, if you notice your son or daughter becomes emotional while playing (i.e. throwing the controller after losing), remind them that gaming is meant to be fun and if it’s no longer enjoyable, it might be time to find a new game or activity. Due to the social nature of online gaming and available chat and talk features, cyberbullying is a growing concern. The FCCG recommends having a conversation with your son or daughter to get to the bottom of what exactly is making them so upset to determine a plan of action going forward.
Monitor Length of Play
Monitoring length of play and encouraging children to take a break from their phone or video games to instead opt for a bike ride, swim, or even a book is another method that could help foster responsible gaming practices when they become of legal gambling age. Additionally, swapping a screen for a book or physical activity can contribute to an overall healthier well-being.
You Know What’s Best for Your Child
As a parent or guardian, you know your child best- what’s most important is to establish rules and practices that make sense for your family. For more information on responsible gaming for youth or adults, contact the FCCG at our 24-hour multilingual HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT.