Parents: Dealing With Youth and Risky Behavior
Many parents aren’t aware that youth gambling is often connected with alcohol use, marijuana use, and other drug use.
- More than half of Oregon teens have gambled. They prefer games like betting on sports teams, skill games and cards.
- Teens who gamble are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.
- Over half of youth surveyed believe that gambling can become a problem for young people.
- More than 9 in 10 teens believe that gambling problems can be prevented through education and awareness
Parents: Facts on Teen Drug Use – information to help you talk with your teens about drugs and their effects, and learn where to go to get help https://teens.drugabuse.gov/parents
Supporting Your Teens Mental Health
The teen years are a critical period for developing and maintaining social and emotional health. To learn more about how to talk with your youth visit:
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry resource center provides information and links of a variety of mental health issues affecting youth: https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Resource_Centers/Substance_Use_Resource_Center/Home.aspx
Teen Gambling? Have the Conversation
All of the following tips go together. They each build upon one another. As you learn and apply these tips,you’ll be surprised at how problem gambling and other topics fit together really well in conversation.
Live by example.
- Remember that, whatever it is we are doing, kids watch what we
- Parental gambling is a major risk factor for youth problem gambling. Make sure what you’re doing is modeling healthy behavior.
- Avoid emphasizing money or winning
- Share with kids that gambling isn’t risk-free. It’s not something that is a “healthy alternative” to alcohol ordrug
- Even though most kids will never go on to develop a gambling problem, research shows that the earlier in life someone places a bet, the more likely s/he is to develop a gambling problem later in life.
Talk About It
- It doesn’t need to be its own long lecture — while you’re talking about the risks of alcohol and drugs, include gambling. Gambling can be just as
- Learn the odds and talk about It’s great math practice!
- If you see an ad for a casino, talk about that ad with your child. Ask him what he thinks about what the ad’s trying to tell him. Talk to her about ways that advertisers try to pull us in.
- Talk about the odds being lousy (you don’t need to know exact statistics, but it’s safe to say the odds are lousy!).
Keep talking! Like alcohol and drugs, it isn’t one conversation that does the trick. Bring it up in casual conversation and keep talking.
Talking to Your Teen About Video Gaming
Parental controls over gaming sites and length of play are a great tool, but they’re no substitute
for talking to your kids about:
- what games and apps they are playing or using
- what your family has decided is okay. Are there limits on what they can play, or when and how long they can play?
- who it’s okay to play games with online
- why it’s important not to share personal information, like their address, school, or plans for the weekend
- how to deal with inappropriate online behavior by another player. You may be able to block the player, or notify a game’s publisher or online service.
Another good idea: keep your computer or game system in a common area. That opens the door to ask questions andhave conversations on the spot.
Healthier Gaming: 5 Tips for Parents of Teens
FTC website for parents interesting in learning more about youth gaminghttps://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0270-kids-parents-and-video-games
Entertainment Software Rating Board information and tips for parentshttps://www.esrb.org/tools-for-parents/family-guide/
Is Video Game Addiction Real? 2021 WebMD articlehttps://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/video-game-addictio
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-7-things-to-know/ BrainFacts.org information and illustrations of how gambling affects the brainhttps://www.brainfacts.org/diseases-and-disorders/addiction/2015/gambling-addiction-and-
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry article on youth brain development andrisky behaviors https://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/The-Teen-Brain-Behavior-Problem-Solving-and-Decision-Making-095.aspx
National Institute on Drug Abuse information on adolescent brain development and substanceuse https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/adolescent-brainhttps://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/drugs-brain
National Institute for Mental Health information on youth brain developmenthttps://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-7-things-to-know/
Brain Connection (CA) video on gambling and the brain (2020):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wghXyB7ERfs