Experts say that the adolescent stage is very critical in human psychosocial development. It is the stage of “identity vs. role confusion according of the theory of Sigmund Freud. This is the point in life wherein there are lots of conflicts going on, from body changes to identity crisis. Part of it also is the growing curiosity to anything and sad to say even in gambling.
Gambling is risking money, properties and valuables in order to fulfill the hope of winning huge amount of money and winning more than the amount spent in gambling. Teenage gambling is rapidly growing in the United States. According to a study there are eight million gamblers in US and approximately one million of whom are teenagers.
According to gambling addiction experts and psychiatrist teenage gambling is on the rise. The reason for this trend is that there is a growing acceptance of gambling in the culture of the country. There are also betting shows on TV in which some Hollywood stars are contestants and the easiest way to start gambling is having access to the Internet.
Parents and guardians should do constant monitoring on their children. They must be alert and look for signs of teenage gambling.
According to American Psychiatric Association pathological gambling is a persistent and recurrent behavior which is maladaptive in nature.
There are different behaviors manifested by a teenage gambler, some are losing interest in education. The individual also can become too preoccupied with gambling. Gamble with increasing amount for excitement. Plans to stop or cut back with gambling but always unsuccessful.
The individual also lose important relationship with family, friends and others. Believe that gambling can solve their problems. Tell lies to family and therapist to conceal gambling. The individual can also commit illegal acts like theft, forgery and fraud.
Teens are more susceptible to get into gambling because it happens out of curiosity and also their experiences in life are still young. They are also immature in many ways like decision making and figuring out the pros and cons of an act.
It is so important that teens are always guided. It is never too late to save a young life from teenage gambling. Adults especially parents and guardians should serve as a good models to our teens. A calm and non- judgmental approach may help.
Gamblers like alcoholics always use the defense mechanism of denial. They fail to admit their addiction and tend to make a lot of excuses and don’t realize that the problem is getting worst.
In teenage gambling the individual always claim that the act is just for fun. They also have the tendency to steal from their family.
Teenage gambling is indeed a rising problem in our society today. This can be prevented by our own little ways by starting at home. We can teach them that gambling can lead to severe problem and will do no good. Monitoring also of children during watching TV and surfing the Internet can help.
Fighting gambling is no piece of cake but a strong family foundation can spare a person from this type of addiction.