Mothering · toddlers

Changing the Game Before the Game is Over

I think we can all agree that over the past nine months most of us have filled the gaps that were once filled with school, extracurriculars, playdates, etc., with a little extra screen time (or a lot extra on some days #workfromhomemom). I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes handing off tablets to my kids is the only way I get anything done; and I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that there is one specific game my kids play that I am a bit hooked on as well (don’t judge!).

But, while scrambling to be productive while somehow keeping our kids entertained, we as parents/guardians need to be sure we remain cognizant of what our kids are playing and that gambling habits can develop at a young age. Did you know that advanced data tracking allows AI-based algorithms to target young people and
players with serious gambling problems? And that even the ever-popular scratch off lottery ticket (I just scratched one off yesterday…not a winner in case you were wondering) can pose a risk?  The Ohio Lottery encourages people not to give lottery tickets as gifts to minors.  The International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University found early participation in gambling increases likelihood of developing a gambling problem later in life. 

That’s why I am partnering with Ohio For Responsible Gambling to share with you how they are working to raise awareness of the realities of youth gambling and connect parents, educators and children to the resources available for prevention and treatment through the creation of  a program called Change The Game.

Change the Game isn’t just working to prevent future gambling problems among our youth, but also to help those who are being affected right now. Check out these great resources:

  • A free community toolkit with customizable resources appropriate for organizations that parents, children, and those working with children can use. 
  • Free educational materials to help people better understand if they have a potential problem with gambling.

By paying attention now and monitoring our kids’ game use and time, we can help lead them down a path of responsible gaming. It starts with us!

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