If your teenager spends hour after hour online, you need to make sure you are aware of what they are doing and whether or not they are unknowingly harming themselves. Addictions are powerful and can come in a variety of forms. Some online addictions, like social networking and chatting with friends is not as harmful as other forms of addiction like online gambling. You might not think that your teenager has ways to play games online that require a buy in; however, many of these gaming sites accept more than one form of payment and anyone can have a PayPal or other online funding source. If you notice any of the signs included here that are common among teens that gamble online, you should intervene and get your child help.
Any of these signs could signal that your teen is either gambling online or doing something else that could be dangerous online and if you notice these you should become very interested in their online life.
- Asking you to put their money in an online account for them, such as a PayPal account. These accounts typically require a credit card or bank account to be linked to them. If your child has a bank account you may not realize they are spending their money online. However, if you notice them asking you to make the deposits for them ask why and don’t give up until you have an answer.
- Secretive behavior. If your teenager doesn’t want you to know what they are doing online and most of them don’t, you need to find out what they are doing. As their parent, you have the right to know.
- Unexpected income or nothing to show for their money being gone. If your teenager has either a sudden influx of money or has no money but can’t explain where it went, they may be wagering online. Do you investigating and find out.
As a parent, you have the right to be proactive and protect your child. It is your right and duty to be nosey and involved in their life no matter how angry they become.