Teach your children well
Their father’s hell will slowly go by…
A follow-up to my response to Clubs Australia’s recent call for gambling education in schools.
Regardless of whether school-based gambling education is a good idea or not, the primary responsibility for preparing our kids for adulthood lies with us.
Mums, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents… our youth are our responsibility first and foremost, and always should be.
I have three beautiful daughters, aged 4, 11 and 17. I’ve spoken to each of them a number of times about things I think they need to know and understand. The message and the way I put it has naturally depended on which of my girls I was talking to and how old they were at the time, but we’ve talked about bullying, pornography, truth in advertising and the big one, sex… just to name a few.
And we’ve talked about gambling.
My girls know that I was, and still consider myself to be, a poker machine addict. I have always been completely open about this with them. They ask me questions and, as I do here, I always answer them honestly.
To shield them from my experiences would mean insulating them from the reality of the world we live in. There’s no way I can let that happen. My role as their father is far more important than letting my history lie dormant, or forgetting the pain I’ve gone through.
If we want our kids to be ready to face whatever the world can throw at them, we can’t assume that someone else will do it for us. We need to talk about it.