Parenting in Gambling Addiction Recovery to Break the Cycle

May 2, 2024 Kevin Anyango

Parenting in gambling addiction recovery is not easy. The weight of gambling addiction isn't just on us, the ones battling it; it bleeds into the lives of loved ones, especially our children. That's why it's important to consider parenting in gambling addiction recovery.

Gambling Addiction and Parenting: The Impact on Children

My gambling addiction didn't just take money — it also stole precious moments and fractured the trust between me and my kid. The moments that should have been filled with laughter and joy were overshadowed by the ever-present strain of my gambling. Even if they were too young to understand the full picture, their innocence picked up on the instability, leaving them insecure and afraid.

Now, in recovery, I'm learning how to be the parent they deserve, and it's both challenging and deeply fulfilling.

How to Parent in Gambling Addiction Recovery

Here's what I've learned so far about parenting and gambling addiction.

  • Honesty is the best policy — I have learned how to be open with my kid about my past and my ongoing recovery journey. We talk about my mistakes and how I'm working to improve. While it is not easy, it is important as it helps build trust. It also shows them it is okay to ask for help. Remember, when talking about gambling addiction with children, it is important to tailor the conversation to their age and understanding. For younger children, it might be a simple explanation like, "Mommy/Daddy used to make some choices that weren't healthy, but now I'm getting help to make better choices."
  • Focus on quality time — Gambling stole years from my family. I missed milestones and I deeply regret it. Now, I consciously try to spend quality time with my child. We play games, have movie nights, and go for walks — simple things that create memories and strengthen our bond.
  • Prioritize your wellbeing — Taking care of yourself isn't selfish. If anything, a well-rested, healthy you is better equipped to handle parenthood's daily joys and challenges. When parenting in gambling addiction recovery, I have learned to prioritize activities that support my recovery, like going to therapy and regular exercise, to be the best parent for my kid.
  • Create new traditions  Lastly, try to create new family traditions. Holidays can be particularly risky for those in recovery for various reasons, including the amount of free time on your hands and the trauma of the absent parent from the children. Instead of the usual (potentially triggering) activities, create new traditions that involve your kids and strengthen your family bond.

Parenting is hard, and parenting in gambling recovery is even more challenging. There will be setbacks, but the unwavering commitment to your recovery and your children's wellbeing creates a powerful foundation for growth. If you're a recovering gambling addict and a parent, know that you're not alone. There is hope, and your children are worth the fight.

APA Reference
Anyango, K. (2024, May 2). Parenting in Gambling Addiction Recovery to Break the Cycle, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Kevin Anyango

Kevin Anyango likes to say, "I am still me, no matter my mental health." Find Kevin on Twitter

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