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Children in London lives ruined by Backgammon - In support of Phil

Posted By: Keene
Date: Tuesday, 25 February 2014, at 5:14 p.m.

In Response To: Children in London lives ruined by Backgammon (phil simborg)

When I was a kid... Teachers taught me lessons, my parents tried to guide me on the path they thought was best, peers influenced me, but ultimately, there were some things that I found had to be learned the hard way. The classic example of "dont touch that, its hot, it will burn you" doesnt really describe the feeling of intense heat, then the focused hurt of a blister for 2-3 days. Nobody told me that the pain would be intense briefly, then dull for many days after. Thats a lesson I had to learn all by myself.

I think the same applies to gambling, and playing games for money. No amount of guidance, or peer influence, or lessons being taught will ever tell you all you need to know about it - to decide whether you like it or not, or can handle it or not. I think thats another lesson that depends on the individual.

So, as a parent, I am more concerned about teaching methods to understand these, and having a clear grasp of what 'moderation' and 'consequences' mean. Will I teach my children not to gamble? I can't. I can give them evidence of reasons why they should be pragmatic, and I can relate personal experiences of how to do it better, but I can't stop them. In fact, its in the nature of children to understand their world by stretching limits, finding the points at which things break. Thats what children do. I just hope that my children will understand the consequences, and control, and then they can make their choices.

As any parent will tell you, often telling a child 'dont do that!' leads directly to them doing exactly that.

I dont think we can control the world to the extent that we believe we can, and I dont see the value in sheltering our children from what is true and real - the reality of discovery is what they learn from.

I won't encourage my children to gamble and bet. I won't set up a system at home that requires it. I will hope that I teach them enough about the world that they have a better grasp of when its appropriate, and when its not. I will trust in my own wisdom. I will guide as best I can, I will offer advice, I will expect unintended consequences, and I will hope that they learn in a positive way from it.

So, my perspective, to unilaterally impose rules that specifically block a certain activity, just draws attention to another boundary that must be tested. My children will be taught properly.

Side note, keeping religion out of this, I find that my particularly scientific view of the world allows me greater freedom to critically analyze and assess. Thats one trait that I hope my children inherit from me.


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