DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Back when my sons were little, my father used to take them with him to buy scratch-offs and the occasional big jackpot lottery ticket. He even used to give them to the boys as stocking stuffers and in their birthday cards. It was just a fun little thing to do. My dad never expected to hit it big, and he certainly never spent more than a few bucks here and there on it. And that’s as close to gambling as anyone in the family did as long as I can remember.
I am beginning to fear my oldest son is becoming hooked on on-line gambling. It’s legal in our state, and I don’t claim to understand much about it at all, beyond that my daughter-in-law has begun to say things to us about how much time and money my son is spending on what he still claims is a harmless hobby.
He’s a grown man, makes his own money, and lives his own life with his wife and my granddaughter. But it makes me uneasy, especially since when I say anything to him about the gambling, he gets very defensive and tells me to mind my own business.
Beyond worrying, is there anything else I should be doing? --- GAMBLER’S MOM
DEAR GAMBLER’S MOM: You’re a mom, and worrying is a big part of the job description. But now that your son’s an adult with a family of his own, his welfare is, or at least should be, more in the hands of his wife, and if she’s old enough, his daughter.
Since your daughter-in-law has spoken to you about her concerns, by all means, offer her your support, and back her up if she asks for help. While it’s up to her to take the lead here, it might prove at least a little easier all-around if she has a strong ally in you.