Desperate for advice

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mapen said:   raiser14 said:   Be all that you can be...Aim High.

Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box.

Al3xK said:   I guess that's just the disagreement. I don't think those points are suggestive of mental illness. #1 & #5 don't suggest mental illness, and #4 is related to #1.

#3 Delivering pizzas is a fast paced driving job and any sort of accident and you're fired. That wouldn't suggest mental illness. #2 Minimum wage job-to-job from a college drop out probably means he thinks the job is beneath him and/or wants unemployment.

I'd guess he failed out and didn't drop out. I see it all the time. These kids aren't bi-polar, they probably just coasted through high school and didn't have the study skills and time management to cut it in college.


If only the beginning of this story (18-23) was shared, everyone would have said the same thing about Blok.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1243584/

However since we know the 3 years later....

jason745 said:   Al3xK said:   I guess that's just the disagreement. I don't think those points are suggestive of mental illness. #1 & #5 don't suggest mental illness, and #4 is related to #1.

#3 Delivering pizzas is a fast paced driving job and any sort of accident and you're fired. That wouldn't suggest mental illness. #2 Minimum wage job-to-job from a college drop out probably means he thinks the job is beneath him and/or wants unemployment.

I'd guess he failed out and didn't drop out. I see it all the time. These kids aren't bi-polar, they probably just coasted through high school and didn't have the study skills and time management to cut it in college.


If only the beginning of this story (18-23) was shared, everyone would have said the same thing about Blok.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1243584/

However since we know the 3 years later....


This is a bit of a stretch. Block had $200k in credit lines, $100k of cash liability pulled from those, section 8 rental properties, multiple businesses, etc.

OP's kid is about as vanilla as it gets.

Al3xK said:   jason745 said:   Al3xK said:   I guess that's just the disagreement. I don't think those points are suggestive of mental illness. #1 & #5 don't suggest mental illness, and #4 is related to #1.

#3 Delivering pizzas is a fast paced driving job and any sort of accident and you're fired. That wouldn't suggest mental illness. #2 Minimum wage job-to-job from a college drop out probably means he thinks the job is beneath him and/or wants unemployment.

I'd guess he failed out and didn't drop out. I see it all the time. These kids aren't bi-polar, they probably just coasted through high school and didn't have the study skills and time management to cut it in college.


If only the beginning of this story (18-23) was shared, everyone would have said the same thing about Blok.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1243584/

However since we know the 3 years later....


This is a bit of a stretch. Block had $200k in credit lines, $100k of cash liability pulled from those, section 8 rental properties, multiple businesses, etc.

OP's kid is about as vanilla as it gets.


That's true, but in the beginning Blok dropped out of school, worked in retail, dabbled in online/offline businesses. Then at one point was broke, foreclosed on, etc...

You are 100% correct that Blok's story is very different because he showed initiative from an early age. The thing I dislike most about alot of the replies in this thread though are how everyone has assumed the worst from the kid. He dropped out and has failed at min wage jobs. Yes. He might never be a Blok, but he might. All it takes is a few changes along the way and he could have a nice reality check that puts him on the right path.

Absolutely agree. I mainly disagree with the posts saying there is a good chance he has a mental illness and/or he NEEDS to be sent to the military. Both sound like no recovery.

The kid is $15k in debt, has a few years of college, and only 23. I'd be pushing for him to go to community college and bump his grades enough to get back into his bachelor program, then finishing college and getting a typical 9-5 job and doing what he can for his debt.

bullcity said:   Wow. You make a lot of assumptions in that about my life. I would never argue that I haven't benefited from my parents, and I appreciate the fact that my parents have helped me out.

But despite my good fortune in the parenting department, I got a scholarship because I got good grades, good SATs, and kicked butt at my extracurriculars. I sold books door-to-door in the midwest for a summer sleeping on an air mattress and eating peanut butter sandwiches (EVERY FREAKING DAY) to have enough money to study abroad the next summer. All the connections I've made were ones I made for myself through internships and volunteer work. In fact, I actually used connections I forged for myself and worked for months to help my dad get a higher paying job. (Long story.) I got my first full-time job based on my resume from having worked professional internships. I got into a top graduate school based on the work that I did in undergrad. I worked every summer in grad school, earning $30-40k per summer. I paid for the majority of my own wedding; I just noted that my parents kindly gifted me some cash to "help out" with my wedding. To avoid being screwed on financing (since my job started in November after I received results from a professional examination) while buying a used car, my parents borrowed money on a HELOC, and I repaid them at a market interest rate and completely paid off within a year.

The point of my post was about progressive independence and appreciation of the support of parents as unexpected rather than deserved. There's a reason my brother, my sister, and I all work hard, and it has much more to do with parenting than my parents' money. There's also a reason that my second cousins are 32 and 28 and still live at home. (Hint: Their parents made about as much as mine did, so am pretty sure it's not money.)

And, hell, the fact that a kid's parents have no money should be even MORE of an incentive to get their butt out of the house and become financially independent rather than an excuse for dependence and mooching. OP's son is even more despicable if OP is not financially secure, not less.

Also, learn how to use the quote feature.


So why are you such hot shit to talk about the OP's son being a freeloader when your parents fully supported you the whole way? Seriously, they gave you a car, set you up with health insurance and a cell phone, helped you enough financially to work unpaid internships, gave you money for the wedding, and loaned you money for a car. Oh, are you special because you didn't feel like you were entitled to it, just got it?

Al3xK said:   Absolutely agree. I mainly disagree with the posts saying there is a good chance he has a mental illness and/or he NEEDS to be sent to the military. Both sound like no recovery.

The kid is $15k in debt, has a few years of college, and only 23. I'd be pushing for him to go to community college and bump his grades enough to get back into his bachelor program, then finishing college and getting a typical 9-5 job and doing what he can for his debt.

I won't address the military part, but why do you continue to mischaracterize the posts that say the son might have a mental illness as there is a good chance the son has a mental illness, and why do you say that even if the son has a mental illness, it sounds like "no recovery"?

It's thoughts like yours that contribute to the unjustified stigma and stereotypes mental illness is so often associated with. By definition, illnesses can be acute or chronic, serious or minor, etc. the link I provided in an above post is a starting point.

It's possible all OP's son needs is parental support, not enabling. It's also possible some counseling might help. As long as the problems are addressed and eventually solved, does it matter whether the counseling is financial, career, emotional, or some combination of them? To answer my own question: No.

ETA: Still avoiding the questions and adding yet more assumptions about the son, I see.

^^ I say it because the OP's scenario is incredibly typical...and the suggestions are extremist.

glxpass, the original comment related to mental health was :

"I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression."

Thats a lot stronger diagnosis than what I think you're saying.

I think thats what Al3xK is disputing. That quote implies that this relativeley common behavior is "erratic" and indicates "major" mental illness.

harruin said:   bullcity said:   Wow. You make a lot of assumptions in that about my life. I would never argue that I haven't benefited from my parents, and I appreciate the fact that my parents have helped me out.

But despite my good fortune in the parenting department, I got a scholarship because I got good grades, good SATs, and kicked butt at my extracurriculars. I sold books door-to-door in the midwest for a summer sleeping on an air mattress and eating peanut butter sandwiches (EVERY FREAKING DAY) to have enough money to study abroad the next summer. All the connections I've made were ones I made for myself through internships and volunteer work. In fact, I actually used connections I forged for myself and worked for months to help my dad get a higher paying job. (Long story.) I got my first full-time job based on my resume from having worked professional internships. I got into a top graduate school based on the work that I did in undergrad. I worked every summer in grad school, earning $30-40k per summer. I paid for the majority of my own wedding; I just noted that my parents kindly gifted me some cash to "help out" with my wedding. To avoid being screwed on financing (since my job started in November after I received results from a professional examination) while buying a used car, my parents borrowed money on a HELOC, and I repaid them at a market interest rate and completely paid off within a year.

The point of my post was about progressive independence and appreciation of the support of parents as unexpected rather than deserved. There's a reason my brother, my sister, and I all work hard, and it has much more to do with parenting than my parents' money. There's also a reason that my second cousins are 32 and 28 and still live at home. (Hint: Their parents made about as much as mine did, so am pretty sure it's not money.)

And, hell, the fact that a kid's parents have no money should be even MORE of an incentive to get their butt out of the house and become financially independent rather than an excuse for dependence and mooching. OP's son is even more despicable if OP is not financially secure, not less.

Also, learn how to use the quote feature.


So why are you such hot shit to talk about the OP's son being a freeloader when your parents fully supported you the whole way? Seriously, they gave you a car, set you up with health insurance and a cell phone, helped you enough financially to work unpaid internships, gave you money for the wedding, and loaned you money for a car. Oh, are you special because you didn't feel like you were entitled to it, just got it?


OP's kid probably had the same level of support I did (note that OP is a co-signer on their kid's loans). The difference is that I took the support and prospered rather than coming back for more. I'd say that my story is pretty typical of what most parents want for their kids--progressive financial independence. I'm not in the "you're 18 and you're out on your butt" club; my story suggests a pretty good path for moderation between that and the 30 year olds living at home pretending food appears in their parents' fridge for free. I don't pretend that my story is a "from homeless to Harvard" story.

If my parents hadn't have given me a cellphone, I wouldn't have had one. If my parents hadn't had me stay on their health insurance (state employees so it was cheap), I would have paid for it. If my parents wouldn't have given me some money for a wedding, I would have had a smaller wedding. And I'm also not living at home still on my parents' dime, so you know, that's where some of the superiority over OP's kid comes from.

Okay. here is my good deed for the day...sign up for "Pay as your earn" ASAP. Given that your son's disoretionary income is ZERO, ALL your worries are gone. By the way, you might want to "charge" your son rent, which would reduce his discretionary income. If you are a nice papa, you could set this "rent" money aside and gift it to your son for a down payment on a house in the future...

"President Obama’s “Pay As You Earn” program caps monthly federal student loan repayment at 10% of monthly discretionary income, meaning that a responsible student can choose the college they want to attend based on their career goals and not only the price of tuition. Families can know that as long as students make their payments on time, they won’t owe more than they can reasonably afford each month."

jerosen said:   glxpass, the original comment related to mental health was :

"I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression."

Thats a lot stronger diagnosis than what I think you're saying.

I think thats what Al3xK is disputing. That quote implies that this relativeley common behavior is "erratic" and indicates "major" mental illness.

I appreciate what you and Al3xK are saying, yet I have to emphasize that neither I nor the other poster are giving a diagnosis of OP's son. We are just expressing what we feel are legitimate concerns. It's true that "taking him in for an evaluation" seems strongly stated, but I don't believe the other poster was trying to imply the son's feelings in the matter would be ignored.

If you or Al3xK feel that "taking him in for an evaluation" is extremist; I feel that phrases such as "relatively common behavior", "incredibly normal" and therefore dismissing any concerns to the contrary go way too far in the other direction. In addition Al3xK has assumed more about OP's son than we know, such as:

I'd guess he failed out and didn't drop out. I see it all the time. These kids aren't bi-polar, they probably just coasted through high school and didn't have the study skills and time management to cut it in college."

and:

...I mainly disagree with the posts saying there is a good chance he has a mental illness and/or he NEEDS to be sent to the military. Both sound like no recovery.

The kid is $15k in debt, has a few years of college, and only 23. I'd be pushing for him to go to community college and bump his grades enough to get back into his bachelor program, then finishing college and getting a typical 9-5 job and doing what he can for his debt.


While some or all of the above might be true, we simply don't know. I'd rather "push" for the son and father communicating about the setbacks with possible counseliing on the table than push for dismissing this an as just a normal part of life, so don't investigate the possibility that something more significant could be happending with OP's son.

^ I certainly don't see anything wrong with making sure the kid is OK mentally. I'm not dismissing that and I think its a legit and valid concern.

However I certainly consider OP's sons situation to be "relatively common behavior" and don't call it "erratic". Kids drop out of college, people don't settle down into a full time career immediately,most people have consumer debt, almost everyone has car accidents. Its all pretty common and I don't see it as "erratic". I'd go so far as to call it "typical".

jerosen said:   ^ I certainly don't see anything wrong with making sure the kid is OK mentally. I'm not dismissing that and I think its a legit and valid concern.

However I certainly consider OP's sons situation to be "relatively common behavior" and don't call it "erratic". Kids drop out of college, people don't settle down into a full time career immediately,most people have consumer debt, almost everyone has car accidents. Its all pretty common and I don't see it as "erratic". I'd go so far as to call it "typical".

All I can say is that if it were my son in a similar situation, I'd not call all those events taken in sum "typical." Regardless of disagreement about terminology, I'm glad we agree that it's a "legitimate and valid conern" to make sure "the kid is OK mentally." I'd add (which you might not agree with) that, given all these events, it's even more of a concern to ensure that OP's son isn't experiencing undue emotional distress.

Perhaps, the best advice anyone can give you is let him suffer and learn from it. You bailing him out reminds me of what our government is doing - No accountability!

edit: BTW, have you always spoiled him as a kid? This could be the root cause of his money issues.

cwtrooper said:   Wow, I didn't expect so many replies. Let me have a little time to distil them down and I will probably come back with some clarifying questions. For those who took the time to offer serious advice to a complete stranger: Thank you!
I do know that there are behavior issues that must be addressed by my son and his enablers (his mother and I). Those will not be ignored. I am just looking for some advice on what financial steps need to be taken.

Your son will have to find work to payoff his debt, at the same time try to negotiate a settlement to reduce the debt.

bullcity said:   I don't pretend that my story is a "from homeless to Harvard" story.

For the record we did not believe you went to Harvard. Story dismissed with prejudice.

Says the guy promoting Western Governors University?

jerosen said:   glxpass, the original comment related to mental health was :

"I would definitely suggest taking him in for an evaluation. That sort of erratic behavior is common with Bipolar Disease and Major Depression."

Thats a lot stronger diagnosis than what I think you're saying.

I think thats what Al3xK is disputing. That quote implies that this relativeley common behavior is "erratic" and indicates "major" mental illness.


Sorry for using business Lingo. If you go in for a check-up, it is an evaluation. Major depression is depression lasting 3 months, as opposed to depression that doesn't, and would suggest the need for treatment. Frequent job hopping is not stable behavior. I didn't diagnose; I said that behavior is common with people with those illnesses, just as eating a high sodium and fat diet is common with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

If you look at major stressors: dropping out of school, finances, job hopping, car accident, and having to move back home, the kid is at risk for or could have a mental illness.

The "join the military" mantra of some people is stupid. Debts in an unsatisfactory condition must be settled before joining, especially now with current conditions.

If he is not paying rent he needs to be working 60 hours or more a week. So if he is living with you then applying for jobs job interviews and working jobs count as part of that. But any time he is not actively doing those things he needs to be doing things around the house. So bathrooms scrubbed, garage cleaned out, all the cooking, all the laundry, all the yardwork, basically he has no job and his job in order to live at your house and eat your food is to apply for jobs and to get chores done around the house. So make a list of weekly things and also a list of extra things each week that he needs to do. I'd let him live rent free but only if he was working for it. So he had better be basically being the stay at home wife role. Ie all the cleaning all teh cooking house spotless yard work done honey do projects done. I would turn off his access to cable and internet if he fails to do it. If he fails 1 week strait i would tell him he needs to move out.
Besides teaching disiplin having to be busy will kepp him away from a lot of the tempations (video games and internet all day tv drugs alcohol constantly even just overeating) having a required to do list wilol make working again easier and getting a job nicer.

I'd recommend he hangout where cougars go and try to pick up a sugar momma. Perhaps you can give him a cheesecake factory gift card so he might meet some.

lonestarguy said:   I'd recommend he hangout where cougars go and try to pick up a sugar momma. Perhaps you can give him a cheesecake factory gift card so he might meet some.

I don't need anyone else moving in on my turf, thank you very much.

lonestarguy said:   I'd recommend he hangout where cougars go and try to pick up a sugar momma. Perhaps you can give him a cheesecake factory gift card so he might meet some. Wait... A lesbian bar!

Have him read this article:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-be...

The central thesis is this: The world doesn't give a sh!t how important YOU think you are.

My advice is to change the subject to be more descriptive. "Desperate for advice" is too vague or useless.

bullcity said:   I worked every summer in grad school, earning $30-40k per summer.
what summer work did you do that paid that much?

solarUS said:   bullcity said:   I worked every summer in grad school, earning $30-40k per summer.
what summer work did you do that paid that much?


wait, are you suggesting that old cliché is actually true?!



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