Norwalk couple to be on 'Dr. Phil' Monday

Episode titled 'Mama’s Boys' explores whether unemployed son in college is taking advantage of mom.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Dec 9, 2012


Joe and Barb Widman, of Norwalk, plus Barb’s son, will appear on today’s “Dr. Phil” episode entitled “Mama’s Boys.”

According to the show’s website, Joe says his stepson, Rendall, is a 25-year-old mama’s boy who is currently funding his college education with a $50,000 loan, which Joe’s wife, Barb, co-signed. Rendall insists he’s not taking advantage of his mom.

Currently unemployed, does he have plans to pay back the loan, or will he let his mom foot the bill? Can Dr. Phil help Rendall get traction to succeed on his own?

The show also will feature Barbara Streisand promoting her new film with Seth Rogan about a mother and son on a road trip.



Heartwarming family story at Christmas time . . . Dr Phil? ick.

jack langhals

I always heard Dr. Phil was what you said.I have watched him lately and he is pretty much right on with his advice.He tells it like it is.I am a little surprised Joe would subject himself to public display.Must be a paid vacation in it !

Joe Centers


Joe is retired.

oh my oh my


jack langhals

Joe,I know that,that is why I said that.A free vacation is a free vacation !


I've seen this before ... he gets the cash and mom gets the bill!! She'll probably work 2 jobs to support this mess. Cut him loose mom!! What's next ... Springer??

jack langhals

Did you watch the show,he is going to pay it back and willing to get several jobs himself to do so.He looks like a fine young man and if I had looked like him at that age,I would have gone to Hollywood !


This is what the younger generation thinks life loans and living the high life. So many kids have student loans, government loans, etc and use them to buy beer, cars, jewelry, tattoos, etc. They flunk out of college or get kicked out and then still have NO job, live on what is left from the loans, and NO education. Heck I have family that have lived on loans, remodeled a house and bought all new furnishings, never finished school and now still have low pay/dead end jobs. Until PARENTS start and make kids WORK for something it will continue to get worse.


don't put everyone from this generation in with this woman and her idiot childs generation....... because it doesn't say much for the Boomers either


"This woman" Idiot child" you really do look down on people, your username just isnt clever. Seems like you feel that you know this family??


Is your user name clever?


whoa whoa hold up. don't you DARE group the entire "younger generation" under that umbrella. it's just the kind of ignorant members of the "older generation" like you that give all of us a bad name. i am a junior in one of the top 30 universities in the nation, will be sitting on approximately 60K in loans once i graduate next year, earning, yes EARNING, a 3.8 GPA and planning on adding another 200+K in med school loans to that rolling total in the near future, and i am TERRIFIED. and yes, my mother co-signed for those private loans that i got. every bit of money outside of the loans that my parents have helped me to pay college for I plan on paying back immediately upon starting my career, but that is in no way going to be soon. yes, i agree, some of my generation are like how you described, but in no way can you group the whole lot of us into that one generalization. i'm sorry that you've lived in Norwalk all of your life and those are the only young people you've ever encountered, but change your attitude toward them because soon enough those young people of Norwalk who aren't as ambitious as myself and will likely stay there for the rest of their lives will indeed be the ones caring for you in your old age.


I hope, for your sake, that you are able to write better than you've demonstrated here. If not, I would quit wasting your mom's money.

Another thing I would like to address is your obvious contempt for those who choose to live in the Norwalk area. Painting them as not as ambitious as yourself is a bit condescending, don't you think? I was your age once, even had the same attitude. I've lived a good portion of years in big cities, and obtained Graduate level education. I moved back to this area because although their is much convenience to living in the city, it is a horrible place in which to raise a family. The decision to live here has nothing to do with ambition.

As for medical school, good luck. Keep in mind the average graduate of medical school take approx 22 yrs to pay off their loans, so it will take awhile. In this day and age with the advent of Obamacare, look for physician salaries to drop noticeably, especially in the subspecialties. There are plans to lower reimbursement rates for subspecialists so you should take that into consideration. There are programs that are offered that if you agree to provide care in underserved areas, usually rural, for a certain amount of time then the federal government will pay off your loans. Also if you serve in the military as a doctor they will pay off your student loans. I have spent the last 25 yrs in healthcare and administration, including military medicine, so I'm not just blowing it out of my backside.



Just remember: the best laid plans and intentions can often go awry.

Brock Lee

why get a job theirs lotsa free stuff


like i have asked everyone else, what is he doing with these loans that is abusive? he clearly stated that his loans go towards school and his apartment. Unless you are calling him a liar, which in that case- i hope you have proof. Do you have proof that he is abusing these loans?


Unemployment benefits are not loans!


why would you go on national TV and say you're an idiot I don't get it....... and then try to come popular in your local news it's Norwalk..... heroin capital of the world


Norwalk is not the heroin capital of the world, Williard is.


i went to school with this kid, graduated in the same year actually. i've been half way around the world and back, all self funded...

he's not a bad kid, which is probably why its sticky... he's not out gang-banging or doing drugs, but then again he's not out being a tax paying 25 year old member of society...

last i heard he was living on the other side of the country...


#1. NEVER co-sign a loan that you can't immediately pay off with your child, student or otherwise.

#2. Tell him to get a retail night stock job or whatever other job that he can find. If not, order him to leave the house within two weeks.

70% of the debt in this country is currently being funded by the Washington elites. They are creating a nation of easy to control wage slaves through the process of indebtedness.


3 words of advice.....join the military! 25 years old and still at home???? you have to be kidding me! GET OUT!


excuse me. hes actually a very nice young man. who lives ON HIS OWN in california. actually gonna make something of his life. so dont be so quick to judge.


Thanks so much for the kind words about my brother. This is all very upsetting to me, and it's good to see I'm not the only one sticking up for him. I don't know who you are, but I wish you well and a Merry Christmas :)


think he was a coach years back the cry was joe must go

Estrella Damm

1989. I refrain from naming who started the chant and who came into the stands to Joe's defense.


coach widman is a good assistant coach

he is really good at breaking down film and finding tendencies and is a valued member of our coaching staff. He helps us understand what plays the teams run in different formations and knows what he is talking about.


Perused an article over the wkend -

"Grads Skirt Student Loans"

Bankruptcy may be the only answer.


Our kids have known each other for a long time and they have many mutual friends. All are aware of what Rendall has been doing (and not doing) since graduating high school 8 years ago. I agree with the earlier comment - Rendall truly IS a good kid. But he's a good kid who lacks direction and guidance. Most 25-yr-olds are MEN and WOMEN who are working or are completely their doctorates. Rendall is a BOY currently in California going to school to become a rock star, but has no plans to follow through. He also didn't follow through on becoming a model after his mom paid for training there, too. Barb asked to go on the show for Dr Phil to help give Rendall that direction he so sorely lacks, but that's not what happened. Dr Phil decided to focus on HOW Rendall became a highly dependent 25-yr-old boy instead of a functioning member of society and that has Barb up in arms. She's upset that Dr Phil had brought to light that she has effectiviely enabled her son to become what he is today by funding his every whim (the forementioned Barbazon Modeling school, and the $50k music school being discussed on today's show). I am not friends with her on FB, but someone who is showed me her posts about the show. Evidently, Barb was wanting Dr Phil to help Rendall map out a life plan and what she got was humiliated. She claims that the show pulled a fast one by telling them the show's title just moments before taping. That may have been the case, but I'm certain what was discussed was all true. It just served to bring to light the true nature of her relationaship with her son, and how she has dragged her current husband(Joe)into the whole financial and emotional mess. I used to feel bad for the situation as it has unfolded over the years, but not now. They chose to go on national television to get help for something that can be solved by common sense, and then get upset when it draws attention. Don't blame Dr Phil, Barb... Look in the mirror.


do you really think MOST 25-year-olds are working or, heh, COMPLETING THEIR DOCTORATES? yeah right. working maybe, at retail jobs which, lets face it, isn't much better than being unemployed. but i'd wager most 25 year olds aren't completing their doctorates. not without being in more debt than this kid. because believe you me, a doctorate and all of the schooling leading up to it is going to put an individual in debt at least 150k because, oh that's right, i'm doing that right now. you're an idiot. yeah, this kid has made some bad decisions and investments, but this show made it out to seem like a good future is cheap. everyone knows that isn't true, because we live in america. where the opportunities to have a great future are innumerous, but the means to get there are next to impossible. because honestly who wants to spend upwards of thousands of dollars to get an education just to live in debt all their lives and work in a high enough tax bracket that they end up paying for the worthless unemployed welfare cases living off the rich and the government anyway.