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.



This whole story is very similiar to the one my cousin found himself in with his adult son some years ago. He kept bankrolling his son who was in another state and still "going to school" for anthropology or something worthless ( meaning he was never going to find a real job with that) like that. Only the son wasn't 25 he was close to 35 years old! When my cousin died unexpectantly, want to guess what happened to his assets and property. The wife lost everything because her husband refused to say no to his GROWN son - her stepson.

Oh, yeah, the son never did get his degree.


Please do not blanket all college students as "freeloaders" who are "racking up loans they'll expect their parents to pay".
I have graduated from The University of Toledo with about $8,000 debt. This is fairly low among college graduates. I worked 3 jobs throughout college and did not receive a single cent from my parents toward my education, bills, housing, or transportation. They could not afford to send me to school and told me to join the military. I have never received food stamps, cash assistance, or Medicaid.
I am now employed as a high school teacher and the student loans are my only debt. I am paying them off monthly and am project to have paid them off fully in two years. I have a car that has been totally paid off and rent a house. Once again, my parents have never spared a cent for my house, my car, my bills, anything. I live within my means and still work part-time at a retail store in addition to being a full time teacher.
Not all of us college grads blindly decided to take out loans and go to college for fun, nor did we expect to fall back on Mommy and Daddy. Please do not label us all this way. Many of us work hard to earn a paycheck and study hard to earn and keep scholarships. We work just as hard as every other taxpayer, and do not deserve to be admonished and labeled crudely.


Kudos to you.


Every child that has gone to college and the parents of that child KNOWS you cant go to college without a loan! $50,000 isnt that bad compared to others. He is getting his Associates in Guitar and Audio Engineering. Whether you know it or not, or want to- in California there is a lot of that going on out there. So at the end of the day, its happening and we really dont have a say.


ok so hes 25 and hes getting grief for still living at home ? im sure the story would better suit most of you if he was selling heroin or raping your women in which most of you are accustomed to ! All you people do is sit around on your computers and judge everyones life as if your living the dream ! Rendall is one of my family members and hes damn good at what he does ,Barb raised this child on her own so maybe her bond with him is greater because of it ! yeah yeah yeah hes 25 so what ,did you all make the perfect decisions at the perfect moment in your lives ....DR. PHIL IS A WASTE as are much of your lives seeing how you have nothing better to do than sit on here and critique this situation ...get a life concentrate on keeping your kids of drugs ,or keeping your daughters from being whores ,i know most of you people commenting on here and 65% of you lead some real dirty lives ...real easy to see whos hiding behind screen names when you can track and identify ISN # ...but most of yous have no knowledge beyond the garbage that spews from your keyboards would be hilarious if all your screen names showed who you really were ...go ahead moderators clean the screen as i know you will ..gotta go i have alot of work telling everyone who you all are ..Happy Holidays


... correct me if i'm wrong here, but aren't you now exibiting the exact same behavior that you're trying to condemn? casting stones and passing judgement and what not? i swear, the amount of hypocrasy being displayed by some of the people here is astounding... funny how those very same people are the ones trying to say that the actions of the young man are just short of spectacular... and just for the record... just because a persone isn't hooked on drugs or a whore, that doesn't mean that they don't lead a wasted life and will automatically amount to something. there's plenty of video gamer shut ins that prove that point... granted, the guy you're defending wouldn't be where he is today without the exuberant help of his hard working mother... how many meals has he paid for out the in LA that wernt funded by his mother or the government? rent? electric? toilet paper? for god's sake he doesnt even buy his on toilet paper does he? lets be real here... family or not you have to admit that's pretty bad... like i mentioned in my first comment, he's not completely a bad person... but that isn't the question at hand... now if you were to argue whether or not he's being a productive member of socitey.... i bet his friends and family members would have a bit more trouble backing that up...


I would bet my third testicle that PsychSixx is either Rendall or his male lover.


LOL. ;]


WOW, how sad!! I've never seen so many enablers commenting on one blog (after the fact)
- well beyond the 15 minutes of "fame". Obviously the family is trying to clean up the mess.....


backing up this kid is sending the example that it's not only ok to chase fantastical dreams onsomeone elses tab, but that's it's also alright to live on the government dime, even though you are physically and mentally able to provide for yourself. this kid is the poster child for what is wrong with a large part of society... where people dump their parents money into an education that leads to nowhere. not everyone can be a rock star, and how many middle age philosophy majors does the planet need? this is just people going to college for fun, with no plan as to how they are going to apply their education in the real world once the free ride in school is go ahead,endorse this sick mentality, and watch as more and more tellers at McDonalds get more and more angry at the fact they they wasted time and money on an education that is completely irrelevant to actual society and then begin to piss and moan about there being no jobs in their chosen field of education... sounds alot like those 99%ers and this kid will be joining their ranks soon of how it's not fare that he couldnt hit it big even though he spent others people money and his own time trying... because someone was always there to powder his butt when things got rough...the twisted thing is he'll never learn, because someone will be there to catch him when he falls and he's now been taught that when all else fails, rely on the government and the hard work of others to survive.


tick-tock, tick tock. Eventualy the government gravy train will pull into the "reality station' of expiration- then, when the loan fund dries up someone will be forced to put the big boy pants on...


The fact that PsychSixx has never posted on a previous blog tells us that the screen name was created with the sole purpose of commenting on this specific topic - to continue to support the use of taxpayers hard earned dollars for the fulfillment of one persons "dream" - how sad....


yeah, if i asked my parents at 25 years old for $50k to go to rock and roll school without having a job or a fomitive plan B they'd crap a gold pancake and laugh at me... and i thank them for that because it's keeps reality right where it belongs, right in the forefront.


The mother had better hope she stays healthy enough, so she can work 2 or 3 jobs the next 10 + years. Nothing like using mom as a two- legged ATM.

Kottage Kat

In 100 years this wil not matter.


But in 5 -10 years it will. At least for that family. As for 100 , probably not gonna happen.


I'm not someone that enjoys the anonymity of the Internet. As these comments attest, it encourages cowardice, and allows people to say things they would never have the stones to say in person. So, as a preface to this post, I'll give you my information. My name is Brad 'Lucky' Bell, and I am Rendall's roommate in California. To verify, my Facebook profile is For the record, I have two jobs, an internship, and I go to school full-time. I'm receiving absolutely no help from my parents to attend college.

To Rendall: I apologize for not having your back sooner, but you are aware of how busy I am.

To most, but not all, remaining: as I read through your toxic posts, I was reminded of where modern communication currently stands. The time you've spent critiquing someone, whom you don't know, is a direct representation of how insecure you are. And aside from your insecurities, the sheer distorted rationale of your arguments are impulsive and judgmental.

College students borrow money for school every day. Almost all students aren't required, per the terms of the loan, to begin paying back the money until six months after graduation. So unless you are aware of what his financial circumstance is, you have no right to assess it.

And while there is no valid argument for living sustainably on unemployment, it is important to know that tv or this newspaper's website offers nothing but a forum for hillbilly lecture. Your words may be present on the computer screen, but they won't change anything about this family because you are not interacting with the PEOPLE that this story is about.

Don't share with others how mature you are, be mature!


I'm a close friend of Rendall these comments against him and his family are ridiculous. When you are on unemployment you can be a full time student which Rendall is. Mr. Phil refuses in the interview to acknowledge that Rendall is a full time student and perfectly within the guidelines of unemployment. To anyone who has gone to college $50,000 in loans is pretty average. Rendall had a job up to the point of going to school which some people work while in college but many people will quit. Rendall was laid off and decided to pursue his dreams. There is nothing wrong with what he is doing and he probably just wanted to get out of Norwalk because based on what I have read on the forum there seems to be some very sad, pathetic, jealous individuals (vicariouslyalive and anonymouslyme I'm talking to you). Rendall Mr. Phil was suppose to help you and he didn't he's a dick and his son's band is crappy.You are better than this! Everyone has big dreams but few are brave enough to pursue them. Also Barb you are a beautiful woman and you did an amazing job raising Rendall!


there's no doubt that rendall is a good human being when it comes to being a good person. but again, that's not the argument. now, had this been his first venture in the surreal, im sure things would have gone over a bit smoother... but the fact that this is now the second costly venture being made on his behalf, im guessing that's where things began to get messy. to be anything it takes drive and direction, the fact that rendall is still trying to multitask his venture shows a lack of direction.

but the question i still have to ask is how can one of his friends that shows maturity in the fact that he holds not only 2 jobs but also an internship sit idly as his friend does nothing? he hopes to get an internship that he hopes will turn into a career. well, everyone in the world hopes to make it rich, but not everyone does.

i commend you brad on the hard work you put into your life, to not only further your education but supporting yourself while doing so.

i think what hit the sourest of notes was the fact that he seemed proud to be on benefits. brad, you of all people should be empathizing with that. how does it make you feel to know that you have to work while rendall can be a burden to society? how does it feel to know that your friend is more or less the perfect poster child of most of what's wrong with this society? yes, it's good to be driven by dreams and aspirations, but getting there is a right, not a hand out.

although rendall was singled out by the Dr. this is a problem bigger than him, he just so happend to be the face put with the problem.

lastly, when it comes time to pay off debts owed, a bit more of a realistic career goal would probably sit Joe's mind at ease. i'd be freaking out too if my child borrowed that much money from me and the only way to pay it back was a 1 in a million shot at super stardom... joe, i'd start playing the lottery if i were you, might just be better odds.


Rendall mentioned wanting to be a studio technician, how is that a million dollar shot at stardom? I'm guessing you do not know a ton about the music/entertainment industry but there is lots of jobs in music that can pay your bills once you have a degree and a good network.


Rendall mentioned wanting to be a studio technician, how is that a million dollar shot at stardom? I'm guessing you do not know a ton about the music/entertainment industry but there is lots of jobs in music that can pay your bills once you have a degree and a good network.


OH? are there alot of job openings in that particular field?

And are the jobs long term?


In LA there would be a decent number of jobs in the music field. There are new independent labels popping up all over the place there are even some in Ohio but you look at places like Nashville and you can't throw a stone without hitting a recording studio they all need techs, also you can be a studio musician who is not in a band but plays in several bands when they need a musician that they lack in the studio, every venue/tv show needs people to do sound/lights, booking bands, promoting the show, you can work in radio, you can manage bands, write songs for record labels to use for their artists, work for companies that collect royalties, scout new bands for record labels. These are just off the top of my head but there are jobs, they could be long term just like any other field and they can pay decent as well but honestly in music you have to start with an internship it's just how it is. That's how it was for me and pretty much everyone who has worked in the music industry.