Friend of my son 'may' be having games addiction/financial issues.

ThisIsWeird
ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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edited 30 July 2023 at 11:49AM in MoneySaving dads
Hi all.
Son meeting up with his ex-schoolfriends again. One of them who had remained in the area and living at home (we are talking only 20 years old) is causing his friends some concern. He works, but has no money...
For example, a group of them had just planned a visit to a theme park, but he seemingly couldn't rustle up the required £20 'until I get paid at the end of the month'. When they play online games, however, he's been seen to spend £100's or more on 'packets' (son explained them but I have no idea...), whereas everyone else does without these add-ons.
He moves from job to job quite often, sometimes by being sacked (for arriving late, for example), and also ended a carpenter's course at the local college with only one month to go.
He dismissively shrugs off any cautious comments from his friends about any of this. My son asked me 'what to do?' And I didn't have a scooby.
I asked my son he knew what this boy's relationship was like with his parents, but he didn't really know; he thought it was 'ok'.
His group of friends are trying to monitor it, but that's how it stands.
Thoughts? Thanks.
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  • bluelad1927
    bluelad1927 Posts: 306
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    I'm going to say let it go, he ' may also not have addiction/ financial' problems and just living his life how he chooses

    He will only appreciate other people's concerns if and when he needs their support.


  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    Thanks.
    Yes, I guess, say, having a word with his parents could open a whole pooshow of trouble.
    His friends are keeping an eye on him.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,491
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    Hi all.
    Son meeting up with his ex-schoolfriends again. One of them who had remained in the area and living at home (we are talking only 20 years old) is causing his friends some concern. He works, but has no money...
    For example, a group of them had just planned a visit to a theme park, but he seemingly couldn't rustle up the required £20 'until I get paid at the end of the month'. When they play online games, however, he's been seen to spend £100's or more on 'packets' (son explained them but I have no idea...), whereas everyone else does without these add-ons.
    He moves from job to job quite often, sometimes by being sacked (for arriving late, for example), and also ended a carpenter's course at the local college with only one month to go.
    He dismissively shrugs off any cautious comments from his friends about any of this. My son asked me 'what to do?' And I didn't have a scooby.
    I asked my son he knew what this boy's relationship was like with his parents, but he didn't really know; he thought it was 'ok'.
    His group of friends are trying to monitor it, but that's how it stands.
    Thoughts? Thanks.
    I think the bit in bold tells you what you can do.
    If he's not listening to his friends, there's nothing anyone can do - until he's ready to admit to a gaming addiction (if that's what he has).
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    Thanks Polly.
    It's unlikely he was going to say, "Yup - addicted! I'm penniless!" But, I get what you say - there's little to be done until a 'point' of acceptance is reached.
    He must know that his friends are concerned, as they have gently broached the subject, tho' I'm not sure in what terms. Really, I was wondering whether they should have a quiet word with his parents, but I guess not - at least for now.

  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,491
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    Thanks Polly.
    It's unlikely he was going to say, "Yup - addicted! I'm penniless!" But, I get what you say - there's little to be done until a 'point' of acceptance is reached.


    It's called 'lightbulb moment'.
    Maybe he has taken on board what his friends are saying and will try to rein in his spending.


    He must know that his friends are concerned, as they have gently broached the subject, tho' I'm not sure in what terms. Really, I was wondering whether they should have a quiet word with his parents, but I guess not - at least for now.

    The fact that his friends have spoken to him about their concerns will have shown him that they are worried.
    I would resist the temptation to speak to his parents as that may just alienate him.
    I'm pretty sure in the same situation it would have made me furious if my friends had spoken to my parents behind my back. 
    If I was his parent, I'd be concerned about the job situation anyway as that is probably very visible to them.

    Maybe try to find out exactly what his friends have said to him about buying 'packets'.
    Is your son his best friend?
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    Thanks again, Pollycat. All good advice.
    My son isn't his best friend but knows him quite well - he's more a friend-of-a-friend of his. They are all ol' school friends, and a really good bunch of folk. 
    I don't think my son has said anything to this boy - he isn't really close enough to do so - but has seen what's happened when they play online games, and has been told what's been said to the lad by others.
    They will keep an eye on him, I'm sure.
  • NBLondon
    NBLondon Posts: 5,498
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    Cynical answer - tell your son not to lend any money he (son) can't afford to lose.   Sounds like son wants to do the right thing but if not close enough a friend to say "is everything OK" then keeping an eye out for more problems is possibly the best he can do,
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • diego_94
    diego_94 Posts: 220
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    I had a friend like this once, was just terrible with money, would never pay anyone back for anything, and would never buy a pint when we were out, but was happy to accept them. We all stopped inviting them along to things, as they would always expect things to be covered. 

    So advice for your son... Keep arms length if he says there is nothing long, and never buy things for him as you will never get the money back. Eventually they will drift apart and its all the friends doing.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    The group is pretty switched on, so hopefully they can keep an eye on him but not get sucked into anything themselves.
    Thanks all.
  • MrsStepford
    MrsStepford Posts: 1,495
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    It only becomes your son's problem, if the friend borrows money and doesn't pay it back. I would be more worried about son getting sucked into debt via gaming, than his friend's behaviour. 
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