Son Failed Out of College (for Fourth Time)

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MominRecovery's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 weeks ago
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Joined: 01/16/2021 - 4:27pm
Son Failed Out of College (for Fourth Time)

Hello, I am the parent of a son who games.  I am struggling to say whether he is addicted or not (as the other programs I am affiliated with say that diagnosing the problem is not for me to say); however, my son has just failed out of college for the fourth time.  Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent with no credits achieved.

I have done things that parents and those in relationship with addicts usually do.  I tried to control (when he still lived with me limiting games, checking homework, essentially over controlling).  I tried to bribe.  I begged and pleaded.  I got him counseling.  I spoke to his teachers.  I made excuses for him.

I now realize that I prevented my son from "hitting his own bottom".  I know that I cannot do anything to change his behavior (especially because he no longer lives with me).  

I am angry at myself because I paid for summer school this summer with funds I didn't have (didn't fix my car to pay for summer school he wanted).  The courses were not even attempted and all failed.  This semester he got a C in one class and failed all of the others.  This has happened several prior times where he was academically suspended.

What distresses me a great deal is that my husband also plays games and my son has seen his father play for most of his life.  When his Dad and I were married, gaming and computer were a problem in our marriage.  Jobs were lost.  When unemployed, days would be spent gaming and not finding a job.  I did many of the same things (begged, pleaded, fixed the problem).  Eventually, my son's father and I divorced.

I've sent the link to Gamer's Anonymous to my son, but that's all I know I can do.  I am going to some Gamers Anonymous meetings so that I can learn more (it has been helpful).  I know I am powerless and am back at step on.  I'll go back to Al Anon.

Thanks for listening and I'd love to hear any suggestions.

Mom in Recovery

Mom in Recovery

Polga's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
AdministratorOLG-Anon memberOLGA member
Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story MominRecovery

It sounds like you have come to a moment of clarity about what has been going on.

It is so easy for us to pick on ourselves for not doing the right thing, with the benefit of hindsight. We all do it. But really, you obviously want the best for your son and we are human after all; not super human! Give yourself a big hug. Now your knowledge has changed and that has allowed you make new decisions you were not able to before

If you have not seen it before I suggest you to check out the first aif kit for parents which has a lot of tips about dealing with this.

There are many parents whose kids have failed out of college who have come to the forums. The general advice is, when they wish to return to college they go to community college or fund their education themselves/ get a loan.

As  a mother in a similar position to yourself, I have had to accept him as he is and not concern myself about how he choses to live his life, and not to enable him. He is an adult and can now make and learn from his choices. Nagging does not work and drives them away but sometimes a conversation can gently lead to insight about their choices. It's difficult when things do not work out as you envisaged for their life. Read the forums for more about this. Alanon sounds like a good idea for you. 

Keep coming back!


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Gamersmom's picture
Last seen: 1 day 9 hours ago
AdministratorOLG-Anon member
Joined: 07/15/2006 - 12:33am
Been there, done that

When our son failed his second semester in a row at a state U, we pulled the plug.  He came home and went to CC.  He got a job at UPS which came with a tuition reimbursement program and pretty much paid for his associates degree himself.  He was more invested in his education when he was paying the bills.  You have sunk enough money into your son's futile quest for a degree.  Do not spend any more. When your son is 24, he can get financial aid based on his finances instead of yours and pay for his own college with grants and loans.  If he manages to graduate and you want to pay off his loans as a reward, that's up to you (though I would subtract the amount he wasted when he flunked out on your dime).  I wish I had cut my son off after he failed the first semester, but it was 2005, and I had no idea gaming was an addiction, and neither did the rest of the world at that time.  Good luck!

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

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