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The Right-Now Generation

Mark Beghtel

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Okay, I have three sons, and one of them has been in the military, and is now working as a Deputy with the local Sheriff's office. The only complaint I have about him is how he keeps track of his finances, but he's learning. He owns his own home, is married, and has a child on the way. I have moved in with him to help him fix up the house, and try to save some money.

The oldest one was 21 before he even attempted to get his driver's license. The youngest is almost twenty, and doesn't have his yet. I was chomping at the bit when I was 15 to get my permit, but was a little lazy about getting my regular license (at 17). But that was because I rode a motorcycle, and the permit covered me for that. I guess what made me finally get my license was the opportunity to start dating. A car is so much nicer to take a date out in, than putting her on the back of a bike. Motivation, that's the key word here. And kids today don't seem to have any. I call them the “Right Now!" generation. They want to enjoy what I have ‘right now’ without having to work for it for 30 years, and have built a reputation in the business, like I did. Well, I'm crying “Foul"! It's not fair, and I don't know how they think they can get away with this. They see my salary and think they should have it too. Sorry kids, it would be unfair to me and you to just hand it to you. Get out there and earn it the same way I did.

What makes you think you are so much better than me, that you don't have to go through the same process I did to get where I am? Our kids have become too dependent. Sure, as parents, we all tried to give our kids everything they needed, and some of the things they wanted, too. Well, we went overboard. We have given them so much, that now they think it's a natural birthright to have anything they want. In this, we have done a terrible injustice to our kids. That's right, you can get mad at me for accusing you of this, as I have done it, too, and I will take my share of the blame. I'm even paying the price right now, for providing for an adult that should be out on his own, already. I gave him the boot once, in the form of paying the first, last and security on an apartment for him and his girlfriend.

But he didn't find a job, and she quit the one she had without having another one to go to. So she went back home, and he had to, also. So much for money already spent. Now, he has a part time job and is trying to save to get another apartment. He needs to save quickly. With a baby on the way, his brother and sister-in-law need his room back in about 2 months. Now, I'm not an expert on child-rearing, and there are no Child-Psychology Diplomas hanging on my wall, but I do have more than 30 years of experience in raising kids. I have raised four of my own, and helped with six of other people's kids (girlfriends with kids through exes). Overall, my kids turned out pretty good, and most every day I am proud of each one of them. Here are a few things I've learned through the years. Those of you that have young children, start them off the right way. Make sure they understand what it means to work for what you want.

  1. Give them chores to do.
  2. Give them the chance to become responsible for their own actions by always giving them the opportunity to make their own choices.
  3. Choose your battles carefully.
  4. Make sure the punishment fits the crime.
  5. Always tell (and show) them that you love them.
I know, some of you are saying “What the heck. . . ?" about number 2. Let me explain this one a little further. This is based on something that was taught to me by a child psychologist, and to me, it really makes sense. It's called the ‘re-training method’. When my daughter was about 10, I had some problems getting her to pick up after herself, put her clothes away, etc. When I talked to this guy, he told me about this method. What you do is this: When the laundry is done, give her her clothes, and tell her to fold them. Then, stay with her, and talk her through how to fold each item. “Fix the collar, bring the sleeve over, and fold the two halves, that's it. " Then tell her to pick up the pile and put them away. Follow her to her room, and as she picks up each garment, tell her to “put your shirt in this drawer, good, now put your shorts in that drawer. Good, now your underwear goes here, " etc. When she is tired of being treated like this, she will start making her own choice to do things the right way. By taking this method a step further, you can start your children off by training them, and then by giving them the choice to do it themselves, or have you hovering over them.

They will usually make the choice to do it the right way by themselves. Whenever they ask for permission to do something, don't say “Not until the dishes are done. " Give them the chance to make a decision: “Okay, you want to go to the Mall with your friends, but I need the dishes washed, and I have to take your brother to soccer practice. Can you help me out here before you go?" This gives them the opportunity to choose to help, and to the teenager, that's treating them as a contributing part of the family, not a slave to it. Also, on number 3, when I say choose carefully, you should not fight with you kids about everything they want to do. It's a give-and-take thing. You HAVE TO give in occasionally; to things they want to do, without making a big deal about it. If they want to go to the Mall for a while, it's okay. If they want to go to a college party when they are only 14, it's NOT okay. See what I mean? There are some things that you have to say no to, and some things that, while they may not seem the right thing for your child to do, it's not as bad as something else that they may do. And, if you have raised them to make the right choices, you won't have to worry about them all the time. I've made a lot of mistakes throughout my life of raising kids, and I honestly wish someone had told me all of this stuff when I was first starting out. Well, maybe you can benefit a little from my experience. After all, that's why I'm writing this. Here's a good thing to follow: Children have only 5 rights:

  1. Education
  2. Clothes
  3. Food
  4. Roof over their head
  5. Love

Everything else is a privilege and has to be earned. I don't know where I heard this before (I think it was either a cop friend, or the child psychologist) but it makes sense, and it teaches responsibility. Good luck!

About the Author:

Mark Beghtel was originally trained as an Electronic Warfare Technician in the US Navy, and has worked in the private Electronics Industry since 1983. He has dedicated his life to providing systems that help people, installing and maintaining Fire- and Security-Alarm systems, along with many different PERS Systems. He is now the Manager of Technical Services for TSI Distribution, the nationwide distributor of the QuietCare® System, which provides automatic monitoring of the Activities of Daily Living of Seniors, to help keep them in their own home, and independent as long as possible. They also offer monitored and non-monitored PERS Systems, and Mark's job is to ensure all of the systems are installed properly, through training, account setup and maintenance. Company Website:

TSI QuietCare® is a nation wide quality PERS provider and can be reached at (941) 752-1656 On a personal note, Mark plays Bass and Keyboard, along with providing backing vocals in a Bradenton/Sarasota Rock Band. The band site is


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