There are many myths about older people that when they become self-perpetuating can be quite damaging. For example, there s the concept that you can t teach an old dog new tricks.

For my 80th birthday party, there was a celebration in Los Angeles and one in New York. Both were rather grand affairs, one held as part of Book Expo, the book convention, and the other held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, where I am a member of the board of trustees. I loved every second of the celebrations and wish everyone my age could have an equally magical day.

It s always important to establish a rapport with your grandchildren or great grandchildren as, of course, you want to be close to them.

There s an expression Don t cut off your nose to spite your face. Some grandparents become so upset when one (or more) of their grandchildren have a baby without getting married that they declare they don t want to have anything more to do with them. I understand that part of the reasoning behind this approach is that they think they can influence the young couple to get married.

So you pop the question to your grandchild, a senior in high school, Which colleges are you applying to? and the answer is, I m not planning on going to college. How should you respond? First, take a deep breath.

When your children were little and wanted to stay up past their bedtime or have two desserts, you didn t have any problems saying no.

It s Saturday morning and he goes off to play golf and she goes into her garden to prune. Is there a problem with that? Of course not. Just because two people are married doesn t mean they have to share every interest or spend every free minute together. [caption id="attachment_11570" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Separate interests sometimes call for separate excursions.

The passing decades often lead to a mellowing of your attitude toward life. The more you've seen and experienced over the years, usually the more you can take of what life throws at you with equanimity.

The holidays seem to bring out the excess in people. They open up their wallets and spend way too much money on gifts; they ll go back for seconds and thirds at holiday parties; and when it comes to the liquor cabinet, they ll throw it wide open to anyone who comes through the door, and of course join them in drinking the contents.

Just as America is a melting pot of people from different parts of the world, we are also a melting pot of religions, some imported and some home grown. Now there are some major differences between blending cultures and religions. If a family is half Italian and half Mexican, for example, it s easy to mix the two cultures into everyday life, especially at the dinner table.

A lot of people, myself included, deplore the fact that younger people often see older people as being all the same. Just because we have gray hair and some wrinkles doesn t mean that we ve lost our individual identities.

[caption id="attachment_1947" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Bullying can have a lasting effect on a teen."][/caption] When one child dominates another, we call it bullying. When an adult does the same thing to another adult, we call it abuse.