GROWING UP AND surviving childhood was, at times, difficult to say the least. I know that is not news to many of you. As you now know, we all made it and now we are the “older generation.” Becoming a senior citizen came a lot sooner than we expected.

There was someone in our circle of friends who would remind us to look forward to old age as not everyone gets there. When you do, you have accomplished quite a feat.

Perhaps your dad would say “Always work to get completely out of debt and owe no one anything. Get out of debt. Own your own home. Be completely self-sufficient.”

Another lesson was “If you tell a man that you will be at his office at 5 p.m., then, you be there early, not 15 minutes late. Always be on time, never late.”

Third and maybe the most important life lesson in Dad’s eyes “Always give a man an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

If you do nothing else, you should pass on this philosophy to your children and grandchildren. While growing up 50 or 60 years ago was not easy, growing up in today’s economic and social environment seems to be an even greater challenge.

The late, great commentator Paul Harvey once wrote “We tried so hard to make things better for our children that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about ‘hand-me-down’ clothes, and homemade ice cream and leftover meatloaf sandwiches. They are character builders that teach valuable lessons.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated and that you learn honesty by being cheated. It’s a tough world out there and you cannot trust everyone.

I hope you learn to make your own bed, and mow the lawn and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are 16.

It would be really good if at least one time you can see puppies being born and your beloved old dog being put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in. Make it your mission to stand for something.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie or go to a concert and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let her. That little brat just might think you are really cool.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town or a neighborhood where you can do it safely.

Rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. That teachable moment will become a cherished memory.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt, find your own fishing worms and read books.

When you learn to use computers and other handheld devices, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head. You just might impress someone important at a critical time in your career.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy/girl and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what Ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole. Those are lessons that must be learned the hard way.

I don’t care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don’t like it. And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your grandma/grandpa, harvest vegetables from the garden and go fishing with your uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays. They are a part of life and are another learning experience.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window, and that she hugs and kisses you on Mother’s Day or at Christmas when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you: tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.”

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YOU MAY feel young, but there are rules for people more than 50 years of age. For example, wearing skinny jeans or cutoff shorts is a bad idea. Older adults should not wear their hair in a ponytail, pigtails or “man bun.”

Never assume young people (in their 20s) think you are sexy. Don’t sing karaoke solo or post selfies. Don’t wear sandals when away from any body of water. Never wear a baseball hat backwards. Leave streaking to college students.

There’s a reason cologne popular in the ’70s is no longer available. Don’t wear a really cheap watch or a watch the size of an alarm clock.