Life Advice



Ask Amy: ‘Best of’ column takes a family vacation

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Readers: Every year I step away from my column briefly to work on other creative projects. (Anyone interested in my personal essays and photographs can subscribe to my free newsletter:

I’ll be back next week. Today’s “Best of” topic from 10 years ago is: Family vacation.

Dear Amy: We want to have one last family vacation before our oldest son, a high school senior, goes off to college and work.

Our younger kids, ages 15 and 11, want to go, but the 17-year-old says that no matter what, he will not go.

We’ve suggested a variety of vacations, but he says no to everything.

He wants us to go without him, but we do not trust him to stay home alone for a week. We don’t have family or friends nearby to “baby-sit” him while we are gone. Also, going without him would defeat the purpose of a family vacation.


We don’t want him to have the power to quash vacation plans, yet spending good money on a kid who is likely to sulk and be grumpy the whole time isn’t appealing either. What do you think we should do?

– No Vacation?

Dear No: I agree with you that leaving your son home alone is out of the question. Because of his attitude, you should assume that your last fun family vacation happened last summer. Enjoy those memories.

Tell him, “OK, son. We are boxed in by your brattiness. And so we’re going to stay home and enjoy a week of family togetherness on our staycation.”


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