Life Advice



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

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Maybe your porch needs painting. If so, he’s the guy for the job. Cheerfully plan to take the younger kids on day trips to amusement parks or ballgames. Invite your oldest son to come along, and if he does, enjoy his presence. – July 2012

Dear Amy: Having had the same situation in the teenage years with my now adult sons, I have a suggestion: Allow him to bring a friend.

Teenagers have a strong need to be with their peers. By having a friend along, he can get his peer “fix “and still spend time with family.

Our vacations were always enhanced by the friends our sons brought along (we paid). It gave us a chance not only to enjoy ourselves and our kids on vacations, but we had the added bonus of getting to know their friends better.

– Been There

Dear Been: I've received a high volume of responses to this question. I love your suggestion. – – August 2012


Dear Amy: We waited for our oldest child to graduate from a two-year college program before we went on our "final'' family vacation. What a difference those two years made in terms of maturation and pleasant companionship, not to mention appreciation!

Teens do grow up, and if we give them the space they need to come around, they become very pleasant people.

– Been There

Dear Been There: Teens balk and sulk because they don't know how else to handle the prospect of their eventual separation from their family – at least, that's the way I interpret this behavior. Parents should look back on their own teenage behavior for perspective. – August, 2012


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