Life Advice



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

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: “No Vacation” sure was putting a lot of pressure on her 17-year-old son to join them for “one last family vacation.”

Your suggestion about cheerful planning of other family activities was spot on but leave out the “we are boxed into your brattiness” lecture.

The mom who wrote to you is the one that is creating this all-or-nothing scenario while placing the blame on her son. – Mom of Four

Dear Mom: I see your point, but I also wanted this teen to see that his attitude had consequences for the whole family. – August 2012

Dear Amy: I would never allow a bratty teenager to determine if the entire family gets to take a vacation.

My response would have been, "We are going and that includes you. Period. If this is too difficult for you to understand, then you can kiss your car keys, electronic devices and social life goodbye for some time."

My husband and our four kids just returned from a weeklong vacation that our 14-year-old daughter did not approve of. Guess what? We all had a great time.


Also, when we are on vacation, texting and video games are limited and Facebook is banned. – Not-a-Pushover Mom

Dear Not: Many people responded to this letter with stories about dragging sulky teens on family vacations. You're right that the memories tend to be good ones.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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