Q. My 15-year-old refuses to go on vacation with us unless we take her friend. We like the girl, but we really just wanted to go away as a family. What should we do?
A. A 15-year-old has the right to request that a friend join you, but she doesn't get to make the ultimate decision. That said, when I was growing up we often vacationed with other families who had kids my age, with a few days set aside for family time only. Even during my most difficult teen years I looked forward to those vacations because of the time I'd spend around the people I loved. So if it's logistically possible, I'd compromise and have the friend join you for part of the time. Or plan a weekend getaway and invite her then.
Originally published in the May 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.