Agony Aunt | Time to make a clean break

HARMONIOUS HOLIDAY: It's time to enjoy a peaceful family holiday without the stress of the demands of others.
HARMONIOUS HOLIDAY: It's time to enjoy a peaceful family holiday without the stress of the demands of others.

Dear AA

I have a problem I fear cannot be sorted without unpleasantness.

After Christmas every year for the last five years we have joined another couple around our own age and headed to camp. We have two children as do they. Ages range from 8 to 13.

The children of our friends have always been a bit uncontrollable and allowed to do what they want to keep the peace.

My husband and I have often returned from the two-week break exhausted and privately wondering about a more peaceful holiday.

This year was intolerable. Their kids have become disrespectful, abusive and disruptive.

We as a family no longer wish to spend time with these people for anything more than obligatory coffees and chats.

How do I broach this with them without hurting their feelings and doing irreparable damage to any friendship we may be able to sustain and retain?

AGONY AUNT

Unfortunately some parents just never seem to understand the strain undisciplined kids have on adult relationships, including long-standing friendships.

There are clearly two paths you can take on this issue.

You can be honest, although I suggest not bluntly so. Generally parents never want to see the bad in their offspring and don't take kindly to those who may be so brave as to tell them.

While it may change things, I doubt it. You may be the ones attacked over your suggestion their kids are anything but paragons of virtue.

The other option is to break the bond gently by taking your kids elsewhere, (somewhere special perhaps), therefore negating the need for the usual get-together.

A holiday break just for your family is one way to start the separation.

Maybe a combination of honesty and a separate holiday? Good luck, it's never easy in these situations.

BOYS CLUB

Nothing will change if you are not honest!