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Dear Amy: In a recent column, you said something that really bothered me. You said, "When it comes to matters of where the family spends its summer, I believe that the kids shouldn't necessarily get a vote."

How is this fair to the kids?

I'm 12, and I know from my own experience and from hearing from my friends that parents don't necessarily choose kids' favorite vacation spots.

For instance, parents might choose a museum instead of a swimming pool, which is what the kids want.

If parents restrict children's choices too much when it comes to summer fun, the kids will end up angry at their parents, especially when they get back to school, and other kids say how great their summer was.

-- Irked

Dear Irked: I believe that all kids should have to spend at least one summer afternoon sitting on a porch while being forced to listen to an elderly relative gas on about the old days.

Kids should be dragged through at least one museum, colonial village or beached battleship.

Kids should be forced to mow the lawn, weed the vegetable garden, walk the dog and carry the groceries into the house.

Kids should have to spend one entire summer day with absolutely nothing to do and nothing to watch -- with only a good book to keep them company.

Once all of these summertime activities have been fulfilled, then I agree -- "Everybody in the pool!"

-- Amy Dickenson
Ask Amy columnist, Chicago Tribune
June 25, 2007