We have a family tradition of spending three weeks at my parents’ summer place in Michigan. I go on the weekends, and my wife stays with the kids the entire time. This year, she wants to go for one week. She says my parents are too domineering for a longer stay. I know they will not like this change. What should I do?

Jill: Assuming you are on board with your wife’s wishes (I have to say, three weeks with overbearing in-laws doesn’t sound fun), let your folks know you appreciate their generosity, but your vacay plans have shifted this year. Let them express how they feel about the change—even if they huff and puff about it. Acknowledge their feelings by saying, “I can understand why you’d like things to stay the way they were.” But resist the urge to spend a lot of time explaining or justifying your decision.

Beth: As a ‘recovering’ people pleaser, I feel your pain. Family traditions are hard to come by and even harder to maintain. There will be many more obstacles to keeping this family tradition alive—sports, college, jobs, etc. If going to Michigan means a lot to you and your family, you should dig in. And by this, I mean clear the decks and join the group. Three weeks may be impossible, but how about joining them for a solid 10 days in the middle of the trip? That will take some pressure off your wife and show that you’re committed to this tradition as well.

My son just graduated from college, and I think his new employer is trying to screw him over. The job requires a cross-country move, and the company is not covering relocation costs. I think he should negotiate a better deal for himself. My wife says I should butt out and be happy he has a job. Thoughts?

Beth: This may be the time to land the helicopter. As parents, we have been hovering over our children in an unprecedented way. We all want our kids to succeed. Providing someone who has high potential with the opportunity to fail (safely) is a proven path to accelerated success. Let him take charge.

Jill: If you’re all worked up about the situation, butting in is going to cause stress. If you can get calm, cool and collected(ish), try asking open questions like, “Have you considered asking for relocation compensation?” Listen more than you talk. Overfunctioning in this situation isn’t going to be helpful in the long run. If he is a terrible negotiator this time, oh well. Maybe he’ll learn something valuable.

Jill Farmer is a master certified life coach, author and time management aficionado. Beth Chesterton is a master certified executive coach and an expert in organizational development. If you have a question that needs an honest answer, email advice@townandstyle.com