DEAR ABBY: Please help! My husband and I are having a relationship-threatening argument over child-rearing practices. As a child development specialist, I choose to err on the side of caution with my young son. I insist on seat belts, don't allow him to watch violent or scary movies, and never leave him unsupervised. I keep my doors locked, and teach him about stranger-danger and other safety issues.
My husband and his family feel that I'm raising him to be a wimp because I don't allow him to swim off a boat in areas known to have a lot of sharks. They don't worry about things like that. I am well aware of the unlikelihood of a shark attack on a human, but feel that it is an unnecessary risk. The beach is just fine for us.
What bothers me most, Abby, is that my husband sides with his family, putting down my beliefs and criticizing my son. Please comment. -- CAUTIOUS IN DAYTONA BEACH, FLA.
DEAR CAUTIOUS: If your husband is siding with his family against you to the extent you feel it's threatening to your marriage, your differences extend further than the area of child-rearing. I urge you to consider marriage counseling before those differences erode your marriage beyond repair.
You don't say how old your son is, but a mother's first priority should always be the safety of her child. Compromise with your husband on other issues, but don't back down when it concerns the safety of your son.