My husband and I started to get into it the other day; he accused me of undermining his parenting. But having learned my lesson from a recent argument, I calmly suggested we revisit the matter when he was in a better place (work had him majorly stressed) and I had reined in the urge to rip him a new one.

But later, after I’d had some time to think about it, I realized he may have been right. Ugh. I hate it when he’s right. See what you think.

For the past two summers, Doo has been dying to gets our kids up on water skis. His family has owned a lake cottage for nearly a century, and he grew up spending vacations in northern Indiana. The first go-round we had low expectations, and we were happy that a couple of our children gave it a try. Last year, however, Doo was adamant that each of them would at least make an attempt, and was disappointed when only our youngest managed to get up and semi-enjoy the experience. Our three older ones never tried again and have declined any further incentive, including cold hard cash and first saved in a house fire.

So when Doo announced that he was going to make all of them ski this summer come hell or high water, I responded with a “Well, I’m not going to let you force them.” Then he got mad and called me an underminer, and here we are.

I’ve written about this dilemma before. Under what circumstances do you make a kid try something, even when they aren’t interested or are too scared? I’m of the opinion that water skiing isn’t that big of deal. Who cares if they ever learn at all? But I also don’t share my husband’s beloved memories of growing up on a lake. If having our kids water ski is that important to Doo, shouldn’t it be important to me too?

Regardless, we need to get on the same page and soon. We can disagree in private, but when we act in front of our kids, we need to present a unified front. That’s where the undermining comes into play, and the one thing that our kids pick up on immediately. They are truly pros at exploiting conflicting parental decisions. And Lord knows we’re already at a disadvantage number-wise; we can’t give them anymore ammunition! Summer is here my friends, and we must stand our ground. Peace out

  • NanaXsix

    Thanks for the reminder….
    I do enjoy your column.

  • TheDudeWasRight

    Clearly, the author is a crack whore.