We don’t agree on how to talk to the kids.

My wife is a wonderful mother. My problem is this: she reads parenting books and web sites and comes up with some pretty crazy child-rearing techniques that I don’t want to get behind. Her latest theory is that instead of raising our voices to the kids, we should whisper. I don’t want to do this. I don’t yell at them, but occasionally my voice gets loud, although it’s not as though I’m constantly shouting at them. I feel stupid whispering and I don’t think it serves any purpose. My resistance has brought up all kinds of conflict regarding our parenting styles as well as control issues in our relationship. Should I give in and just go along until she decides there’s some other parenting gimmick she’d like to try, or stand my ground?

I think you should whisper to your wife all the time. Whisper when you call to see how her day is going, whisper when you order in a restaurant, whisper when you’re cheering for the Red Sox. Whispering is the second-most annoying sound in the entire world, second only to the sound of that band Nickelback. I guarantee that after about six hours of this, she’ll be begging you to just speak in a normal voice. And when she does, please whisper back, “Okay, honey, whatever you’d like.”

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