I've heard from time to time the suggestion that instead of yelling over the hubbub of a loud bunch of kids to get their attention, you should try whispering. Then they'll all have to be quiet to hear you.
Has anyone else heard this nonsense? No? Well, maybe it's because the people propounding this tripe are whispering.
If you ever do hear this suggestion, look at the person and loudly call bull. It makes no sense even theoretically, and my last couple days have served as a helpful, real-life experiment to show it doesn't work in practice either.
I went to a Christmas party on Monday which also happened to be my birthday, and, having two reasons to party and being as mature as I am, I wrecked my voice, such that over the course of the next two days it has completely shriveled up and died.
I am now — and shall be until my throat bucks up — a near useless parent. If that whisper technique were true, though, I'd be dominating, a regular Dad of the Day. I'd be all, "Boys, clean your room" or "Boys, don't hit your sister," and they would hush to hear and rush to obey my every whispered command.
Fact is, though, my kids haven't heard a thing I've said for the last 24 hours.
Actually, that's not true. They were yucking it up and being general tomfools last night. Then I whispered "Do you want some cake?" and they shut up to listen.
So take the whisper-technique seriously if you want to, but remember that it matters what you say, not just how you say it. That's why, until I'm all better, I'm changing my two oldest son's names — "Cake, clean your room. — Candy, don't hit your sister."