In its "Living" section, CNN.com features a simply precious article from parenting.com about how to apply popular child-rearing tactics to disciplining one's husband. We're talking about going beyond choose-your-battles type advice into the land of time outs, distraction techniques (ooo! look at the shiny car!), and "creative discipline." (Alas, this does not have anything to do with a prison matron's costume and a tickle whip.)
Now, I'm the first gal to argue that treating men like small children--speak slowly, repeat instructions as many times as necessary, reward good behavior with yummy treats or fun playtime--can be highly effective. But I'm not sure how healthy it is to actively encourage women across-the-board to view their husbands as clueless, narcisstic toddlers to be managed/manipulated. At some point, won't most women become resentful of the idea that they are the only emotional grownups in the house, especially when their husbands presumably continue to exert the rights and privileges of a functioning adult?
I will admit to occasionally treating Chris as a hopelessly disorganized child when he, say, can't remember to call the plumber or mail the taxes without a half-dozen reminders. But if I ever reach the point where I simply assume that all our marital rough spots are best hammered out using the same tactics employed with our 5- and 3-year-olds, I will consider us both strong candidates for therapy.