I know a lot of my readers may not have children. I know that many may not care about this post. But, what I’m about to tell you will apply to adults as well as children. A wise person gave me some sound advice the other day after I told him about my struggles with getting my son to do homework. His son, who is now a 4.0 student and a baseball player at the University of Hawaii, struggled in the fourth and fifth grades with homework, especially writing assignments. He talked to his teacher many times, about the fights they got into over homework. This teacher was a very strong woman who loved teaching. One day she told him, “Don’t worry about it. This is what I’ve learned over the years:

“Boys do things shoulder to shoulder.”

“Girls do things face to face.”


This statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I never thought this would work until I tried it one day. We sat down side by side at the table and actually got through homework without any fighting. He was able to take instruction and remain calm. So, apparently, face to face communication with boys is a confrontational stance which causes aggression.

So, I tried it with other men and standing next to them instead of in front of them seemed to work. No arguing at all!

My friend told me he told him wife things that he would never say to her while sitting in the driver’s seat. See? Shoulder to shoulder.

I remembered that I learned this when I was in law enforcement. If I took more of an Aikido stance – a little sideways, right leg back, left shoulder turned towards the person, hands in front of me – the situation would de-escalate. The offender tended to re-think what he or she was about to do. Amazing what one little step can do.

I’m going to try this with every encounter and see what happens. I’ll keep a calm attitude of peace, but be ready for any action.

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