5 Tips for Raising a Left-Handed Child
- Aug 17, 2022
Recently, it was International Left-Handers Day. In a world seemingly geared towards right-handedness it is sometimes troubling for parents to see their baby or toddler preferring to use their left hand instead, especially when no-one else in the family is left-handed. Fifty or so years ago a teacher might have removed a pencil from the left hand and put it in the right because it was deemed to be the correct way, but those days are long over. Left-handedness is now accepted as a completely normal aspect of a child’s development. Left-handed people are said to be good at complex reasoning, resulting in a high number of lefty Nobel Prize winners, writers, artists, musicians, architects and mathematicians. According to research published in the American Journal of Psychology, lefties appear to be better at divergent thinking. However, because our world is built for right-handers, your child may face some challenges as they grow up. We’ve gathered 5 useful tips you can follow to raise a happy left-handed child.
1. Don't Force Them to Switch Hands
One of the worst things you can do is force a left-handed child to use their right hand for daily activities. This might affect their neural circuitry, and they might not be able to use either hand properly in the future. This also instils the idea in them that something is inherently wrong with them and impacts their confidence.
2. Use a Mirror
When your child learns a new activity by mimicking your movements, it can get further difficult for them to follow which hand is to be used exactly. Let your child observe you in a mirror and then repeat it as they see it.
3. Make Allowances to Complement Your Child
Using left handed scissors, getting a chair’s desk attached to the left side, making them sit on the left side of a shared desk or even adjusting the computer’s mouse are little things you can do to make your left handed child feel comfortable.
4. Verify The Grip While Writing
Teaching a left-handed child how to write in English can be very challenging for parents who are right-handed. Typical notebooks are not designed for left-handed children, making it difficult for them to correctly place their hand. If possible, always allow them to use a single sheet of paper to write on an angle with the upper right corner toward their body. Encourage them to keep their wrist straight and hold their hand below the area of writing. Be sure they are gripping the pen, pencil or crayon far enough down from the point. This allows for natural hand placement and movement while forming letters and words, to be able to see what they are writing and not smear the text.
5. Use a Creative Approach
Since left-handed kids have a dominant right brain, make use of creative techniques to develop their skills. Writing their name in reverse order or making a mirror reflection of it, can help their visual and spatial development and boost their brain power too.
A left-handed child’s development process is not free from challenges. There are more of those than for other kids since these children have to adjust to a world not fully suitable to them. You don’t need to be a left-handed person in order to understand your left-handed child’s challenges in the world. A simple day of doing the most basic stuff with our left hand can give you an understanding of how it feels. Follow these five tips and accept them for who they are, for that will be the best support they can rely on to overcome any challenge in their life.
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