What to know about raising a left handed child?

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  1. peeples profile image91
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    What to know about raising a left handed child?

    We are being told our youngest is left handed. I have no experience around left handed people. Will I have to teach her writing any different? Will I need to buy different things? Dumb question I know but she already processes everything different than my other 2 right handed children so I'm trying to figure out the best ways to meet her needs.

  2. shivanchirakkal10 profile image56
    shivanchirakkal10posted 11 years ago

    dear peeples,Left hand child, your question lead me to years back. In my childhood I was also a left hand child. For this, not only children but also many of my relatives lough at me. My parent and teachers tried to teach me how to write with right hand. Slowly I learned to write with right hand. I used no different things for this.
    I think there is no harm to write with left hand. There are many famous writers and other genius personalities who write with left hand. You can encourage your child to use right hand and if she is unable, encourage her do things better with left hand.
    Even today I use  my left hand to take weight. I feel my left hand is more friendly  than my right one.

  3. Mom Kat profile image76
    Mom Katposted 11 years ago

    I'm left handed... lol
    I remember in Kindergarten the teacher handed me a pair of left-handed scissors to use for a project & I couldn't get them to work... because I was using my RIGHT hand.. lol
    We adapt to the world around us pretty quickly - don't worry about it.

    There isn't anything super special you need to know.  We do use the right side of our brain more, so she is likely to be more creative than literal/logical.  Math was more difficult for me to "get" growing up (it's a left brain thing).

    When teaching her how to do things use a "mirror" approach.  By this I mean - she can copy what you're doing while you stand in front of her, not to the side. 
    When a right handed person teaches another right handed person, they tend to teach to the side or from behind - so the child will learn hand placement.  By teaching in front of, your lefty will have a better grasp of what you're teaching.
    Things like tying shoes or other self-help skills fall into this category.

    Be fun, creative, crafty, artistic, musical, & encourage the use of imagination - lefty's tend to love this stuff smile 

    You'll do fine - don't worry about it.

  4. First Colony profile image59
    First Colonyposted 11 years ago

    I, too, am left-handed and there really is no difference.  If at all possible, you should buy your child spiral notebooks that open from the top rather than the side. Since the hand is "dragged" across the page while writing, I used to hate having to work around the spirals on the left hand side.  Of course, I guess the notebook could always be flipped over, lol.
    Also, if there is a left-handed desk available, it should be used, BUT don't make a big deal of it.I hated being singled out.  I just adapted, but I loved it when we sat at tables.  Then again, I'm not sure they have those type of desks (with the desk connected to the chair on the side) anymore.
    In terms of writing, some left handers twist their arm arond so much it's as if they are writing with their right. (Pulling the pen rather than pushing it).  I think the left hander should just push the pen across the page-just watch out for ink!
    It all boils down to this-recognize the difference, but don't make a big deal about it.

  5. fpherj48 profile image60
    fpherj48posted 11 years ago

    peeples.......Not to worry, Mom.  I have one lefty (eldest) 2 righties (middle kids) and 1 ambidextrous (youngest).....In other words, at least one of each.
    Speaking strictly as a "Mom".....I find it interesting that you say, "We are being told our youngest is left-handed."   I assume you mean that observers (family, friends) are making this comment, based on what they witness with your child?
    It's important to know how old this child is.  I'd also like to suggest that you and your husband would be the best & FIRST, to notice/ judge which side your child appears to "favor."
      If he/she holds her spoon, a crayon, ball, etc, in his/her left hand the majority of the time.......reaches for items with the left hand .....and/or (very important) if you notice him/her pick something up in his/her right hand, but quickly transfer it to the left, I'd feel confident to say you have a "leftie" child.
    peeples.....Your question is by no means, "dumb."  As a Mom "on-the-ball,' it is impressive you continually focus on all aspects of your child's needs.
    Relax.  There is very little, if anything "special" or out of the ordinary you will need to do, for or with your leftie, than with your righties!   In fact, seeming to set him/her apart or making "too much" of the hand he/she chooses to use, may serve to confuse your child or believe there's something "wrong" with what he/she does.  Your child is comfortable with being a leftie and you can be, as well.
    The only thing I would like to suggest is that you read all you can on this particular topic.  There are numerous books with facts, statistics and just about anything a parent may want or need to know.  Anything else that may come up, you and your child will discover together and handle just fine. 
    One little lesson I learned when my leftie began "using a pen," in school, rather than the pencil they start out with:  His list of school supplies included erasable pens.   Unfortunately, these pens are not for lefties!  Since their hand slides over what they write, AS THEY WRITE.....erasable pens SMEAR every word! lol.
    No big deal.   Good luck to a GOOD Mommy!!

  6. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 11 years ago

    I am ambidextrous but began as a lefty.  There were no differences for me except as fpherj48 says, your hand drags over what has been written. I usually had pencil smudges on my hand by day's end.  I don't think her processing things differently likely has anything to do with her being left-handed.  Just treat her like your other children.  It will be fine.

  7. peeples profile image91
    peeplesposted 11 years ago

    Thanks every one. My daughter is 20 months old and just began her coloring/painting adventures. She will go at it for over an hour and the crayon/brush never leaves her left hand. She is seeing an early intervention specialist due to some issues she has because of being born preemie. The specialist strongly believes she is left handed and told us not to encourage (force) her to use her right hand. Since she is just starting to catch onto stuff and since I will be homeschooling in a couple years we are just trying to make sure there is nothing we need to teach different. fpherj48, that is exactly what she does. If you try to get her to hold something or pick up something with her right, whatever it is goes straight to her left. Blocks, spoon, toys, crayons, everything. Just didn't know if there were any things that were different. Again thanks everyone.

  8. ananceleste profile image60
    anancelesteposted 11 years ago

    Hi peeples!

    I was born lefty and so was my husband. In our culture, left handed people were considered abnormal and even bad luck. So we both endured years of learning to write with our right hand. Now we are ambidextrous. Even though I can't write or paint with my left hand.

    Two of my kids are ( of course) lefties. I made sure that NO ONE interfered in their natural development.  Our brains are more creative and have this unique way of seeing things. We are artists, my daughter and I paint acrylics; and my son is an incredible Anime artist. I never was aware of a real difference between one or the other. Just the stigma of ignorant people.

  9. nightwork4 profile image61
    nightwork4posted 11 years ago

    i'm a lefty and the biggest problem i've had is my writing tends to be sloppy. other then that, i don't think i'm any different then a right handed person. i remember when i was a kid, my dad saying that when he was a kid, he got his hands beaten by the teacher because he was told that satan caused people to be left handed so he had to change to right handed. it didn't work, he's still a lefty.

  10. MizBejabbers profile image88
    MizBejabbersposted 11 years ago

    I have only one suggestion and that is what NOT to do. My mother was a lefty, but her father, a school teacher, made her switch to her right hand. She finally developed a beautiful penmanship, but she said it was a very difficult switch. I gathered from what she was saying that it bordered on traumatic. My children's father and my oldest son are leftys, and they had no real problems. My son was very relieved when I presented him with his first pair of lefty scissors. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. It's normal.

  11. sassymomonthego profile image61
    sassymomonthegoposted 11 years ago

    I have two kids, a boy and a girl--both are left handed! The only set back I experienced was when they were starting to write, they always did it from right to left, and also the difficulty with the position of how they write. Now that they are 10 and 8, everything is okay now.

  12. profile image53
    mmason330posted 11 years ago

    Hi peeples,
    I am a left-handed college student, so you can imagine how much writing that entails. Add on top of that the fact I'm an English major--basically all I do is write. While my college is pretty tech-friendly, I find myself still writing by hand quite a bit. So here's my advice.
    I have taken quite a few psychology classes, so it's perfectly fine to assume your daughter is left-handed since she is approaching the 2 year mark. You're right that she will process everything differently, left handed people are more intuitive, more creative, and more pattern-driven. But schools are very accommodating to this. I'm currently 22 and never had a problem in a classroom synthesizing the information.
    From a more practical stand point, you're not really going to need to buy her "special" things, save pens. The biggest issue for lefties in school is notebooks. Wire bound ones are awkward to navigate our hand around, as we rest our hand were the wires are. Same goes for three-ring binders. Personally, I would use composition notebooks and/or take the loose-leaf paper out of the binder when writing.
    Pens and pencils will be the tricky part. Lead pencils will smear basically no matter what. Pens can do the same. However, there are tons of pens that have "great for lefties" on the packaging.
    There are also great sites like: http://www.leftyslefthanded.com/?gclid= … 4Aodm2AAjA
    for products.
    I would say the biggest thing is to not treat her differently due to her handedness. If you make it seem like a big deal to her, whether positively or negatively, she can grow up expecting others will treat her accordingly. I had a kindergarten parapro treat me differently because of my handedness, and I carried that with me for a while.


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