Posted tagged ‘handedness’

Help for little lefties

November 6, 2008

Kristen posted a question about lefties: “I have a 2 year old (25 months) who is predominately using her left hand to eat and color. My husband and I are right handed. While I know she is still experimenting and exploring, do you have any advice, comments, or book/internet suggestions for right handed parents and left handed children? I don’t want to increase any frustrations because I show her things in a right handed way. Thanks so much!”

I consulted an expert on this very matter: my wife, a lefty raised in a household of 100% right handed people. Her advice is to not worry about it. Lefties have to live with all sorts of annoyances—can openers, spiral notebooks, smearing pen-ink (only “hookers” do this), just to name a few. None of this is a big deal, and if parents make it a big deal it will only make matters worse. If your child is frustrated, help only when help is needed.

Many lefties do some things lefty and some things the “right” way (don’t use that phrase around southpaws!). Lefties are far better at adapting to a right handed world than righties would be. Don’t encourage your potential lefty to do things with either hand in particular. Let her work out which hand she wants to use to write, throw, hold a tennis racquet, or hold the fretboard of a guitar.

By the way, many 25-month-olds do not have a fixed hand preference yet. So you may discover that your daughter is as right-handed as you are. Don’t invest in those lefty scissors yet!