How To Teach Your Left-Handed Child To Write?
Created by Sugandha Tiwari Updated on May 21, 2019
While being left-handed is not taboo anymore, parents might still wonder if they can change the hand preference of a child. Yes, you can, however, it is not advisable. Read on to know why. This blog tells you how your child develops a preference, and the impact of trying to change the preference.
How Does Handedness Develop In Your Child?
Here's how handedness is developed in your child.
- Hands: Among all the other body parts, hands are perhaps the first body parts with which your baby begins to explore the world around him. He moves both hands, reach out with them, and begin grasping little objects and maneuver with his fingers
- Crawling: Then soon comes crawling, this is an absolutely necessary milestone, since it gives your baby a lot of muscle strength and develop good bilateral coordination in preparation for handedness
- Walking: Once walking has started, then comes the full use of both hands in the form of various everyday activities like holding a mug, playing with toys, pulling and pushing, holding to stairs while climbing, or riding a tricycle. Some of this, in fact, starts before walking also
What Does "Crossing The Midline" Mean?
By the age of 4 most of the babies are actively using both side of their bodies. Both their hands and legs are coordinating to make balanced movements. It is at this stage that babies eyes and body movements begin to cross the midline controlled by the brain.
"Crossing the midline means one side of the body spontaneously moves over to the other side of body to work there". Crossing the midline therefore is a must and at any point cannot be ignored; this skill alone gives birth to handedness. By 5 or 6 the handedness is yet to fully develop.
How Can You Teach Your Left-Handed Child To Write?
The basic writing tips remain same for every child – whether right-handed or left handed. Here I am sharing few basic tips to follow to teach your left handed child to write.
- Practice makes everyone perfect: Allow your child to practice holding a pencil in a tripod grasp, i.e. using the thumb and index finger. This also helps with the correct positioning of the wrist required to write lengthy text with good speed and effectiveness
- Rubber grippers: There are rubber grippers available in the market to develop dynamic tripod grasp, however avoid using them. Make use of these only if you really your child is finding it very difficult to write in this grip and is unable to maintain it.
- Practice pattern tracing: In the early years as part of the pre writing activities, provide lot of practice to your child with tracing writing patterns from left to right. You may have simple fun activities like simply tracing patterns in textures like sand, and poster colours.
Use visual clues: Once your child moves to grade 1 and more towards the formal academics, at home you can give her more practice in orienting her writing from left to right.
- While she is doing a writing task, use visual clues like a green arrow moving from left to right for every line
- Alongside use verbal clues like "we have to go left to right"
- Finding the right angle for the writing sheet: Teach your left handed child to place the paper at the correct angle. The left corner should point upwards
- This will prevent strain on the wrist
- Stablise the paper with right hand: While writing, you can teach her to stabilize the paper by using the right hand
- Keep the book on the right: When she is doing copying tasks, from the beginning itself encourage her to keep her book on her right side to make it easier to copy. Remind her to practice the same in school. You must also share the benefits of doing so with her and allow her to see value in this
- Ensure the child sits with a right-handed person in the class: Seek cooperation from the school teacher by requesting her to make your child sit on the left of the right handed child so that the two of them don't bump their elbows. Though this is one thing which gradually your child will also figure out, but initially your assistance would be required
- Use of scissors: Along with writing goes the skill of using scissors to cut material. The rules you are going to keep in mind while your child is writing, the same will not apply when using scissors. Make sure your child uses scissors that are specially made for left-handed people. The blades are positioned differently, and using these scissors will prevent accidents
What Do You Need To Remember While Teaching Your Left-Handed Child To Write?
- Left-handers need more practice: Left-handed children need slightly more practice and use of specific techniques to make writing a more comfortable experience for them
- Practice regularly: Everyday practice of techniques to make accommodations in writing is important at least until the time your child has gained confidence and has become independent
- Don't force to use the other hand: Most importantly do not force her to write with right hand. There is nothing right or wrong in writing with the right hand. So, don't even attach left-handedness to any kind of shame
- Offer enough freedom to explore the options: Allow your child to explore options. If you are encouraging her to write with right hand and practice the techniques, all this will have more impact only if your child sees the value in them and finds it useful for herself
Did you like the blog on how to teach your left-handed child write neatly and quickly? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.
| Nov 10, 2017
much awaited blog . very apt topic.. I believe workshops should be held in schools , with teachers to guide them on how to help children with left handedness . also parents can be made aware of exercises and handy tips which would make writing easier for them. thanks for sharing!