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SiL is trying to "correct" nephew's being left-handed

(113 Posts)
BadLad Sat 07-Feb-15 10:39:09

Ever since he was a few months old, my in-laws have noticed and remarked with some concern that my youngest nephew reached for things with his left hand for the most part.

Now he is very nearly four, and they are actually telling him to stop and use his right hand when he eats, scribbles with a pencil or uses anything like scissors.

He loves eating, so he had always been (to my inexpert eyes) very good at feeding himself. He has graduated out of chopsticks with finger holes to normal child-chopsticks very young. But they make him hold them and his fork (when he isn't using a knife) in his right hand.

It doesn't seem to cause him much frustration, but AIBU to think this is wrong. I've asked why they are doing this, and SiL says it will be easier to get things for right-handed people in future. That seems a bit weak to me - plenty of people here are left-handed so they are catered for.

It just seems a bit hard on him to me.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 07-Feb-15 10:40:24

It is wrong and they are being very weird.

CitySnicker Sat 07-Feb-15 10:41:40

Are they catholic?

BadLad Sat 07-Feb-15 10:43:08

Not catholic, and not in the UK either.

LittleBairn Sat 07-Feb-15 10:43:12

WTF I can't believe this still happens in this day and age!
At least once he's school age she won't be supported by the school.
What type of specialist life adapting equipment does she think us lefties need? Beyond cutting implements I've never needed anything different or special.

TheyLearnedFromBrian Sat 07-Feb-15 10:43:57

No, wrong - they're being very weird and will totally hamper his development.

If he's left handed and they try and force him to use right, they're going to end up with a child at the bottom of the class for writing skills and obviously his comprehension will be affected too, as he's not going to be able to write as quickly, show his understanding etc.

Tell them that!

TwoOddSocks Sat 07-Feb-15 10:44:22

Yes it is very wrong.

Just a separate note if he was using his left hand predominantly at a few months old this would be a cause for concern as children don't display a preference until 18 months and could be an indication of a problem with his other hand.

ourglass Sat 07-Feb-15 10:45:01

Grim.

TheyLearnedFromBrian Sat 07-Feb-15 10:46:02

Assume they are in Asia somewhere, ref chopsticks? Presumably that has something to do with it?

OP I'm sure you will be able to find studies on this if you google, as it used to be the case that people were forced/encouraged to use the right hand - this is now seen as utterly wrong. Send them some literature on how they're going to create real problems for their child's learning if they do this.

Nolim Sat 07-Feb-15 10:46:42

Weird is an understatement. What kinds of unsurmonable difficulties do they think left handed people have ?

FryOneFatManic Sat 07-Feb-15 10:48:10

Trying to force people to use the other hand to the one they want to use can cause real issues.

Here is just one article about the issue. It can cause real changes in the function of the brain and not necessarily for the better.

Your SIL really needs to back off and let her son develop in his own way.

chipshop Sat 07-Feb-15 10:48:37

This happened to my DM growing up. She was forced to become right handed and has the world's worst writing to this day. Totally wrong.

wowfudge Sat 07-Feb-15 10:48:38

I'm left handed and had no end of trouble at primary school because a very old fashioned older dinner lady made me eat with my cutlery as though I were right handed. It took me ages to eat. I missed out on time with my friends at lunchtime as a consequence.

My class teacher and my parents knew I was LH but no one spotted what was going on at lunchtimes.

Your SIL is spouting rubbish. There's a wide array of left handed things available these days. I have never actually owned anything other than a calligraphy pen with a left handed nib. I use right handed scissors, etc. my handwriting is neat and I don't hold my pen oddly or write from above, etc.

My lovely late grandma taught me to crochet using a Ladybird book and a mirror. Crochet is still a favourite hobby many years later.

I believe a higher proportion of the population is likely to be LH than the figures suggest. They've either had it beaten out of them in times past or encounter this attitude that being LH disadvantages you in some way. Not having an arm disadvantages you. Using your left hand does not.

BadLad Sat 07-Feb-15 10:49:07

If he's left handed and they try and force him to use right, they're going to end up with a child at the bottom of the class for writing skills and obviously his comprehension will be affected too, as he's not going to be able to write as quickly, show his understanding etc.

Is that a fact? Wow, he's really going to be up against it then, as he was born only a few days before the end of the school year, so he is going to be roundabout the youngest in his classes.

Didn't know that about children not showing a preference for a while. Then again, I don't know much about kids in general, so it is interesting watching him grow up and finding out things like this.

I don't know what equipment she was talking about - she plays golf so maybe she had that in mind.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sat 07-Feb-15 10:50:15

It will cause him no end of problems if they continue on this path.

I'm not sure how you can do anything if SiL is determined, will she take any notice of your concerns?

Nolim Sat 07-Feb-15 10:50:19

Chipshop: the exact same thing happened to my df. Worst handwriting i have ever seen.

lljkk Sat 07-Feb-15 10:51:34

It is Wrong. sad

DropYourSword Sat 07-Feb-15 10:51:54

I'm left handed. My dad tried to stop me for years. It didn't work, just caused unnecessary upset. It's just how I'm wired. No one is left handed because they are trying to be awkward. Your SIL may as well ask someone to stop being blonde.

DropYourSword Sat 07-Feb-15 10:54:07

I mean that in a "stop trying to have their natural hair colour if they were blonde" rather than meaning it in any derogatory way. Should have gone with brunette!

BadLad Sat 07-Feb-15 10:56:21

I'm not sure how you can do anything if SiL is determined, will she take any notice of your concerns?

Nope. Particularly as we don't have or want any kids. She will take the attitude that it isn't anything to do with us. That said, she and her kids and partner do live with us, so there are times when she's not here, and in that case I will just let him do what he wants, and when he's older I can offer a sympathetic ear now that I have heard that it is indeed the wrong thing to do.

But in terms of telling my sister-in-law, the best I can do is tell my wife, who might then argue the point with my mother-in-law.

tenwrigglywigglycaterpillars Sat 07-Feb-15 10:57:20

Tell her, in no uncertain terms, to take a hike!

BathTangle Sat 07-Feb-15 10:57:53

It's actually very counterproductive, as theylearned says: my MIL feels that my DH was forced at school to write with his right hand and that it delayed him considerably. His writing is still pretty awful!

FWIW my DS 2 is left handed and has far better writing and drawing skills than my right handed DS 1. I asked my left handed friends and relatives if there was anything they found a problem in daily life: the answer was a resounding "no". In fact one pointed out that it meant that as she was using her dominant hand for her fork she was less likely to make a mess at the table when first learning!

Caronaim Sat 07-Feb-15 10:58:25

If he was reaching for things left handed at a few months old, this indicates a developmental problem which does need investigating, and very likely correction with emphasising right hand. This is not just being normally left handed, it is something else.

LingDiLong Sat 07-Feb-15 11:00:53

I'm so shocked people still do this. I have a left handed daughter, she's 10 now and has no problems with her right hand at all but she displayed a clear preference for her left hand from being a baby. She always picked things up with her left hand.

Using her left hand doesn't put her at any disadvantage at all whereas I'm sure being forced to use her right hand would have created all kinds of problems for her. You poor nephew

BadLad Sat 07-Feb-15 11:03:00

If he was reaching for things left handed at a few months old, this indicates a developmental problem which does need investigating, and very likely correction with emphasising right hand. This is not just being normally left handed, it is something else.

What kind of problems might that be? He seems normal to me, but I am not a native speaker of his native language, so I don't know if he is behind or not. He can make himself understood in his language to say whatever he wants, and he seems interested in kids' things. He goes to nursery school - has done since he was just under two-years old. The only thing I've noticed is how unreasonable he gets when he doesn't get his own way, but I assume that's normal for a willful toddler.

I don't mean to be argumentative, but I would like to know what sort of problems that might be, and if we should have noticed anything.

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