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Writing letters and numbers backwards

(16 Posts)
Missmidden Sun 02-Mar-14 18:59:34

I am reluctant to post on this as I think I know the answer, but DP is quite concerned about it so said I would seek the wisdom of mumsnet!

DD is 3.10 and loves drawing and writing. She can write her own name with no problem, and any other word (with varying degrees of legibility!) if it is spelt out to her or we write it for her to copy. However with letters other than in her name and with numbers, they are very often written backwards.

I never try and correct her, as past attempts when she first took an interest in writing did not go down well! My assumption is that she is pretty young to be writing as well as she is (the couple of friends I have mentioned it to have said the same), and with time and practice this will probably correct itself.

However DP wonders if by ignoring it we are potentially making it harder to correct later, or whether might be a sign of something more worrying. I do intend to ask at her pre-school parent's evening too, but does anyone here have any experience in the meantime?

Chasdingle Sun 02-Mar-14 19:43:00

i have no idea on this except for the fact that we have some of my old books from when i was a kid and i have written my name backwards on them (at the time). I can't remember doing this and i think i would struggle to do it now so its obviously something i just grew out of, i think it is actually very common

ShoeWhore Sun 02-Mar-14 19:47:27

I think this is pretty common, dc3 still does it occasionally at 6. I'd be careful to give her lots of praise about her writing - you don't want to put her off. Maybe ask preschool but I think generally you let children have a go and don't worry too much about spellings etc until later.

You can get fun books with writing practice stuff in - maybe that would be a good way to encourage her to write them the right way round without actually correcting her?

Goldmandra Sun 02-Mar-14 21:09:29

If you want to help her with forming letters make it all as big as possible. Don't have her doing with pens and paper. Give her water, a paintbrush and a fence, a patio and some chalks, a big tray with sand/flour.salt on it, a massive lump of home made (because it's soft) playdough and a camera so she can make the letters and photograph them to make a word. Model the correct letter formation and allow her to copy if she wants to.

NinjaLeprechaun Mon 03-Mar-14 06:49:47

Is your daughter left-handed by any chance? I think most children get d's and b's and 5's and 2's s's and n's, and similar, backwards. For those of us who are left-handed it can actually be easier to write backwards than forwards, so if your child is a lefty that could be adding to it - but enough practicing and seeing the letters the right way and it will get there eventually.
And Leonardo DaVinci wrote all his private notes in mirror-writing, so your little one is in good company. wink

poocatcherchampion Mon 03-Mar-14 15:17:07

is she left handed? I did this for ages as a child. fine now obviously.

AlpacaLypse Mon 03-Mar-14 15:24:34

My sister, who is only seventeen months younger than me, is left handed, and routinely wrote her name backwards when we were little.

I remember drawing on a lovely white painted wall with felt tips, and then remembering that our mum would go ballistic and probably spank the perpetrator when she saw it - so I cunningly wrote my sister's name underneath it.

Sadly I wrote it 'properly', and mummy guessed straight away what I'd done.

She did go ballistic and it was me that ended up with a spank!

AlpacaLypse Mon 03-Mar-14 15:26:32

And my sister got her writing sorted as she grew older.

Our brother was dyslexic, but was far more likely to mis-spell words than to write them backwards.

mawbroon Mon 03-Mar-14 17:26:53

DS1 only stopped doing this recently, he is 8.5yo.

His teacher wasn't worried about it at all, even at his age.

Snog Mon 03-Mar-14 18:51:14

Our school treats this as normal until the end of Y2.

sleeplessbunny Mon 03-Mar-14 18:55:30

I used to do this as a child. I used to write my name completely backwards, so that if you held it up in the mirror it would read correctly. My mum kept some examples and it is v weird to see. I grew out of it by the time I was about 6, without any particular help. I think it is fairly common. And I'm not left handed.

Didn't leonardo da vinci write backwards? <genius> grin

CorrieDale Mon 03-Mar-14 19:08:48

Dd is 6 and invariably writes 5 6 and 9 backwards. I find it mildly irritating and do correct her - her 5 looks like a 2 so it makes her arithmetic tricky to follow. But she used to do many of her letters and most numbers backwards so at least she's getting better. (She is also entirely left handed and has been ever since her first 'reach & grasp')

TamerB Mon 03-Mar-14 19:16:21

She is tiny-most are not even writing at that age. I am left handed and I started on the right and wrote everything to the left and backwards-the words and the letters. Do not worry!

Missmidden Mon 03-Mar-14 21:16:54

Thank you all for your responses. She is firmly right handed as has been ever since she started using her hands for anything, so I don't think that is the issue.

However I am suitably reassured and will tell DP we can stop worrying officially, by order of Mumsnet,

Blackpuddingbertha Mon 03-Mar-14 21:49:42

DD used to do perfect mirror writing periodically at that age too; up until she was about 4.5. She is right-handed. We've kept some examples of it as evidence of her early genius grin

Tartanpaint Mon 03-Mar-14 22:32:22

It will correct itself. Perfectly bright bog standard children write backwards. If she's doing it at 7 (which she most likely wont be), uou can start to investigate.

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