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Left handed writing and eating

(34 Posts)
TeaOneSugar Fri 10-Jul-09 16:41:24

My DD, 5 and a half, is the only left handed one in the family, and I'm not sure what I should be doing to help.

She had her first school report today and it's very good, the only issue appears to be writing independantly - ie. writing from memory rather than copying text, which to me seems quite an advanced skill.

I'm wondering is being left handed may be an issue here? She seems to hold pens OK to me and can colour in quite carefully, she writes from left to right but smudges sometimes, depending on the pen.

Should I buy a special pen for her to take to school?

I haven't spoken to the teacher, but she also hasn't mentioned it so maybe it's not an issue for her.

The other problem I'm having is getting her to cut up her food holding her knife and fork the right way, she gets frustrated when I try to show her how to do it and I'm also not sure if she needs to hold them differently or just in different hands. I'm sure she should be using cutlery properly by now and I want to work on this over the summer.

Any help would be appreciated.

nellie12 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:51:00

I'm left handed. please dont force her to eat holding cutlery in the correct hands - it is as difficult as writing with the wrong hand. Don't know about the writing pen though. There is no harm in trying it however. Dont be surprised if she develops the knack of writing upside down to avoid smudging grin

fruitshootsandheaves Fri 10-Jul-09 16:52:25

special pens don't really make much difference IMO as its the hand that smudges and nothing to do with the pen. Thats why some left handers write with their work almost upsidedown.

I wouldn't worry about the cutlery, just show her how you do it, by holding the food with the fork and cutting with the knife and she should learn to do it with the knife and fork in her other hands.

piscesmoon Fri 10-Jul-09 16:55:37

I feel that the normal way of holding cutlery is the left hand way. I started with just a spoon or fork so the knife naturally went in the other hand. Smudging is a problem-the natural way to write would be from right to left.anything left handed shophas a range of products for mail order.

TeaOneSugar Fri 10-Jul-09 16:55:54

I think I just need to persist with the cutlery, I thought I'd focus on it over the summer when she's no coming home tired from school.

I read somewhere about moving the paper to avoid smudging, maybe a bit of trial and error is needed.

FAQinglovely Fri 10-Jul-09 16:58:04

I'm left handed - there are many things Ive just learned to do right handed with no realy problems - certainly never had a need for any "left handed" stuff.

and I'm always rather hmm about people who learn instruments "left handed" - ermm why - I went to a school full of musicians where a very high proportion were left handed (over half of us were!) and everyone played their instruments the "normal" way.

I can't however used a desert fork and spoon - as I used both in my left hand - trying to use either of the above in my right hand is rather an amusing spectacle for everyone else at the table grin

Scorpette Fri 10-Jul-09 17:05:59

Just let her use whichever hand she favours for each activity. Most left-handers are quite ambidextrous. My DP is left-handed and uses cutlery in the usual way (he wasn't forced to) and play the guitar right handed, but does everything else with his left.

Some left-handers have a problem where they curl their hand round to hold the pen which can cause excessive smudging, so look out for that (a friend of mine still does this). However, DP learnt to write very neatly without smudging by the time he was 7.

Don't forget - the majority of US Presidents have been left-handed, like Barack Obama and are said to be better at multi-tasking and are high acheivers (true of my DP). So it is certainly not a hindrance!

I found this link that might help:

BlueKangerooWonders Fri 10-Jul-09 17:10:10

My ds is lefthanded, but plays football like all the other boys! And sometimes switches hand for tennis ?!

re the writing thing - his first teacher suggested angling the paper so he could see what he'd already written, but it never became a habit. I think at 5, most children have a problem with handwriting and many still go the wrong way - right to left until they're reminded.

NightShoe Fri 10-Jul-09 18:36:02

DD is left handed, although she is only 3 she has always shown a preference for her left hand and she uses her left foot to kick a ball too.

When it comes to cutlery, this is abit of a confusing issue for us. I am right handed, but I use cutlery as if I were left handed and strangely DH does exactly the same thing. DD uses cutlery as if she were right handed (although to any great degree of skill, she is just starting to try using knife and fork properly). When I'm trying to show her, it all gets throughly mixed up, but she seems to be learning slowly.

I have found that just putting the knife and fork together on one side of the plate and letting her pick up each in the hand she prefers is the best way to find out how she finds it easiest to hold them and then you can go from there.

londonartemis Fri 10-Jul-09 18:37:50

Scorpette - Prince William and David Cameron are also left handed! Sign of the times?!

mumtolou Fri 10-Jul-09 18:51:23

im a leftie and never do anything with my right hand both parents were right handed both me and my sister were lefties and i write in the same way a right handed writes but i do have to have the paper at an angle but sister cant use sissors with left hand just leave them to it they will be fine

EyeballsintheSky Fri 10-Jul-09 18:57:47

I'm a bit of both but come from a family with a high proportion of lefties. They write with their left but use cutlery, play tennis etc the right handed way. I write with my right (although can and do with my left) but everything else I do is left handed and cutlery the 'wrong' way.

DD is only 18 months but is already very dominantly left handed. DH's family have tonnes of lefties as well.

Let her use her cutlery whichever way she prefers. The days of tying left hands down are long gone wink

TeaOneSugar Fri 10-Jul-09 19:10:53

Thanks for the advise, I'll try putting her cutlery to one side tonight and see what she does.

papoose Fri 10-Jul-09 19:33:20

This may open a can of worms but surely you want your DCs to learn how to hold cutlery correctly, eg fork in left hand, knife in right hand? When they are older, and going to restaurants as adults (and possibly out at client lunches when they are working), surely you would want them to know the correct etiquette?

I am one of four, and 2 of us are left handed. We have never had any problem holding knife and fork correctly.

bruffin Fri 10-Jul-09 19:47:46

Please don't make her eat right handed if she is lefthanded, that like going back to the dark ages, ket her eat however she finds the most natural.
My DD 11 is left handed and her writing has been truely awful until now when it is almost be called neat she has had to work hard on it. My DD usually has a permanant dirty mark along her little finger where she smudges her work. The left handed pens like smove help with this as the hand is held off the paper.

My mum is right handed but eats lefthanded and I always thought of myself as righthanded until recently when I started to get arthritis in my left shoulder/elbow. I discovered then that I do a lot of things left handed ie opening bottles, lifting pans etc

karise Fri 10-Jul-09 19:56:18

Me and DD are both lefties & use anything left-handed for certain things.

3 things we couldn't do without are:-
write-well mat (you put your paper on top it shows you the corret angle)
left-handed scissors
left-handed ruler (numbers go the other way so you can see what you're doing)

If you are bothered about the smudging try a yoropen/pencil. DD is happy without but they are changed my life- I can actually see what I'm writing!

DD unfortunately, still can't hold knife & fork correctly at 7! blush So I have no answers here I'm afraid!

EyeballsintheSky Fri 10-Jul-09 20:02:38

But papoose, that is akin to making someone write with the wrong hand and smacks of a by-gone age where left handed people were thought of as Satan's offspring. Etiquette is still observable by knowing how to eat and behave at table, which cutlery to use for starters, cheese etc. Which hand you're holding your fork with is of no consequence.

lynniep Fri 10-Jul-09 20:04:04

well nothing much to add except that Im a LH'er and have always written with the paper at an angle and therefore not had a smudge problem because I pull the pen towards me at 45 degrees so its not dragging over what I've just written. When I was younger I wrote at more like 90 degrees.

Never had issues with cutlery - I use most things in a 'right handed way' (I think - what hand to people use a spoon in?!) but no one ever forced me to do it apparently.

My step-DS is also left handed but more so than me in that she needs to use left handed scissors wheras I cut right handed

FAQinglovely Fri 10-Jul-09 20:45:09

well lucky you papoose you can do it the right way - guess what so can I - when it comes to knife and fork that is......however - not everyone is that lucky.

squidlet Fri 10-Jul-09 21:09:51

I'm right handed but DS is left handed she uses a pencil grip to help her control her writing the school provide these for her, Ibouthgt some for home they cost pence, and her writing is now quite neat, she's 7, but she does still smudge as she is encouraged not to turn sheets around when writing!1

papoose Sat 11-Jul-09 15:54:13

But FAQinglovely, don't you think that it is because you were taught the correct way from an early age?
In any case, when you eat correctly, with your fork in the left hand and knife in the right hand, it is actualy the left hand which is dominant and has to do most of the work, isn't it. So in reality, it should be easier for left-handers to eat correctly.
Sorry but corrcet table manners are something I feel very strongly about! I don't expect everyone to agree with me!

ABetaDad Sat 11-Jul-09 16:26:37

Don't worry about it at this age. DS2 is left handed. He write fine left handed and smudges occasisonally but used 'the hook' technique and turns his page to avoid it.

He occasisonally needs remindineg to use the kinife and fork in the proper hands but otherwise no worries. He is 7 now.

FAQinglovely Sat 11-Jul-09 16:36:15

no I think I've just got lucky - my parents never made any effort to make me learn to do things like that "properly".

I can NOT use a spoon in my right hand (hence my difficulties when it comes to using a desert fork and spoon grin)

Even my Great-aunty )and her mother) who were the epitomy of the upper-middle class (it's always been a bit of a mystery in our family as to how my Great-uncle ended up marrying into such a family LOL) and were absolute sticklers for the correct etiquette had no issues we me eating that way.

bruffin Sat 11-Jul-09 17:17:18

Does anyone really notice what hand their fellow diners eat with?

Lucycat Sat 11-Jul-09 17:34:17

My dd is also 5 1/2 and has always been strongly left handed but she taught herself to use right handed scissors and as a teacher it's somthing that (imo) is a really useful skill oh and getting good mouse control with her right hand too.

The number of left handed teenagers I now teach who can't cut something out and ask for 'the left handed scissors'!! er no sorry i don't have any, you are 15 years old - bring your own!

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