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Left-handedness - is there anything I need to know or do about this?

(49 Posts)
Matonic Tue 14-Jun-05 12:55:55

Ds is approaching 3.5 and is getting more and more left-handed by the day. We are all very right-handed, and so I realise I know absolutely nothing about what, if any, challenges he might face in a right-handed world.
You see, I don't even know if left-handers do or should eat with their knives and forks the 'other' way round - it would certainly go some way to explain why ds would much rather just stuff his food in with his (left) hand.
Might he need or be better off with left-handed scissors at this stage? Assuming left-handed scissors for three year olds even exist, that is ...
He is quite clumsy with crayons and paints compared to his peers and I do suggest sometimes that he tries using the other hand to see if it's easier, but apparently not, because he'll give it a go and then switch straight back again. I understand that his 'handedness' may not be set in stone at his age, but it sure is looking like it at the moment.
So, are there any particular considerations I could make for him, or do I just go with the flow and accept he'll find his own best way to hold a pencil, fork, etc, in his own time?

expatinscotland Tue 14-Jun-05 12:57:26

Go with the flow. I only eat and write with my left hand. I do everything else - swing a racket or golf club, hold a pool cue, and cut - with my right hand. In fact, I can only eat and write with my left hand, I can't do the other stuff except w/my right.

Gwenick Tue 14-Jun-05 12:57:51

I'm lefthanded and apart from not being able to hold as desert fork and spoon at the same time (I use my forks and spoons in my left hand!) have never had any real problems.

I even use 'normal' scissors

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 12:58:55

i'm left-handed too, in exactly the same way as expat - I use scissors with left hand, but it's not a problem to use right-handed ones.
left-handedness is not a handicap in any way

Fran1 Tue 14-Jun-05 13:01:35

You can buy lots of stuff specially designed for left-handers.

Yes you can get lefthanded childrens ones, we used to have them at my nursery, probably came from Galt catalogue.

As others have said, many lefthanders get on fine with righthanded equipment, so see how your son does, if he has difficulty with certain things i'm sure someone somewhere will have invented a gadget to help!

QueenFlounce Tue 14-Jun-05 13:07:24

Matonic - I write with my left hand, but everything else is just exactly the same as a right-handed person. Very often Left-handed people are partly ambidextrous (sp?).
I have not experienced any problems associated with being lefthanded. I wouldn't worry if I were you.... I really liked being that little bit more unique.

Matonic Tue 14-Jun-05 13:08:34

Thanks for the quick feedback ... I hope I didn't give the impression I thought it was a handicap, it's more that I realise I don't know the first thing about what it might be like to be left-handed. I wouldn't like to later discover that ds would have been beautifully dextrous had I only thought to get him a left-handed whatever-it-might-be.

I'm going to take Expat's advice and go with the flow - might also mention it at the nursery parents evening that's coming up and see what they've noticed as well.

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 13:12:21

DS is left handed and we are both right handed

He uses LH scissors,

does most things LH,

uses knife and fork RH,{but has always been very messy eater}

Writes LH and has a problem with pen grip he puts his thumb over the top of his forefinger. BUT does have his arm in the usual way as RH would do IYSWIM

He has DYSPRAXIA and also poor hand dominance

Anyway after all my waffling get LH scissors and let him eat any way he likes and let him experiment with how he wants to draw etc. Could get him LH and RH scissors and let him choose.

ELC do them safety ones.

Teaching him to knit may be a problem though, my RH cousin was being taught by her LH mum and was very confused until my RH mum showed her

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:13:21

just realised that I DON'T use scissors with my left hand - I just thought I did! weird!

just writing, drawing and eating then - and using the mouse, of course!!!

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 13:14:33

DS uses the mouse RH

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:15:51

that goes to show you - everyone's different!

QueenFlounce Tue 14-Jun-05 13:20:28

Eating - RH
Mouse - RH
Scissors - RH
Playing Guitar - RH

Writing - LH

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 13:20:57

Yes it is weird really isn't it?

Just shows that LH is certainly a good thing

I am RH and am not nearly as versitile

@ your scissors though

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 13:23:50

DS does Fencing {swords etc} and he does that LH too

It is a big advantage to him as in competitions others are not used to oponents who are LH whereas he is used to LH and RH oponents

QueenFlounce Tue 14-Jun-05 13:27:14

RTKM - It was very handy when playing rounders.... you could just swap hands at the last minute.... it really caught out the fielders.

nailpolish Tue 14-Jun-05 13:27:50

i am completely left handed - cant do anything with my right. i use the fork in my left hand though, my dad insisted cos he was embarrassed if we were out in public but i have a tendancy to cut my food with my fork.

i use right handed scissors, but only cos they are more freely available, it doesnt affect the cutting, more can be sore on your hand, thumb cos of the way the scissors are designed, and you have to peer at an angle to see where you are cutting.

playing golf (which i dont do, only crazy golf!) is a nightmare cos you have no choice except to play it righthanded.

things such as tennis can be an advantage cos a righthanded opponent can be unsure how to serve to you, also pool and snooker - you can reach the shots others cant! lots of mega successful tennis stars are left handed!

its impossible to use a fountain pen, you smudge as you right (unless you right from above)

knitting is difficult to learn, as someone else mentioned, if you are learning by copying.

does he write at all? or squiggle?

when i started school i used to write words backwards, starting at the right hand side of the paper and working to the left, would write my name like so

eibbed instead of debbie, but despite teachers and mums efforts, i just changed when i was ready to, i think, so dont worry if he does things backwards, like try to start a book at the end!

lots of things now are for both left and right handed people, like tinopeners

nailpolish Tue 14-Jun-05 13:29:32

smudge as you write

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:30:29

I used to smudge too when writing - i learnt to hold my pen lower down. you adapt to these things without thinking - the main thing is not to tie left-handed people's hands behind their back - I wouldn's recommend that... neither would I recommend burning them at stake as witches.
Mot v. positive.

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:30:47

left-handed typos!

Lonelymum Tue 14-Jun-05 13:30:54

Ds1 is left handed while dh and I are RH. I think ds3 might be too. You can buy LH scissors from the Early Learning Centre which are suitable for 3 yos. However, I have found that ds1 has learnt to adapt to using his right hand too eg using scissors. Apart from buying him the LH scissors which he resolutely refuses to use, I haven't done anything special with him. He writes with LH, chops and changes with his knife and fork but mainly uses them left-handedly, but plays tennis with his RH because that was how he was coached (we think he would play better with his LH but he is stubborn and refuses to try). The good thing is, his grandmother is also LH and has taught him to sew (aren't we modern?!) with his LH.

If I were you, I would be just as laid back as we are about it, but if you see him struggling with something in particular, it might be worth checking he has a go using both hands to see which one he prefers.

nailpolish Tue 14-Jun-05 13:31:35

i got dh to change my mouse so i can use it with my left hand ie its a right click instead of a left one

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Jun-05 13:32:19


Tetley Tue 14-Jun-05 13:32:34

My ds1 is left-handed . He's now 4.5 & it's always been obvious that he is LH. I got him some LH scissors from ELC, which I wasn't sure about getting, but he can use them fine, & can't use RH scissors at all as they don't work in his left-hand.

Ds2 is right-handed, on the other hand. He's 2.5. I was once told that you couldn't tell definately until they were about 5, but I think that's rubbish. It's always been obvious with both of my kids.
My dh is left-handed so I suppose we were expecting that one of the kids would be.

teeavee Tue 14-Jun-05 13:33:14

is it hereditary ?

Lonelymum Tue 14-Jun-05 13:33:25

Oh and it has just occurred to me to ask: ds1 is learning the recorder at school (though I teach him far more at home than the lessons at school cover). Anyway, the teacher insists he plays the recorder RH but it can be played just as well LH can't it? The hole at the bottom can be turned to fit either hand surely? Anyone know?

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