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how on earth do I get a 5 yo to change pencil grip?!

(28 Posts)
cuppateaandtoast Thu 15-Jan-15 17:01:44

Is it now impossible do you think? He gets really annoyed with me when I try to get him to hold his pen properly. I spoke to someone with older children at his school and she said the school dont really seem to bother to correct them and her dc have poor pen grip too. I bought him special grips to put on the end of his pen and he doesnt mind using them. But as soon as he holds a normal pen he is back to the poor grip again. Do you think its not really worth worrying about? Will they all be typing their work anyway soon enough?
Any tips gratefully received!

mrz Thu 15-Jan-15 17:12:42

Nagging! It works for 5 year olds and 11 year olds but you have to be consistent.

cuppateaandtoast Thu 15-Jan-15 17:17:07

Thanks. I feel so bad nagginh. He is busy trying to write something out and a keen little learner. And i feel like i am constantly having a go at him! Also wonder if tgere isnt much point if the school dont nag him.

Mountjoy Thu 15-Jan-15 17:19:28

Didn't work at all for my DS. He holds the pen now, age 20, the way he did age 4. He just got headaches and went off his food when his teacher nagged him.

His writings no worse than anyone else's.
Tbh, I think if they'd got him writing much older, the ' mistake' would never have happened. At 4, many kids aren't ready for writing, let alone bring nagged about it.

Scottishmumofgirls Thu 15-Jan-15 17:21:52

We bought the triangular grip pens and crayons. They had limited success. What worked best with our 6 year old was buying a special handwriting book and using that to practise pencil grip. We initially just focused on that and as she was improving then increased focus to homework etc.

ClariceBeanthatsme Thu 15-Jan-15 17:32:25

It's getting used to holding their hand a certain way so activities that get him to grip object's in that way. So a tip I was given was to buy lots of those things you hit a golf ball off (no idea what they are called!) and pop them in the ground and a child will naturally use the same hand grip they use to write.
There were other things I'll post them if I remember smile

mrz Thu 15-Jan-15 18:36:03

Is his grip effective? Can he form letters correctly, clearly with some fluency?

Is his grip comfortable? Can he write for prolonged periods without discomfort?

If so it doesn't need to be changed but if he has problems then he will need constant reminders until it becomes second nature

CrazyOldBagLady Thu 15-Jan-15 18:40:30

As someone who holds a pen in an 'incorrect' way, I never really understood the obsession in trying to make small children change their ways. I've always held a pen in the way it feels most comfortable and always written neatly. Never known what problem there was to solve really. In fact being nagged about it made me more resolute not to change.

Mountjoy Thu 15-Jan-15 18:41:49

We tried the triangular grip things. Absolutely no success here.

mrz is on point..if he can write comfortably, that's the main thing. Usually letter formation is a bit quirky with this type of writing. But not a real problem.

ElphabaTheGreen Thu 15-Jan-15 18:44:02

I'm an OT. A poor pen grip is not a problem unless the child has serious writing/letter formation problems or fatigues so quickly they can't get through the work they need to do. So what mrz said, basically.

FWIW, my pen grip is atrocious. grin

snozzlemaid Thu 15-Jan-15 18:45:28

I agree if they can write comfortably why does it matter.
It's just another stupid thing that primary schools get hung up on. Just like joined up writing. When they reach secondary school no one gives a monkeys whether they join their letters or how they hold pen.

chariotsofire Thu 15-Jan-15 18:46:03

My DD aged 6 holds her pen 'incorrectly' she tells me it is the way it feels comfortable for her. As it is the same way DH holds his I figure it is genetic and leave her alone.

Incidentally, she saw me writing a lot more when she first started drawing/ writing so it is not her copying him.

LemonDrizzleTwunt Thu 15-Jan-15 18:51:01

This is not a stealth boast but I am regularly told that my handwriting is beautiful. I'm a leftie and my grip is so bad my hand looks like some artefact for sale in Borgin and Burke's. It's comfortable for me, and actually more sensible, given that I don't then smudge my writing as a result of my grip. It never held me back in school. So, I'd leave it alone for now, if his formation and speed are where they should be.

cuppateaandtoast Thu 15-Jan-15 20:13:47

Thanks for all the replies. I did hipe that i would get some that would say it doesnt matter too much! I have perfect pen grip myself. As does dh. And i feel like it would be a sign of poor parenting/education if i dont help him sort it. But maybe i should stop stressing so much. It ruins his enioyment of drawing and writing to have me pester him. So i am not sure if i am doing more harm than good. Its still pretty early days with writing for him but he seems to be managing ok with it. I worry about if his hand will get tired for essay writing when older though.

gildedlily Fri 16-Jan-15 11:45:45

A chunkier pencil and ones with divits for fingers both helped my boy. Also try putting the pencil pointing point towards the child straight in front of them and encourage them to pick it up with thumb and 'pointer'.

mrz Fri 16-Jan-15 16:44:31

Chunky pencils and pens can be a real handicap for little hands and may encourage palmar grip.

DancingSeagulls Sat 17-Jan-15 00:15:26

You can try lying the pen/pencil so that the point/nib faces you and the rest of the pen is directly away from you - apparently the way you then pick the pencil up is the "correct" hold...

MyCatHasStaff Sat 17-Jan-15 00:47:28

I agree that it doesn't matter too much, but if you want to try to change him get a tissue and screw it up into a ball. Put it in the palm of his hand and get him to trap it there using his little finger, ring finger and middle finger, then hold the pencil between his forefinger and thumb. It's very simple and it works. Do it for short periods at a time though because his hand will ache a bit from the change of position until he gets used to it.

MidniteScribbler Sat 17-Jan-15 06:51:38

This was the bane of my life as a school kid, I was constantly being nagged to change my grip. As an adult, it's made absolutely no difference to my life, and I even manage to teach children without it being an issue.

LexieSinclair Sat 17-Jan-15 07:08:02

My 7yo DD has terrible pencil grip, but her teachers for the last 3 years have said it doesn't matter as she has good control and letter formation and a nice style. She loves writing and my initial nagging to get her to hold the pen correctly was putting her off.

Tzibeleh Sat 17-Jan-15 07:43:59

You could try a Grotto Grip and a pencil weight. They have made a real difference to ds's handwriting.

RunAwayHome Sat 17-Jan-15 12:01:30

I had a terrible pen grip as a child, though developed beautiful handwriting, and everyone gave up trying to get me to change and thought it was fine.

Then I ended up in high school/university with loads of pain from writing at top speed in exams. Years later, I have loads of RSI problems, pain, tension in my arms/shoulder, difficulty doing things like musical instruments, etc., and wish that someone had evaluated me properly as a child. Instead of trying to force me into the standard grip, which didn't work (and I ended up with a thumb-wrap style that used a lot of pressure), there are a couple of other acceptable grips that would have been better for me; shoulder exercises and learning to release the tension in my forearms would also have helped hugely.

So a beautiful style of writing doesn't mean there is nothing wrong, and often the pain and difficulty at speed doesn't show up until much later, when it's more difficult to change.

So worth keeping an eye on it.

(by the way, I've now changed my grip to what is known as the "monk's grip", (amongst many other names), where the pen goes between my index and middle finger, and takes the pressure of my thumb).

sockmatcher Sat 17-Jan-15 17:20:28

Try getting him to write on a chalk board that's standing up a teacher once told me.

Micksy Sat 17-Jan-15 17:24:57

My kid's preschool teacher taught me this. Lay a pencil down with the point towards the child and hold it down slightly. When they pick it up, they will naturally be holding it correctly. It really works.
When they change their grip back, offer another color in the same way.

Micksy Sat 17-Jan-15 17:26:31

Ah I see dancing seagulls got there first. Sorry!

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