Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Straw poll: is it socially unacceptable for right handed child to use fork in right hand and knife in left?

(127 Posts)
saffycat Fri 23-Sep-11 20:44:35

My dh is driving my mad! This may seem like a very small issue but is having huge consequences.My ds aged 12 (his stepson) prefers to use fork in right and knife in left hand. This enrages my dh to the point where he says he will refuse to eat meals with him if he continues - effectively forcing me to eat with either him and dd ostracising my son or eat with ds and cause a rift between us. Ds is upset at dh's insistence and says 'why can't he realise that we are just different?' ds is very upset and very sensitive anything that reinforces his perception that dh dissaproves of him. Dh refuses to budge on this issue. I think mealtimes should be a harmonious time for families to connect with each other and that building bridges with my son is so much more important than a point of principle. Aaaaarrgh!

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 23-Sep-11 20:47:25

Ridiculous. I've been doing that for years. I'm technically right handed but do most things with my left and can write with my left if necessary. I've always used my cutlery the other way round.

But that's by the by really. Your DH just sounds like a bit of a twat, sorry. Is there more going on than this?

ChippingIn Fri 23-Sep-11 20:47:35

How did you end up with this twonk??

I feel really really sorry for your DS sad

... but to answer your question, no, for the last 100 years it has been fine to use your cutlery how you want/need to.

Oakmaiden Fri 23-Sep-11 20:48:39

erm - well, yes I think it is really. I can't quite think of a good reason WHY though.... Other than because it is just not "how it is done"....

garlicnutty Fri 23-Sep-11 20:48:49

Strictly speaking, I guess it's socially unacceptable (so, undesirable maybe.)
I consider it far less acceptable to shame a child like this, though. It's as bad as trying to make a left-hander be right-handed.

krispykremeaddict Fri 23-Sep-11 20:49:15

Why on earth does it matter??!! I'm a left hander that eats right handed; my sister is right handed but eats left handed. We manage in life!

Is this really the only thing he gets so irate about? This is odd IMO.

EmLH Fri 23-Sep-11 20:50:42

I'm righthanded and have always eaten this way as it's the only way that feels right to me. He should eat whichever way he wants to and your DH should shut up else he might give him food issues or confidence issues. As long as he's not doing anything offensive (i.e. chewing loudly with his mouth wide open) it's no one else's business how he eats. I can't understand people who get uptight about things like this!

HeidiHole Fri 23-Sep-11 20:51:05

my husband does this. I didn't notice until about a year after we started dating! doesn't make a jot of difference he still eats "with table manners" and uses the cutlery effectively and "normally"

Your DH is being an arse. Show him this thread... surely he has bigger things to battle?

LoveInAColdClimate Fri 23-Sep-11 20:52:03

I can see why you are upset by the rift, but I really do think it would be kinder to encourage your DS to use his cutlery correctly. Otherwise he is going to face a lifetime of judgement for it.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 23-Sep-11 20:52:59

A lifetime of judgement? What rot. Not one person in my 40 years has ever mentioned this to me. If that's a lifetime of judgement then bring it on!

CactusRash Fri 23-Sep-11 20:55:27

If you ask my FIL who is very conservative, he would say it is socially unacceptable (Actually he has already commented on ds for doing that).
On my pov, I am right handed and prefer to do the same than your ds since I broke my right arm when I was 5yo.
ds is ambidextruous and does the same even though he uses his right hand to write.

Getting uptight about it sounds crazy. Would your DH be upset and fekt he couldn't eat with someone who uses his left hand for his knife because he is left handed. If he isn't then he is being very unreasonnable. If he is, then he would be equally unreasonnable tbh
As your ds says, what the heck does it have anything to do with him? Can he not accept they are different???

LoveInAColdClimate Fri 23-Sep-11 20:56:21

Maybe they have just pulled up their judgypants quietly? I wouldn't mention it but I'm afraid I would judge (and a former colleague was quite open about the fact that he would never offer a job to someone who on an interview lunch proved to be a member of the pen and fork brigade - I assume that holding one's fork in the wrong hand would have the same effect). Snobby, maybe, but realistic.

CheeseandGherkins Fri 23-Sep-11 20:56:21

I'm right handed and do that, I swap and change between actually. If I've ever been judged for it then that person must have too much time on their hands in my opinion! I have far more important things to worry about than whether I eat the "right" way or not.

LoveInAColdClimate Fri 23-Sep-11 20:57:39

I am stunned by how many people apparently do this! I have never, ever seen this done.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 23-Sep-11 20:58:52

Well I would judge someone who was so ridiculous and wouldn't judge them quietly. And your colleague sounds like a knob. And utterly unrealistic.

saffycat Fri 23-Sep-11 20:59:15

Thank you everyone for your replies. I am actually a left hander who eats 'righthanded' and really don't have a problem with ds eating 'lefthanded'. Have pointed out to dh that according to his way of thinking that must be wrong too! Stepparenting can be complicated and dh feels that I genrally deal with discipline issues (although I see it more as guidance) and that this is one issue that he will have his way. EmLH - i do feel that it effects ds confidence and it seems crazy to me to make such a big issue out of it when the relationship between them is not a smooth one.

EmLH Fri 23-Sep-11 20:59:21

That's because it's not something worth noticing!

CactusRash Fri 23-Sep-11 20:59:28

LoveInAColdClimate, the only reason you are supposed to use your right hand for a knife is because it is easier for right handed people to do so. As, until recently, being left handed was 'discouraged', then the problem wasn't there.
However, it has nothing to do with table manner. Holding your fork properly for example would be much more of an issue for me.

Having said that, I personnaly would not ask a left handed person to use his rigt hand as it would be much more difficult to do. Would you do that? and have you tried to use your left hand to cut a syeak, how easy have you found it?

saffycat Fri 23-Sep-11 21:00:12

Am wondering if family counseling might be useful but can't see dh being receptive.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 23-Sep-11 21:00:20

Would you tie a child's arm to his side to make him write right handed too? Only it's the same thing. Utter madness.

CactusRash Fri 23-Sep-11 21:00:50

Well I would judge peole table manners. But this isn't table manner.
Holding your fork like a shovel is.

mamas12 Fri 23-Sep-11 21:01:23

I think you have a lot more troubles in your relationship than 'his problem' that 'enrages' him.
He sounds like a right unreasonable bully to me. How dare he try to make you choose between him and your ds. Your poor ds.
I would choose my child over anyone who spoke to me or mine like that any day.
he is WRONG on so many levels.

What else does he try to gie ultimatums on?

TeamEdward Fri 23-Sep-11 21:02:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EmLH Fri 23-Sep-11 21:02:08

Sorry, that was for loveinacoldclimate. I bet you have been eating with someone but it just wasn't obvious. I think it makes more sense to eat that way as it's the fork that goes in your mouth and therefore the piece of cutlery you use the most so surely it should be in your leading hand.

saffycat, it shouldn't even be an issue, tell him to get over it or keep his disapproval to mutterings inside his own head!

LoveInAColdClimate Fri 23-Sep-11 21:02:28

But how would you know to judge them? It's not as if he would say "oh, we didn't offer you the job because of your table manners". If the OP's child were mine, I would want to protect them from potential future negative judgement as far as possible, whether that judgement be fair or unfair. It may not be a fair world, but there are still a lot of people who operate on a (slightly) modernised version of U and Non-U (I know people who still say PLU!).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now