Raising a Left-Handed Child in a Right-Handed World


Around 10% of the world’s population is left handed, it is no surprise that we live in a world that is made from righties. Thankfully, life is now easier for leftie children with left hand friendly tools such as scissors and pencil grips and even a left-handed guitar if your child plays music. Although not first to do so, Jimi Hendrix played a right-handed guitar upside down.

So, what is responsible for handedness? Scientist Dr. Clyde Francks found a gene responsible for handedness, he discovered that this gene is passed down from the father and will determine whether your child is right or left handed.

How to tell which hand your child dominates?

During the first year, babies develop rapidly and by the age of two or three, it is likely that they have developed a preference hand. First signs of a dominant hand can be during daily activities such as eating. You may begin to notice they particularly use their left hand to pick up foods or a spoon for example. As they get older you may notice they hold a pen in their left hand or kick a ball with their left foot.

Lefties often develop skills using both hands due to living in a right-handed dominant environment. They have an advantage in particular sports such as baseball, tennis, swimming and boxing. This is because righties are used to mainly playing against other righties and not lefties.

Objects that are difficult for lefties

1. Notebooks with a spiral bound or notebooks in general are not built for lefties, therefore teaching a left-handed child to write can be rather difficult. Try using a single sheet of paper with the paper slanted at an angle with the upper corner towards their body.

2. Play station controller, all of the important buttons are on the right side. Although the kids of this generation do not allow this to stop them!

3. Rulers – if trying to draw a line starting from zero, it can become difficulty.

Writing for lefties is harder when writing from left to right. Instead of pulling the pen across the paper they push it sometimes leading to poor pencil grip, smudged work and arm strain.

Tips to support writing for lefties:

– Position the paper correctly: paper should sit slightly left of the centre and angled downwards.

– Use right hand for support: holding their right hand flat on the paper can prevent the paper from moving as they write.

– Sit lefties on the left to ensure they do not clash elbows with a rightie.

– Put a dot where they should begin to write as they naturally write from right to left.

Did you know:

– 23% more men are left handed

– Tennis champion Rafael Nadal taught himself to play tennis left handed to give himself an advantage!

– Use the right side of the brain more, this is the side that controls creativity.

– Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, Prince William and Bill Gates are left handed