publication date: Apr 25, 2007
These days no child
should be forced
to change from left to right-handedness,
but even so there may be pitfalls
ahead as they may not be shown the best way
to write. This means that they will either find their own way
or try to imitate
their right-handed friends, adopting
a position known as “the hook”
with the left arm curled
round so that the hand is above the writing
and the pencil tilted
with the point towards the body. The arm is badly contorted
and the shoulder muscles
stretched leading to cramp
when writing for long periods
This means that left-handers
are less likely to enjoy
writing and will avoid
it. In fact right-handed people are generally unaware
of the problems
faced by those who are left-handed. A simple experiment
is to fan out a pack of playing cards
to the left: you see nothing as all the card markings
are in the right-hand corner
and other implements designed
for right-handers can make a left-hander look awkward and inept
and even using a knife and fork
can be a trial as they tend to hold the knife still and tear with the fork.
All this can be rectified
with a little time and patience.
The main problems
are using scissors and writing. Many left-handers do mirror writing
- but then so did Lewis Carroll and Leonardo da Vinci. However nowadays you can buy
everything from left-handed boomerangs to clocks.
Making life easier for nature’s lefties
- Get your child to relax when writing. Often children who have had problems with writing are tense and lack confidence.
- Encourage pre-schoolers to stand at an easel and do big, sweeping movements and to hold the chalk lightly.
- When using paper and pencil, make sure the paper or exercise book is to their left so there is more room for the arm to move inwards as the hand moves across the page.
- Invest in a pair of scissors for left-handers along with finger grips for pens and crayons.
- Allowances should be made for left-handed children in the handwriting SATs assessment but it’s just as well to make sure your child’s school is aware of this.