As your baby starts growing up into a little toddler, various characteristics of their personality begin to emerge. They might be a quiet child who is comfortable with you or plays alone by themselves, or they might be sociable and tend to go happily to anyone who beckons him with a smiling face. Another feature that makes itself known as the child grows is the dominant hand. And if your child is a lefty, a plethora of questions might appear in your head, especially if you are right-handed.
The right care for the left-handed children
Statistics show that every 9 out of 10 people in the world are right-handed, so a tenth of the population has been seemingly "left out". A few of the popular left-handed personalities are Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Barack Obama, Lewis Carroll, Neil Armstrong, Bill Gates, Marie Curie, and Leonardo Da Vinci. This shows that even though left-handed people make up only around 10% of the total population, left-handedness doesn’t come in the way of a person’s success.
Some children are ambidextrous, meaning they can use both their hands equally well depending on the task. While they may choose their left hand to write, they might pick up toys with their right. If your child is left-handed and you are right-handed, you might have countless queries regarding their handwriting, motor development, etc. If you are among those parents wondering how to teach a left-handed child to write letters or handle objects, Mommunity has got your back, you will find this article quite useful.
What may cause left-handedness in children?
The development of the left hand emerging to be the dominant one is the outcome of the biology of the parents, the growth of the baby during pregnancy, as well as certain pre-existing characteristics.
1. Presence of Specific Genes
Genetic factors play a major role in creating a unique personality for every child. In such cases, scientists believe that the presence of a gene called LRRTM1, which is typically inherited from the father, tends to make the child a left-handed person.
2. Gender-Based Distribution
This is not a generalized statement, it is more of a statistical observation based on data. On a gender-based comparison, the number of left-handed males is slightly higher than that of females. Some doctors depend on this study to assume that the presence of testosterone could be one of the reasons for left-handedness.
3. Foetal Development
A considerable portion of the baby’s core growth takes place inside the womb. Subjection to various factors or the presence of one hormone in excess than the other could all play some role in developing the dominant hand for the baby.
4. Learning by Observing
Many believe that children are originally ambidextrous, and they start using a specific hand by observing their parents. Although there is truth to the fact that children do learn a lot by imitating adult behavior, this theory falls short in explaining right-handed parents giving birth to a left-handed child.
5. Necessary Adaptations
Some kids may be born with a non-functional right hand. Or an early accident could make their right-hand incapable of doing routine tasks. In such cases, the child learns to use his left-hand and ends up being a lefty.
Benefits of being Left-handed
Many people believe that lefties have to face a lot of problems. As true as that might be, there are some benefits which are privy to only the left-handed people.
1. A Pre-Ordained Creative Mindset
Biologically, the dominant hand unveils what side of the brain a person usually uses, and it is the opposite of the dominant hand. This makes lefties a noteworthy right-brained category of people, which are well-known for their creativity and imagination.
2. Ability to Multitask
Left-handed people have to learn a lot of things in a different way quite early in life. This puts their brain in top-gear to be able to process numerous things quickly. The outcome of it is the ability of the brain to handle multiple things at once, making them a master of multitasking.
3. Enhanced Underwater Eyesight
As surprising as it might sound, left-handed people have an unusual benefit of being able to see things clearly underwater. So, for people who choose to pursue swimming as a sport, this can work pretty well to their advantage.
4. An Increased IQ Level
Based on statistics, on comparing the members of MENSA where everybody has a high IQ, nearly 20% of the members are left-handed. And since the percentage of left-handed children is generally low, your child has a higher chance of developing a great IQ.
5. An Edge in Various Sports
Sports like cricket, basketball, tennis and many others have players that are largely right-handed. The presence of a left-handed opponent can throw their game off balance, and could give your child an added advantage in it.
Challenges faced by left-handed children
left-handed child’s growth is not free from challenges. There are more of those than for other kids since these children have to adjust to a world not completely suitable to them.
- What seems absolutely normal to us can be abnormal for left-handed children as they struggle with everyday activities in the world. A simple day of doing the most essential stuff with our left hand can give you an understanding of how it feels.
- Doors and their handles are all hinged to suit right-handed people This can result in your kid hurting himself with the door.
- Scissors, too, are made for right-handed people. Your left-handed child might require a scissor made specifically for him to see clearly what he is cutting and cut comfortably.
- Most tables in the school have drawers and compartments on the right, making it a issue for left-handed students.
- Notebooks have a binding on the left side, which creates an unusual issue for such kids.
- Left-handed children land up being knocked by the elbows of right-handed people in their chest, when they sit next to them. However, they soon learn to take a seat on the left edge of a table and keep away from problems.
- Default settings of a computer mouse are meant for righties. By switching the keys in the control panel, it can be easily corrected.
- A simple task like tying the shoelaces or buttoning a shirt can be quite hard when a right-handed person teaches them.
How to raise a left-handed child?
As parents, teaching a left-handed child and raising them the correct way can present challenges, we might not be prepared to handle. Here’s how you can do them better.
1. Never force to switch hands
There is nothing wrong with using a left hand for everyday activities. This trait occurs naturally, and that’s where your child’s strength lies. Help them be better at it instead of forcing them to change it.
2. Make use of a mirror
When your child learns a new activity by imitating your movements, it can get further difficult for them to follow which hand is to be used. Let your child observe you in a mirror and then repeat it as he sees it to make it easy for them.
3. Teach writing techniques
They require holding the pen differently and writing it in a way that doesn’t stress the wrists and spoil the pages as they write. Many school teachers are unaware of these techniques, and it is your responsibility to ensure your child learns it the right way.
4. Use a creative approach
Since left-handed kids have a dominant right brain, making use of creative techniques will develop their skills. Writing their name in reverse order, or making a mirror reflection of it, can help their visual and graphical development and elevate their brainpower, too.
5. Make changes to complement your child
Purchase a left-handed scissor, change the control panel settings for your mouse, and swap the study desk at home, to make your child feel accepted and comfortable in the environment they live in.
Tips for Teaching Left-Handed Kids to Write
There are certain writing tips for a left-handed child that can help them develop the skill set and a level of comfort in handling a pen and writing easily.
1. Let them use both the hands for a while
Your child may take a while before they start preferring one hand over the other. Therefore, let them use both hands until they make a choice.
2. Hold the Pencil Properly
Make your child learn how to use the tripod grasp by pinching the pencil with the thumb and index finger, and using the third finger for support below.
3. Position the Hand Correctly
Let them start holding the fingers above the tip so that they don’t have to flick their wrist to see what they have written.
4. Don’t Get Specialized Equipment
Except for scissors, don’t disable your child by getting them special pencils meant for left-handed kids, unless deemed necessary by a doctor.
5. Proper Positioning of the Paper
Left-handed kids require to keep the paper on their left side so that they can easily see what they are writing and be quick at it.
You don’t have to be a left-handed person in order to understand your left-handed child’s challenges in the world. Give them the right guidance and accept them for who they are, for that will be the best support they can get to overcome any challenge in life.
5 things to remember while raising a left-handed child
1. Never force to switch hands
2. Make use of a mirror when your child learns a new activity
3. Purchase goods designed for left-handed children
4. Teach them writing techniques
5. Give them the right guidance and accept them for who they are
Published on: 13th July 2021