Helping Left-handed Children
Hints and tips to help left-handers learn
By: totanaliz on: Fri 27 of Apr, 2007 [09:04 UTC] (743 reads)
I come from a family with a lot of left handed members. My grandmother, father, sister, myself and now, inevitably, one of my sons. Thankfully we have moved on from my schooldays in the 1970s when the teachers tried to force me to use my right hand for wrting (I never succeeded). But it is still true that left-handed kids can face a few more difficulties than their right-handed counterparts.
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The French word for left is “gauche”, a word we still use in the English language to mean slightly inept or clumsy. That is no coincidence, as left-handed kids do sometimes struggle to master seemingly simple tasks.
So how can you help your left-handed child develop writing, cutting and other skills? There are several ways to do this.
- Consider getting special versions of many basic tools, like scissors, that you can buy in mainstream stores or over the internet. If you feel that your child needs these and you have tried (and struggled) with the right-handed versions then these can be worth a try.There are many websites offering advice, and many have online shops supplying these items.
- When writing, try to make sure that your child adopts a good posture, and places the paper at a comfortable angle. Too many left-handed kids hunch over the paper and “curl round” with their hand to try and write neatly. Try moving the paper instead, rotating it clockwise by approx 45º.
- Make sure that your child can grip the pen corectly. Ask him or her to hold it a little further back than normal, about an inch from the tip. This will help your left-handed child avoid smudging their work as their hand passes over it, and means that they can see what they are writing. Pens and pencils with non-slip barrels can make this easier, or you can buy special moulded “grips” to place round the pencil.
- Many left-handed kids have a tendency to write their numbers and letters backwards. Don´t worry and don´t chastise. This appears natural to us lefties! Just keep correcting and be patient. If it is any consolation, once they have mastered the art of writing, many left-handers are extremely neat writers.
- If you have a left-handed friend or relative, sometimes it helps if they can demonstrate tasks to your kids. It is a lot easier to copy someone who uses the same hand as you do.
- If your child plays any sports then make sure that the coach is aware of his/her left-handedness and can help. My son is the only left-handed child in his judo class, and for every throw his patient coach takes the time to explain the left-handed version of the move, which really helps my son.
- Many left-handed people have a mix of preferences, playing different sports and peforming tasks with whichever hand they find easiest. Let your kids develop their own preferences, and wait before buying special gadgets. You will quickly be able to identify any areas where they need extra support.
In addition, you can buy some very good books on sites such as Amazon, which deal with the differences and challenges that left-handed kids face.