Understanding the left-handed child – a question

I am completely fascinated by twins, especially because we have a set of our own.  Partly because I want to make sure that we raise them as individuals within their dynamic whilst making sure that they stay close, but also because I want to equip them with what the world will assume about them because they look the same.

During both of my pregnancies we used to love watching the “in the womb” series on National Geographic and they had just brought out the twins version when I was pregnant with the girls.

One of the things I remember most is that they referred to twins often being “mirror twins”.  In other words, they literally mirror each other, so much so that sometimes even their organs mirror each other (not the case with Mignon and Isabel).

Besides the fact that their personalities and personal tastes are very different, the biggest way that our girls mirror each other is that Mignon is right-handed and Isabel left-handed.  I know that technically speaking it is a little early to say your child is left-handed as they are only 4, but Isabel does everything with her left hand, so I think it is safe to say it will probably stay that way.

This brings back lots of memories of the challenges I have seen left-handed people have.  For example, my friend Leo always battled to write with those blasted fountain pens we were forced to write with at school as it kept smudging.

My sister (being the only left-handed person in our family) also had her fair share of battles growing up as no-one really catered for lefties in the 80’s.  It was difficult to teach her how to eat as a left-handed person because my parents simply didn’t know how.  Nowadays I can easily go and buy a pair of scissors specifically for Isabel and I’m comfortable that she won’t be made to feel like a freak or be forced to use her right hand when she goes to school.   (as a side bar: they must just try it, she is stubborn as all hell.  No idea where she gets it from of course)

So I want to ask: do you have left-handed children or are you left-handed yourself?

What are the biggest challenges you faced?  Is there anything we could be doing for Isabel to make it easier for her or something obvious that right-handed people miss that’s hard for lefties?

As always, comments, suggestions and advice is more than welcome!

10 thoughts on “Understanding the left-handed child – a question”

  1. I am actually in the 1 in 100 people that are naturally ambidextrous. To me it is more important to recognise that with left or right handedness comes left or right brain superiority (and being and ambi is perfect when you are an architect) so left handed people thend to be right brainers so look out for left brain problems (ie maths not great) and encourage that from the start. She might also be more creative than her right handed sister – look out for that too. The percentage of lefties and ambies is way bigger in for instance architects than other professions.The practicalities of handedness are much less these days.

  2. S-man is left handed and yet he doesn’t write like a typical left-handed person of his age. He told me that he was fortunate enough to have a teacher that gave him a ball point pen from the get-go.

    I remember a friend when I was younger that could never work the can opener, however, I think the blades work both ways these days.

  3. Gina is a leftie….when she was little if you put something in her right hand she would look at it totally confused.She battled with reversing letters when she started writing…easier to form letter backwards for lefties Left handed scissors are great…buy lots and make sure they have at school…universal ones don’t work.The biggest struggle I have had with her is trying to teach her to knit left handed…Granny came to the rescue and patiently sat for about a week teaching her.In sport she does well with Hockey as in hockey your left arm in the dominant strength(a bonus for lefties)
    She eats the same way as we do with fork in left and knife in right but uses a spoon in her left hand.She also cuts with her left hand.Tin openers are not a problem as we have an electric one….but she struggles with a potatoe peeler(may also just be teen reluctance to help!)
    That’s it from me XD

  4. I’m a lefty, and I just thank God that my parents made me feel like it was nothing out of the ordinary. Teachers at school were often insensitive but that didn’t bother me too much. My son Liam is definitely going to be a lefty. Selfishly, I am thrilled.. we are the only two lefties in my WHOLE family! I blogged a little about it here, http://memoirs4mymunchkins.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/school-daze/
    Anyway, I intend to make him feel AWESOME about his “uniqueness!!”

    1. Thanks for popping in, there is definitely something very different about the way lefties are wired. (In a good way of course!)

  5. I’m a leftie, my fiancee is a lefty, all my cousins are lefties! I’ve always had terrible handwriting, especially in an exam where the pressure is on. I tried hook writing, underwriting and only really felt comfortable when I could print instead of write in cursive. Now I have a relatively normal hand style, but my handwriting still isn’t great. Maybe that’s why I took to computers at such an early age!

    However, it’s been part of my identity and I’ve always embraced it. It’s a bit special and it’s common thinking that our minds often work a bit differently. That’s great! In a world where people spend lots of time and effort differentiating themselves, here’s a free way for your child to be unique. You can choose to treat it as a thing to overcome, or something to love about them.

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