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tips for raising left handed kids
Last year, our oldest son started junior or transitional kindergarten. And I remember about around the 2 month mark or so, another parent of a left hander and I realized that there were no left handed scissors in the classroom. As a lefty myself, I remember going straight back into time when I was so many times left to use regular right-handed scissors creating so much frustration. I kicked myself, thinking why hadn’t I figured this out myself?!! And why, WHY were there NO left-handed scissors in the first place and WHY with two full-time teachers in the room, had NO ONE thought to let us parents know so that we could provide them ourselves if necessary?!!
When I asked my son about it – he said, “I just used the other scissors even though it was so much harder for me, momma.” Broke my heart. Not that I want things to be easy for him – no, a good challenge is great and needed to build character and set the tone for LIFE IS NOT EASY! But, this to me was unacceptable because it’s a simple fix and it helps him to have the right tools to learn a skill that we were constantly getting feedback to work on from even his previous school.
Bottom line, I didn’t want him to feel left out or that he couldn’t something just because of being left-handed. As an adult, I think of it as something that makes me special and even though my parents were raised in a culture in India where being left-handed was sort of seen as awful and something that you forced kids to change, my parents never once made me use my right hand. I’m sure they had to help me through various obstacles throughout my childhood – b/c let’s face it – it is and probably will ALWAYS be a right hander’s world since 9 out of 10 people are. But with my cutie lefty in MY world, I just had to research ways that would make his life just a little easier.
Here are 5 ways – that I have recognized so far- that can help your left handers live comfortably in a right hander’s world. Please comment with anything that’s been working for your little lefties in the comments section below!!
Lots of LOVE to ALL my lefties,
1. If in school, make sure that they have left-handed scissors and other supplies like smudge free pens with erasers (see #2 below) as needed! After we found out there were no left handed scissors in Jai’s classroom last year – still in shock about it – we quickly amazoned over several pairs!
2. Lefties should always have their papers at an angle where the upper left hand corner is higher than the right side. This helps with the smudging of their writing as they move across the paper. Smudging also happens when pencils are being used – so if possible, they should be able to use erasable pens. And always keep their pencils and crayons super sharp to avoid any tiring that lefties often face because they are working so hard to keep all these things in check!
3. For computers and other tech devices, parents can pretty easily switch the settings to make a mouse of cursor more user-friendly for your lefty.
4. Guide them to into a good position to make it easier to do things, like open doors. This was interesting because I noticed that my younger son could open the fridge door much more easily than my older son. To be fair, my younger one is pretty strong even though he’s about 2 years younger and I always thought that Jai’s difficulties might be because of his lack of strength especially in his core. BUT, once he positions himself so that he could open the door with his left hand by standing kinda off to the left side but at an angle, he was able to do it just fine. He’s now since gained enough stability and strength to open with his right hand too! These kids adjust but helping guide them through it some is good – I am totally going to start working on tying shoe laces but the method that start with two bunny ears. It will get the job done but will be much easier for him to get.
5. Lefties are so special because they are full of emotion, imaginative creative and artistic – so if your child is showing those traits then totally go with it. Make time for those things along with the academics. Jai shows a big interest in music and dance – and we make time for it at home and also enrolled him into those classes. Remember that lefties think in big picture ideas and that you may need to adjust your parenting to adapt to that.