My daughter showed a preference for her left hand at an early age. As a toddler, she used both hands easily, but by kindergarten she shifted to almost exclusively using her left hand. As a right-handed person, I wasn’t sure what to do to help her. Here are some tips if your child shows a preference for her left hand.
Talk to the Teacher
Touch base with your child’s teacher at the beginning of each school year. Let her know that your child is left-handed. Hopefully the teacher will have experience with left-handed students. If not, let her know about things like where your child sits. If she’s right next to a right-handed child, they will likely bump arms quite often when writing or doing other activities.
Get Special Gear
These days you can find lots of left-handed tools to use at school. Scissors are a prominent school tool that come in left-handed versions. Look for true left-handed scissors, not ambidextrous scissors designed for either left or right-handed users. True left handed scissors have the blades reversed so the child can cut easily. You’ll also find left-handed pens and notebooks, which have the spiral on the opposite side so it doesn’t get in the way.
Make sure your child’s teacher allows her to keep her special left-handed supplies to herself. Some classrooms pool supplies for all kids to share. Ask if your child can keep her special gear in her desk so the other kids don’t use them.
Teach Writing Skills
Left-handed kids often tend to hook the wrist in order to see what they are writing on the paper. Teach your child to tip her paper right side of the paper is closest to your child. This allows her to see the paper better as she writes without hooking her wrist. You also don’t want her to hold the pencil too close to the tip or she might smear the writing and have difficulty seeing what she writes.
Don’t Make a Big Deal
Being left-handed really isn’t a problem at all. It’s something that makes your child unique. Be careful not to make her feel odd or left out because she uses a different hand than the rest of the family. It doesn’t come up in our house a lot, but when it does I make sure to point out how cool it is that she can do everything with her left hand and the rest of us can’t.