Should I encourage my child to be right handed?

Jodi - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 45 moms have responded )

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My 18 month old definately uses his left hand more dominately. My husband has said that we should encourage him to use his right hand because he'll have more problems by being left handed. I feel that he is what he is. Yes, it may be more of a challenge to be left handed, but I think that we will just deal with it and overcome the challenges together. What are your opinions on this?

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Heather - posted on 08/21/2010

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The only challenges are the ones you will create by trying to change who he is. You will be telling him that there is something wrong with him and that he isn't good enough.

Jessica - posted on 08/15/2010

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I wouldnt do it. my daughter originally used her left hand most of the time, but then switched to right. My brother however was a lefty originally and was forced into being right handed, and he says now he has more difficulty with tasks that were naturally easier with his left hand.

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Lynn - posted on 12/21/2013

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I use both my hands, now I have an 8 month old g daughter who tries holding her right arm down so it doesn't interfere with what she wants to do, quite strange never come across this before.

La Tisce - posted on 02/01/2013

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You should let your son use which ever hand is more comfortable for him. I myself being left handed will tell you the only challenge we "South Paws" face in life is right handed people trying to force us to be like them, and occasionally using scissors. I love being left handed. When I was in preschool my teachers would put me in a corner whenever I was caught using my left hand. Society placed a bad mark on being left handed: Right handed is Right and left is wrong. All you need to do is invest in some left handed scissors and let your son do what is natural and comfotable to him

K - posted on 01/29/2013

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I found my way here after reading some research that left-handed people die earlier than right handed people. I found out the reason is because most of the world is designed to be right-handed -- so I guess it's a matter of safety. My son is showing himself to be left-handed. I wouldn't force him to do anything, but I'm open to encouraging him to use both hands or find positions that are comfortable to him. I'm curious to learn more about what handedness means in relation to being left or right brained. I don't know if there is any real science behind this.

Melissa - posted on 06/20/2012

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Never ever force a lefty to be right handed! It's so much more then writing , most lefts are right brained( and this has amazing potential for gifted ness) they will be awkward and confused by many tasks if you force them. In fact it can cause stuttering and many learning disabilitys to do so. But educate yourself on how right brained people learn and what they need and that would be more benifit than changing handwriting hand. The brain is a powerful thing so it will still run left handed inside don't do it lol.

Danika - posted on 09/09/2010

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I personally wouldn't push your son in either direction. I'm the only girl in my siblings and the only one who's actually ambidextrous, all my brothers are left handed. It's whatever he's comfortable with in the end.

Michelle - posted on 08/29/2010

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my son is ampidexrus (or how ever u spell it lol) so uses both hands n i dont encourage him to use one over the other i let him use which ever he wants to use at the time x

Christy - posted on 08/29/2010

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Encourage is the word I used, not force. I do not see how handing something to his left hand would hurt. He could always put it in his right and proceed with his activity. My husband used his right hand to much at work which caused him alot of pain, he taught himself to use his left alot more and it has helped balance him. I would just like to awaken my sons right side of his brain which I think would give him even more ablilities in the long run.

CONNIE - posted on 08/28/2010

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I have a 6 year old daughter who uses both hands. She writes with her left but eats with her right. And she has absolutely no problems except that she writes a few of her letters backwards. But it poses no problem what so ever to her in school or anywhere else. And now it seems my 19 month old son is also doing the same thing. My mother in law was the same way and tried to make her right handed and it just frustrated my daughter to no end when she was learning to write so it caused more problems by trying to change her ./ So to me it is no big deal but all kids are different. Good luck...

Brandi - posted on 08/28/2010

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My 12 yr old son is left handed and doesn't have any problems at all.......

Sanaz - posted on 08/26/2010

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There is nothing wrong with being left-handed. This is not a disability. In fact, there are advantages to being left-handed. Let him be.

Milet - posted on 08/26/2010

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My daughter is 19 months and seems to be lefthanded. I will not try and change it. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, including being left handed. I think one confuses a child for life if you try changing a thing such as this. My brother is left handed, and he is allot better in alot of things than I could ever be, maaybe being a "lefty " has something to do with that. So I wouldn't worry and just let him be.

Heather - posted on 08/26/2010

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I am a left handed mom with a 3 yr old left handed son. I know they say you can't tell when they are as young as your son but I could tell when mine was that age. I never encouraged him to be one way or the other. I am a little excited that I can teach him things like to write & throw a ball since I am the leftie parent. My other son, who is 19 months, shows more dominance with his right hand so I won't be able to help him as much. My parent's were both right handed so it may have been a little difficult for them to teach me to write & such. I haven't noticed any real disadvantages of being left-handed other than having to use special scissors & when I write with a pen sometimes it smears on my hand & the paper. No big deal though.

Z - posted on 08/25/2010

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You can't force a child to be a certain handedness! IF you do it goes against what's natural for them and coordinates with the side of the brain that is dominant and therefore what subjects the child will find easier. Being Left-handed is a blessing. It means I am also creative and excel in languages, and I play a mean left-wing in hockey. I was always taught I was wrong for using my left hand and that's a terrible thing for a child to experience. Encourage whichever comes naturally for your child and ambidextrousness may be your lucky outcome! I play tennis with both hands so can handle difficult back-hands with ease by throwing my racquet over to the opposite hand, on the contrary to it being a 'challenge', it is a gift. The only 'challenge' your child may face is in dealing with people thinking that something strange to them is wrong. Trust, Left-handedness is the least of your worries!!!

Mandy - posted on 08/25/2010

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No way should you try to change what child you hand uses. Forcing them to change can actually cause more problems. I know that historically lefties were accused of witchcraft or consorting with the devil but think we might be past all that in this day and age. My 19 month old is showing signs of being a leftie, I'm not surprised - ,my mum and my fil are both lefties. According to some studies lefties are actually more intelligent than their rightie counterparts, something to do with how their brain works. Just let him get on with it.

Amanda - posted on 08/24/2010

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I have twin 19 month old daughters and one of them uses her right hand more, and the other one uses both hands. Sometimes its her left hand, then other times its her right hand. The doctor said that at this age you can't tell for sure which hand they are going to prefer to use. But I have heard that you should let them just do whatever feels comfortable for them and not force them to use the other hand. I know it might be harder to be left handed (Im kinda worried that my daughter will be left handed) but I would just let it be. Good luck.

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I have been thinking exactly the same! I am going to read through some of these posts to get ideas. Glad you posted! x

Christy - posted on 08/24/2010

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I always thought that a left handed person uses some different parts of the brain-like they are more likely to be artistic.My son has been using his left hand to and I find this exciting. No one in our family so far is real artsy and I am excited to find out what abilities he will develop that will make him his own unique self. Enjoy the difference.

Michelle - posted on 08/23/2010

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My son is also favoring the left hand. I thnik we should just leave them alone. Most of my left handed students are smart and athletic.

Debbie - posted on 08/23/2010

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I'm left handed and I'm fine-44 years old and have managed my whole life this way. And I think my 19 month old son will be left handed too-he used that hand more and I am so excited.

Elaina - posted on 08/23/2010

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From what I understand it doesn't matter which hadn he uses, but you should encourage dominance. Evidently reading skills are improved by having a clearly preferred hand.

Jennifer - posted on 08/23/2010

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No! Your child will have an easier time learning to do things with whichever hand is the dominant hand. Forcing your child to learn to do things with the non-dominant hand will make things extremely difficult for him. I know first hand! My parents forced me to learn everything right handed - even going so far as to immobilize my left hand. It took me much longer to learn to write legibly...among other things.

Oh, and you can let your husband know that statistically, left handed people are smarter! lol

Alicia - posted on 08/23/2010

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with being left handed. Also your baby is only 18 months old so it's too soon to jump to conclusions that he will in fact be a lefty. Babies in their learning process on growing up and interacting with their enviornment will often experiment and do all kinds of things they will later on not do again. All babies use both hands for sometime before they use the one their dna choose them to use. When the eggs connects with the sperm they automatically choose everything about you.........hair colour, eye colour, your height, weight, and many others including whether you will be right or left handed. If your worried about having problems your only problem for him would be making him choose something other than what is natural to him. My brother is left handed and has NEVER had any problems what so ever. Why would doing what comes naturally have any problems? A left handed person has no more issues doing things that a right handed person. I don't understand why there is such a stigma over something that is natural to a person. Like being right handed is natural to some it is natural to a left handed. Why don't those who are right handed try doing things with their left????? More difficult isn't it? Trying to make someone do something other than what their dna made them is obviously going to cause issues. I would let him be. My daughter uses her left hand for most of her daily activities and me and my husband are both right handed. It's nothing to do with hereditary attributies. It's all in your dna from conception.

Hayley - posted on 08/23/2010

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Let your child be whatever-handed he is. My mother is ambidexterous, and I think I might have been too, if she hadn't *forced* (coerced with punishment) me to become right-handed. She, like your hubby, thought a child who is a leftie would be at a disadvantage. Now, at 42, I do many things with my left hand, but have nowhere near the skill I do with my right. But I'll tell you this, I often *think* the way my leftie friends do. And I'm often absent-minded or have to stop and *think* about directions and tasks before I get my bearings (and then I have actually a very good sense of direction). So let your child develop the way God made him. I think a person is at more of a disadvantage when they are pushed into being something they're not. It's like trying to make a person always walk backward so that they always see where they came from. Crazy.

Sarah - posted on 08/23/2010

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First of all it is impossible to tell at 18 months whether your child will be left or right handed, but in my opinion it will back fire if you try to change what hand your child uses most. My daughter WAS left handed then I put her in pre-school when she was three, they switched which hand she wrote with she is now 15 years old and still is having alot of trouble with her writting you cant read what she writes and it is just real sloppy, I think if they want to use their left hand let them.

Liz - posted on 08/22/2010

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I first noticed my daughter's preference for using her left hand when she was three months old. She had a stronger grip in her left than her right hand. She's now 19 months and still using her left hand for almost everything. Once in a while she's scribble something with her right but the pencil always ends up in her left hand. I have no problem with that. Yes, I am right-handed and sometimes worry that I won't be able to teach her how to do certain things but I am ok with that. Her father is left-handed, so is my sister who turned out just fine. I am not going to change that about her because I think it's cute.

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Omg there is no problem with your son being left handed my husband, my neice and my inlaws and my 18m old are all LH and i also know many others who are to let him be and tell ur hubby u are right he is what he is

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I am a lefty, and since I grew up doing everything left handed there hasn't been any difficulties for me "adjusting". I know some lefties complain about things catering to right-handers, but personally I have never noticed such things. I think some lefties complain about things not being for lefties so they can make a big deal of something....there really isn't anything to make a big deal of. Really, you don't think twice about things you do all your life, you just do them....I never thought twice about the door handle being "different" for me to open, they make left handed scissors, and I have no lefties in my family but learned to write, throw a ball, and everything else just fine. Really, it sounds like your hubby is worrying a ton for no reason....lefties are at no disadvantage in the world.

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My self and my husband are both left handed and the only thing I ever had issues learning was to drive a manuel truck. It wasn't impossible I can do it now, it just took a few extra tries. If you switch him he will just have more problems later!

Jodi - posted on 08/22/2010

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Thanks for all the comments. I am glad to hear that I am doing the right thing letting him be himself!

Kaila - posted on 08/21/2010

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What is the matter with being left handed. I'm not, but my mom ie and when she was little her grandfather always made her do everything with her right hand when she was at his house he always side something along the lines of "not having a "southpaw" in his family" to her when she did use her left.
She can use both hands now, but prefers to use her left.
So yeah what ever hand you are more inclined to use that's the hand you should use. My daughter is 3 and she still goes between using her left hand and her right. I think she tends to use her left more, but I don't pressure her into which hand she wants to use.
I think if people had trouble being left handed in a right hand dominant world we'd have heard many complaints and maybe had an uprising by now.
Just let your son be himself and use what hand he wants to use.

Lisa - posted on 08/21/2010

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My husband is a lefty and really wanted our son to be a lefty like him but it not genetic. He loves being left handed and has no problems in life being so. He has played numerous different sports and has never had a problem. Yes there will be things that are different but it doesnt need to stop him in any way. We are suppose to try to change personality traits, so why try to change left handedness.

Katarzyna - posted on 08/20/2010

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My older son started out to be left handed but now he's right handed... we encouraged him to use both hands for everything he does since he was doing that anyway, he did get frustrated sometimes but not too often... Now he writes or eats soups with his right hand, colors, uses scissors and does some other things with his left hand as well as eats his potatoes and such.. To us it makes no difference which hand he uses to do his tasks as long as he is comfortable and does them well..
So in my opinion let him figure out what is most comfortable for him, he might surprise you.. :-)

Katarzyna - posted on 08/20/2010

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My older son started out to be left handed but now he's right handed... we encouraged him to use both hands for everything he does since he was doing that anyway, he did get frustrated sometimes but not too often... Now he writes or eats soups with his right hand, colors, uses scissors and does some other things with his left hand as well as eats his potatoes and such.. To us it makes no difference which hand he uses to do his tasks as long as he is comfortable and does them well..
So in my opinion let him figure out what is most comfortable for him, he might surprise you.. :-)

Vanessa - posted on 08/15/2010

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at 18 months, they use either hand to do different things, you may find that he/she will use their right hand more often as he/she gets older, some people can use both hands all through life. it just depends on the person

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2010

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I guess he (my husband) figured things like opening doors, especially lever handles like we have, writing, and I'm not sure what else, would be issues. His father (the grandpa) is left handed. He doesn't live that close, so I haven't had the chance to ask him myself what he thinks of it.

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Good luck, but I really doubt it will work. And how much harder is it, really? I know a lot of lefties who manage just fine.

Sarah - posted on 08/13/2010

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what exactly is wrong with being left handed though? i'm left handed i take after my grandma (my siblings are all right) .. i'm rubbish at throwing and sports in general (but i'm a girl anyway so so what)using scissors .. and back in primary school it took me a while to learn how to hold a pencil properly .. had to use pencil grips .. but thats not affected me ..
my sis calls it a spazz hand (just harsh) but i told her i have way better hand writing than her!!

my son's father is also left handed .. so there probably is a higher percentage that oliver will be too

Naomi - posted on 08/13/2010

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What are the disadvantages of being left handed? It makes no difference either way. The worst that will happen is you'll have to buy left handed scissors! My son is 18 months. He eats with his left hand but draws with his right. I wont push him either way he'll naturally develop a preference that suits him. His dad's left handed and I'm right handed. It is often hereditary and runs in families. I'm not concerned either way.

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