31 answers

Lefty or Righty

I just read a question and answer post about a left handed child. Here's my problem, my son will be 4 in October and he doesn't seem to have a strong preference to either his left or his right hand. I usually just put a crayon or spoon down perpendicular to his body, so as not to influence his choice at all and I would say he has a Slight preference to his right hand and seems to have a little better control with it, but not enough that it is a clear choice... Should I encourage the right hand at this point. Dad is a lefty and I am a right hander.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Here is a GREAT TIP, I am a righty myself and my husband is a lefty. We couldn't tell either with my son. BUT a doctor friend told me to watch which foot he puts in his pants first (shoe, shorts, underwear etc) That will 99% of the time tell you which side is dominent without him even knowing what you are doing. And he was right! my son puts his shoes, socks, pants, shorts on first with his left foot everytime. Even to this date. He is eight now and a lefty. Hope that helps!!

He may be ambidextrous. My brother writes with his L hand, but does everything else with his right. My dad is 100% L and my mom is 100% right. I wouldn't spend much time worrying about it or trying to "train" him one way or the other. He'll do what his brain tells him to do.

All my children are ambidextrous... they use both hands... not for the same tasks necessarily, but for different things. They can all use flatware with either hand, can bounce and catch balls with both hands. They have all chosen to write with their right hand, but even my grandchildren do things with both hands... like bowl or play baseball.

More Answers

Since your son is not yet 4, it is best to keep doing what you are doing and not encouraging one hand over the other. By allowing him to still switch hands, it actually helps him refine the fine motor skills of both hands better. If he has not established a hand dominance by this time next year, then you may need to start encouraging more consistent use of whichever hand he tends to use more or is more skilled at the time. Many kids are 4-5 yrs. old before establishing a strong hand dominance, and it is best to establish one before starting kindergarten.

N.

Just watch him and let him figure it out. Both my boys were that way, but I didn't sway them in either direction and they both turned into righty's.

I'm a lefty myself, eating and writing with my left, but everything else I use my right...throwing, using scissors, catching, casting a fishing pole...etc.

It all comes down to what they feel is more comfortable for them and how easy it is to pick up...so just watch and encourage him that it doesn't which hand he uses.

My son was the same at that age. His fine motor skills were a little slow developing, but he eventually picked a hand. Don't push one way or another. I am a kindergarten teacher and many kids can use both hands although most do form a preference pretty quickly. Don't worry. I think it would be cool to be able to do things with both hands!

Maybe he doesn't have a dominant hand. I'm like that. I do different activities with different hands. I write, decorate cakes, and eat left handed, but I play sports, brush my teeth and hair, and use scissors right handed.

All my children are ambidextrous... they use both hands... not for the same tasks necessarily, but for different things. They can all use flatware with either hand, can bounce and catch balls with both hands. They have all chosen to write with their right hand, but even my grandchildren do things with both hands... like bowl or play baseball.

Hi! I am an occupational therapist and just wanted to let you know that typically, hand dominance is not completely established/determined until the age of six. I like that you are letting him choose by placing objects perpendicular to him. I am also a mom to a child who was developmentally delayed (slightly) and things like this can become worrisome and drive us moms a little nutty sometimes. Keep up the good work!
God Bless!!

Let him do his own thing. My mom is right handed, my dad left handed. My brother is ambidextrous, he writes with his left hand but still draws with both and was a switch hitter in baseball. I use my left hand for writing but cut with scissors with my right (my dad does this too). I batted left but was a figure skater for many years and skated "right handed". He's only 3, as he gets older he'll figure out he can write more clearly and easily with one hand over the other and naturally gravitate to what is comfortable to him.

My 6 yr old is also mildly ambidextrious. He uses both hands. I hand him things to whatever hand he is using to take it with. He writes w/ a pencil in his right hand, but colors w/ markers crayons w/ his left hand. He switches when he bowls, bats (baseball), brushes his teeth, etc. I just let him do whatever. He tends to prefer his right hand more these days when he's doing his schoolwork, but when he's being creative he uses his left - I think it is so neat and just love to watch him think :)

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