19 answers

To Do Lefty or to Do Righty

I looked back and couldn't quite find the answer I was looking for so I'm gonna ask.

Our 4 year old son is a lefty, it took no time to figure that one out. I can right lefty if I need to, but am mainly right handed. So he loves to write and draw, but he cannot pick a dominent hand to do it w/. He will be in the middle of writing his name or any word and switch hands to finish. I've never seen any kid do this. Will he eventually pick a hand to write w/?? He always starts out lefty, then go righty (then sometimes finish lefty, sometimes not.) Its like he gets half way across the paper and then switches hand to finish. Anyone else child do this.?.

BTW : I have no problem w/ him doing this. He also does this while playing ball or anything.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

He really doesn't know yet. It's part of the pre-school stages of development to be able to do this. It does sound like he is left handed, I am not saying that, I am saying that most of my left handed friends do things with both hands due to it being handy...for example, scissors. My friend that is totally left handed uses right handed scissors due to not being able to buy left handed scissors in the 50's when she was in elementary school learning to cut. Others find similar things too.

2 moms found this helpful

I am 28 and even though I am a lefty, I will often do things with both hands. I do feel stronger in my right hand though! He will get there in time, don't worry!!

Updated

I am 28 and even though I am a lefty, I will often do things with both hands. I do feel stronger in my right hand though! He will get there in time, don't worry!!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

A.:

DO NOT DISCOURAGE HIM from using both hands!! I can use both of mine as well, not as good as I used to but I can use - write and eat with both.

Eventually he will pick a dominant hand...my best friend is a lefty. My sister and I are both ambidextrous.

It's OKAY that he can do this - this means he's using both sides of his brain - which can be a great thing!!!

4 moms found this helpful

He might be ambidextrous, or he might be mixed dominant. Either way, he'll naturally pick a side.

Pay close attention to which side he seems to use better. If a better side shows itself, you can help him to strengthen that side. If both sides remain the same, that's okay...just continue to let him write as he is comfortable. And don't let his teacher pressure you to "pick" a handedness for him.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm a lefty (my horrible handwriting proves it). But, when I play(ed) baseball/softball for fun, I went to bat as a righty. I use my mouse with my right hand. My husband is a lefty, and we have a right handed daughter. Broke the trend. :)
My grandpa apparently tried to change me when I was younger!

2 moms found this helpful

He's only 4 years old. A lot of people are ambidextrous until kindergarten. Just let him go with it and he'll eventually fall into a dominant hand naturally. Probably. Most people do have a dominant hand, although there are a statistically few people who do remain ambidextrous.

My kid brother, my dad's brother, and my eldest daughter are all hopelessly left-handed in a family full of righties. My kid brother says he could cut his right arm off and he wouldn't miss it. :-)

2 moms found this helpful

I am a lefty and I remember doing this growing up. I still sometimes do it (usually when bowling or throwing and catching) when I don't like the outcome or when it feels awkward. Does he go to school? I think his teacher might be a good person to shed some insight on this question.

2 moms found this helpful

I am 28 and even though I am a lefty, I will often do things with both hands. I do feel stronger in my right hand though! He will get there in time, don't worry!!

Updated

I am 28 and even though I am a lefty, I will often do things with both hands. I do feel stronger in my right hand though! He will get there in time, don't worry!!

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with the others. Let him keep doing what he's doing. My oldest uses only his left hand for everything. He might as well not have a right hand.

My youngest is ambidexterous. He usually writes with his left hand, but sometimes draws with his right. Most fine motor skills are done with his left hand and most gross motor skills are done with his right, but not all. He is 7 years old. It's really interesting to watch and see which hand he will use for various activities, and for many activities he uses both hands interchangeably.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter did the same thing. Right after she turned five, she started to predominently write with left and seems to throw and catch right. When asked at sports, sometimes she can't think of an answer. Her pediatrician said to let her naturally pick her own hand.

2 moms found this helpful

A friend of mine was just talking about this. Her son does this too, although primarily with scissors. The teacher was a little concerned only because she says it indicates that he hasn't developed strength in either hand to finish the task. Maybe speak to your son's pediatrician to see if this is something to worry about.

2 moms found this helpful

He really doesn't know yet. It's part of the pre-school stages of development to be able to do this. It does sound like he is left handed, I am not saying that, I am saying that most of my left handed friends do things with both hands due to it being handy...for example, scissors. My friend that is totally left handed uses right handed scissors due to not being able to buy left handed scissors in the 50's when she was in elementary school learning to cut. Others find similar things too.

2 moms found this helpful

I guess that depends on if he's truly left handed or not. My son saw an OT who said kids don't truly pick a hand until age 5 when writing develops. My son was using both to the point where he'd write the letter H and would switch hands in the middle. He wasn't choosing b/c he had little skills in either hand. Finally it got to the point where we had to choose for him and taught him to develop writing skills with his right hand since it's a right handed world.

so.... he could need to develop skill, but he is still a bit young to have truly chosen a hand.

2 moms found this helpful

My son did the exact same thing... exactly! He would start with his left hand when writing or coloring and then when he got further across the paper, he'd switch to his right. It seemed that he favored his left hand more sometimes (like while eating). I did not discourage or encourage it. I just let him be. As he grew older (about 4.5), he began picking a dominant hand (right). He still does plenty with both, but when it comes time to write and cut, he uses his right hand almost all the time now.

Please don't worry about this. I think he's just fine!

1 mom found this helpful

You have a lot of great answers here. :)

I just want to say that I had a friend once who was ambidextrous as a child and his mom hated it! She forced him to pick his right hand, and now he can't write ledgibly at all! There was a name for his current condition, I can't recall what, but it is a disability. so sad :(

It's great to hear so many moms here that would do the opposite and just let the child be. Good for you all!

1 mom found this helpful

My husband is ambidextrous and has been since childhood. He would do the same thing your son does. These days he writes with left hand when he's writing something on a table or desk. When he's writing on the white board at work or something, he writes with his right hand. When he eats he'll eat with either hand.

I asked my mother-in-law this same question when my son was using both hands for writing and eating. She told me to be happy that he can write with both hands...cause if he's anything like his dad, he'll break an arm and still be able to do his homework. Sure enough, he broke his shoulder and was still able to do his work legibly.

1 mom found this helpful

I think it's okay for him to do that. He is probably tired and switches hands because he can, and because his hand is tired. I've known men who write left-handed but bat right-handed when they play ball. (Oh, I just saw that you said that!) So it's probably the same kind of thing...

1 mom found this helpful

I had a conversation with an occupational therapist about this when my son was four. She gave me information to read and discussed it with me. Watch him when he uses a doorknob, flushes the toilet, turns a lever, opens a jar,picks up a cup, Is he really 50 50 or is he favoring one hand? I thought he was using both hands equally but as I watched closely I could see he favored his right a lot, though he was coloring, and eating \ with both hands equally. She said it is important at age four to choose a hand to write (draw) and a hand to help by holding the paper and that both hands need to be practicing their jobs. She said if a child hasnt picked a hand by age four to pick for them ) and it is easier to be right handed in our society (I know, I know, lefties are great too but if he hasnt Chosen to be a lefty...) So I reminded him to use scissors and hold pencil or crayon with his right hand.

1 mom found this helpful

our daughter, ( i have full bragging rights here ), is a lefty..we think. the best thing to do is to wait and let the child figure out which hand he/she prefers to use for what purpose. dont let his teachers "suggest" that he "pick one, preferably the right hand ", tell the childs teachers they can deal with it, or they deal with you. now if you will excuse me, i have a nap waiting.if using both hands was good enough for leonardo da vinci , then it should be good enough for your sons critics.
K. h.

1 mom found this helpful

Let him go--he may not have fully developed a dominant side yet--but most likely he will.
BTW, hand dominance is not directly related to brain dominance. And, remember, just like you don't do everything with only the one hand, so your brain doesn't do everything with one side, although there is generally a preference. However, a significant number of artists have been and are left-handed, more than would be suggested by the one-in-ten occurrence of left-handedness in the population. While those who are left handed do exhibit a greater propensity for right-brain dominance, being right handed does not preclude your right brain from dominating.

1 mom found this helpful

My son did this last year in preschool and at the end of the year when asked what hand had dominence, his teacher wrote a big question mark. This year in kindergarten he has picked his right hand and doesn't switch anymore. Picking the hand started around when he turned 5. I would just let it go for now. When he starts kindergarten if he hasn't picked a hand yet they will encourage him to do so.

1 mom found this helpful

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