From early on, my husband and I had a pretty good idea our youngest son was a lefty. When he started using a spoon, it was in his left hand. When he reached for toys or zoomed cars along the floor, it was with his left hand. When he learned to colour, he was all left. And when we handed him a hockey stick, he immediately held it in his left. When we gave him a ball and glove and he wanted to throw AND catch with his left hand, it confirmed it for us. We quickly returned to the store to buy him a new glove.
Now, at 8-years-old, he’s a full-blown lefty! He writes left, plays hockey left, bats left in baseball, throws a football left, and I’m fairly certain he will tackle everything else in life with his left hand! The problem is, both my husband and I are right-handed.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a huge problem, but it definitely has its obstacles. For instance, we were able to teach our older son how to hold his pencil, how to play sports and how to do…well…pretty much everything by showing him the way we do it. With a lefty, it’s not that easy. I can do quite a few things with my left hand, but not everything. So, along the way, we have found a few ways to make his life – and ours – a little easier!
So for you right-handed parents out there raising a little lefty, below are some tips, suggestions and fun facts to hopefully make your life a wee bit easier!
After many, many nights of not even thinking about where we place him at the dinner table, we have finally learned to put him to the LEFT of us. It gives him more space to eat, he’s not rubbing elbows with the person next to him and we’re all happy. This is especially helpful in restaurants where the tables tend to be smaller. He even knows where to sit now and if we forget, he’s quick to let us know!
Most notebooks for school have the spirals at the side – which is a nightmare for left-handed people. When he was a bit younger, we noticed that he started turning his book sideways to draw his pictures. Now that he’s a bit older and is actually writing in his notebooks, he can’t do that. So, try to find notebooks that have the spirals at the TOP if you can. And while you’re at it, pick up some left-handed scissors and smudge-free pencils, too!
Lots of Encouragement
Let’s face it, we live in a right-handed world. School supplies, computers, musical instruments, kitchen gadgets – they’re all made for right-handed people. This can be a little discouraging for lefties, so make sure you give your child lots of encouragement. I’m not saying you should go out of your way to draw attention to it, but sometimes he’ll say things like “But it’s hard for lefties” or “It’s not made for a lefty” when he’s finding something difficult. Or sometime, he just thinks it might get him out of eating his vegetables (sorry buddy, but a fork is for either hand!). So, we simply tell him if he tries, a lefty can do everything a righty can do! It might just take some slight maneuvering.
Worried the world will be harder for your little lefty? Don't be. Here are some fun facts to ease your mind!
- Oprah is a lefty…and she’s done just fine!
- Left-handed pitchers in baseball are in high demand (start practicing now!)
- Some of the best artists in history were lefties, including Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
- Left-handed people are generally considered to be more creative, better leaders, and more independent. Does this sound like your little lefty? (It’s bang-on for ours!)
If you’ve got some tips for raising a lefty, feel free to leave them in the comments below to help out other parents who are in the same boat!