How To Teach And Help Your Left Handed Child To Write?

Image : Shutterstock


Do you have a cute little southpaw at home? Does your child’s left-handedness confuse you? Are you looking for ways to make things easier for her? With most products predominantly right-handed, does she find it tough to learn the basics of writing?

If you can relate to the situation, you should consider reading our post. Here we look at how you can ease her through the earliest phases of writing.

How To Teach A Left Handed Child To Write Letters?

If you have a child who is left-handed, she won’t be much different from her right-handed contemporaries. You may worry that writing with the left hand or being more comfortable in mainly using the left hand for various tasks could cause difficulties for her. However, with a little practice and some effective tools, you can make it very easy for her to write with her left hand.

Tips For Teaching A Left Handed Child To Write:

Here we talk about 10 effective tips on how to help left handed kids to write to make it easier and more enjoyable for both you and your child:

1. Hand Dominance Does Not Fully Develop Until Age Six:

If your child exhibits a preference for writing using her left hand, you can still try and switch her to a right hander before she turns six.

  • Until the age of five or six, your child’s hand dominance is yet to develop fully, making it possible to change preferences.
  • Remember that while trying to ‘change’ your child’s hand preference, you should not force her to switch.
  • You can allow her to use either hand and see which one she uses the most. If she still uses the left hand for most uses, ask her to try using the right hand instead. Instead of getting angry or shaming her about it, try making it more of a game.

[ Read: Ways On How To Improve Handwriting For Kids ]

2. If Your Child Is Left-Handed, Make Sure He Can Inform Properly:

Sometimes, even if your child is positively left-handed, teachers and other caretakers may try to switch her pencil to the other hand.

  • In class, teachers could assume that she is right-handed and change the pencil from left to right.
  • Teach your child that she is left handed. It will help her notify the teachers at school.
  • If her teachers force her to use her right hand to write, it could significantly affect her writing and, as a result, her academic performance.

3. Teach Your Child How To Grasp The Pencil Properly:

If your child is left-handed, the best way for her to hold the pencil will be by practicing the ‘tripod’ grasp.

  • Show your child how she can write best by using the tripod grasp. Using this technique, she needs to pinch the pencil using her thumb and the index finger.
  • It will help her develop dynamic finger movements and also develop a proper wrist position.
  • As she grows older and has to write more, practicing the tripod grasp now will help her write faster and more effectively.

    [ Read: Reading Activities For Kids ]

4. Teach Your Child To Hold The Pencil In Tripod Grasp With Proper Positioning:

Once your left-handed child perfects the art of holding the pencil in the tripod grasp, the next step is to teach her the proper finger positioning.

  • As your left handed child starts writing using the tripod grasp, guide her to move her finger a little higher than the tip.
  • Doing so will allow your child to see what she is writing, and she will not have to hook her wrist to see what she writes. Placing the finger a little higher than the tip will also prevent any smudge marks that she may otherwise create while writing.
  • If she feels it difficult to remember the same each time he writes, you can help her by wrapping a tape at the level on the pencil above which she has to place her finger.

5. Special Writing Equipment Not Required Unless Specifically Recommended:

Unless a specialist or therapist recommends special writing equipment for your child, there is no need to buy one.

  • Your left-handed child can as easily grasp the same pencil as a right-handed child can. There is no need for you to buy her special writing equipment that may be made for left-handed children.
  • The same rule may not apply to the use of scissors, and it is important that you allow your left-handed child only to use special left-handed scissors. The blades in the different types of scissors, left or right, are positioned differently.
  • As she uses the left-handed pair of scissors, it will let your child properly see where he is cutting. It will also avoid any mess or accidental bending of the paper that can happen if your left-handed child uses a right handed scissor.

6. With Age, Encourage Your Child To Angle The Paper:

As your child grows old, she will have to write more and write faster than now.

  • At this time, it is important for her to learn how to angle her writing sheet, with the left corner of the paper, pointed in an upward direction.
  • Doing so will help your left-handed child to place her arm on the paper at a natural angle. She will be able to write clearer and faster while not hurting the wrist.
  • When your child learns to practice the specific angle, she will be able to move her hand from the left to right direction without having to hook her wrist.

[ Read: Types Of Learning Disabilities In Kids ]

7. Papers On The Left Side Of The Body:

As your child practices writing, it is important to teach her where to place the paper.

  • While writing, ask your child to place the paper on the left side, as it will help her see it clearly even as she writes.
  • Once your child has finished writing through an entire line on the paper, her hand should either be towards her left on the mid of the line or directly in front of it.
  • Having her hand in such a position will help her move it more naturally and keep the wrist straight. It will prevent any smudging and also help her see what she is writing.

8. Teach Your Child To Use The Right Hand:

Even though your child is left-handed, she can still use the right hand to help her write properly.

  • While writing, you can teach her to stabilize the paper by using the right hand.
  • The more your child stabilizes the paper and keeps it steady, the better she will be able to write.
  • While this might take some practice and time getting used to, make sure she keeps practicing and does not give up.

9. Place Books Above Or On The Right Of The Writing Paper:

If your child has to copy out something while writing, make sure the space from which she is copying is kept at the right position.

  • The book from which she is copying should either be placed slightly higher than the level at which she is writing, else should be on her right side.
  • It will help your child to see what she is copying, and she will not have to bend down.
  • Make sure that your child always follows this practice and does so even while she is at school.

[ Read: Teaching Children To Tie Shoelaces ]

10. Forming The Letters:

In most cases, writing the letters and forming them is almost similar between left-handed as well as right-handed children.

  • Teach your child to write the letter ‘o’ in the same way that right-handed children do, in an anti-clockwise style.
  • It will help her write quickly and more fluently.
  • By writing using the left hand, she can pull the lines on her letters a little backward and be able to cross them better, as in the case of ‘t’ ‘f’ and others. Your left-handed child will be able to do so from the right direction to the left, instead of pushing the lines from left towards right.

Things To Remember:

  • Whether your child is left handed or right handed does not matter, and will not affect her academic capabilities. The key is to ensure that she has enough practice, and you teach her all the right techniques.
  • When your child is still learning how to write, try and encourage her to practice holding the pencil in a proper way. The key is first to let your child perfect the art of pinching the pencil between her thumb and the index finger.
  • A short non-pencil tool will help practice the hold better.

Help your child practice the tips above and make her confident about writing with her left hand. If you have any special tips for teaching left handed children to write, share them here.

Recommended Articles: