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Left/ Right Hand Prefernce


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I am sure I should know this but... we have a four year old boy who has not yet shown a clear preference for his right/left hand when holding a pencil etc. He enjoys role play activites and does not visit the office area by choice. I have spoken to his mother to see if she has noticed a preference - she hasn't particulalry but like us feels he probably goes for the right. She says his father is able to use either hand for many activities. Any information/advice would be welcome. I don't want to encourage J to use a hand that is not going to be the 'correct' one for him.

 

Thank you in advnce ! Rose

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I think this is one of those situations where you just have to wait and see. Some children take a long time to show a preference, a lot longer than most. I would just leave him and give him time-he will make the choice himself. Trying to force the issue harks back to times when children were made to use their right hand even though they prefered using the left.

Linda

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While I agree with Linda, I would also start encouraging him to use the right. Unfortunately we live in a righthanded world and I think it will always be easier for him to be right handed. However, I would still allow him to make his own choice and if he is ambidextrous like his father seems to be he will cope. It may be that he will have one hand peference for one activity and the other for another and this should be encouaged.

 

Many years ago I was taught by a teacher who stood central to the blackboard and used which ever hand was nearest to the side he was writing on and I have also observed a child to use his left hand on the left page of his book and swap!

 

When in America a couple of years back I bought my left handed husband a magnet which reads

" We are all born right handed, only the greatest overcome it!"

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we had a four year old like that last year...we had a chat to mum who was not concerned so we left him too it, term before he went up to school had a preference for the right although still used his left at times, personally i would leave him too it. :D

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I would definately leave it to him. He may well be ambidextrous and that is fine. One way of telling if there is a preference is playing football with him, which foot does he use to kick the ball? This is only a guideline as my brother writes right-handed but plays tennis and cricket with his left. I have had many children over the years who have not had a real preference at the beginning of reception but they have sorted it out by the end of the year.

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I would leave him to it also, my son is six and uses both hands with the same ability, I never interferred nor did his teachers we all agreed that if he started a piece of writing/drawing/activity we encourage him to stick to the hand he starts with, but if he changes hands to another task go with it, he is amazing and i am so proud we didn't force one way or the other, I realise he may still choose a preferred hand but at the moment he has the best of all worlds!!

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