Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is Your Child a Leftie or a Rightie?

Sometimes when my son eats he will just hold the spoon with his right hand but not use it, and then picks up the food with his left hand to put in his mouth. He uses most of his left hand when doodling or painting and his right hand when playing. So I'm not sure at this point whether he'll be a leftie or a rightie. I remember as a little child, my playmate who was using her left hand more was encouraged by her mom to use her right hand instead. I didn't realize that this will do the child more harm than good. Though right hand is the right hand for a majority of the population, it is the wrong one for 5% to 10% destined to be a leftie.

Parents should trust nature and time to reveal the handedness of their children and not encourage them to use either hand while still very young.

Here are the reasons why:
  1. The hand a child favors is genetically determined. When both parents are lefties, there's more than 50% chance their children will also be left-handed. When just one parent is left-handed, the chance of a left-handed child drops to about 17%. When neither parent is left-handed, it's down to 2%. Since it's nature, not nurture, at work here, encouraging your toddler to use his right hand won't help and could hurt.
  2. Handedness is not usually apparent until at least the age of 3, and some kids keep parents guessing for several years beyond that birthday. During these early years, it's common for children to appear ambidextrous, freely switching back and forth between hands until they decide which is the more facile. About 20% of children never settle exclusively on one hand or the other, but remain to some degree ambidextrous. Some ambidextrous children use both hands equally well and can employ either for almost any task: other switch off for for specific tasks - for example using the right hand for eating and the left hand for throwing.
  3. Research suggests that when parents try to "force" a child into using the hand he's not genetically programmed to use, handwriting and other problems can result. Consider, after all, how tough it is for you to try to write with the "wrong hand" just for fun; imagine how tough it would be if your were required to use that hand all the time.
There is no foolproof that will predict the handedness of your child, but parents can see some clues already even in young toddlers. Some clues will be the hand that a child uses to draw or throw a ball are better predictors of handedness than the hand he uses to hold a spoon.

Source: What to Expect the Toddler Years


  1. At mikey's age, you can't tell the preference of which hand he will be using. Wait until his 3 1/2-4 years old. When andrew was mikey's age he use both of his hand to pick up anything even in writing.

  2. Hi Mira, your topic in interesting. My daughter is left handed just like her dad. I tricked her sometimes to use the right hand but she is comfortable using the left hand.

    Anyway, speaking of left or right hand. I am not sure sa pinas lang ba or in other country din. Satin kase, maraming tayong ganito, ganyan dapat at kung ano pa. Ang dami nating non-sense myth. It's sad though kase we pass it through generation to generation.

  3. Both me and my husband are right handed but Alex will be different from us I think.He 's using his left hand everytime he eats but I forced him to use his right hand :)hope he will change coz I don't like him using his left hand.

  4. Mine, I can't tell. She uses both hands but Hubby was saying we'll figure out later. We are not forcing her this time.

  5. I must confess I usually don't know whether my kids are right- or left handed. So when my son Jan's teacher asked me I mumbled: 'Ehm... I thínk he's lefthanded,' which turned out to be the right answer. But it's not something that I find very interesting otherwise.

    However, when my father was a little lefthanded boy, they tied his left hand behind his back, forcing him to use his right hand! It didn't help much because he's still a lefty, but he can write with both hands!

  6. For Daniel, I can't really tell yet, but I always notice that he uses both hands when he's eating, but uses more oh his right hand when picking something like his toys... I'm a rightie, and so is Dana, but he also can do alot of things using his left hand.

    Anyway, I like that photo of Mikey doing some artwork! Busy busy cute boy!

  7. Have a very Merry Christmas Mira along with your family. God bless.


  8. Wishing you and your family a Merry Xmas!!