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Handedness - switching back and forth?


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My 5yo son is learning to write/trace and doing more coloring.  He mostly uses his right hand, but when that hand gets tired, he switches to the left.  His grip is a little better with the right, but his handwriting is equivalent.

 

I'm not pushing him to do much writing, but when he colors, he pushes himself to do more and more until his hand is tired.  In fact, I just made him stop, because he was crying that his hand hurt.  (!!)

 

What's that mean?  And how can I make sure I'm not pushing him one direction or the other?  I'm right-handed. 

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My DS12 is right handed but has weak arm strength for both hands. He still have trouble opening vacuum packed glass jars. I had to make him stop as a young kid when his arm and wrist hurts before he throws stuff out of frustration. He did write with his left hand for fun.

 

My DS11 settled on only right hand around 8 years old. He just settles on his own. His pencil case is in the middle so he can grab pencils and eraser with either hand.

 

For both my kids, I just make sure the grips are one of the correct styles so they don't hurt their wrists. Then I just let them use both. My oldest did tried writing with both hands simultaneously just to see if he could. My extended family is majority right handed but can write short notes with left hand if we injure our writing hand.

Edited by Arcadia
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One of my twins did this, probably until he was about 10 years old. He ultimately decided on using his right hand, but he does many things left-handedly, like batting (baseball) or golfing. It is interesting.

 

(Side note: my twins are mirror-image identical twins. The other twin is solidly right-handed.)

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Some people are just ambidextrous of course.

 

But I had one who wanted to switch, but could not actually do anything with his left hand. I put the kibash on it for school.

 

But I didn't do school with that one til he was six. So I think I'd give a five year old some more time before I said anything.

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My 5yo son is learning to write/trace and doing more coloring.  He mostly uses his right hand, but when that hand gets tired, he switches to the left.  His grip is a little better with the right, but his handwriting is equivalent.

 

I'm not pushing him to do much writing, but when he colors, he pushes himself to do more and more until his hand is tired.  In fact, I just made him stop, because he was crying that his hand hurt.  (!!)

 

What's that mean?  And how can I make sure I'm not pushing him one direction or the other?  I'm right-handed. 

 

One of mine switched back and forth for awhile; I would put eating implements/writing implements in her right hand, and let her go from there. I just made sure that her grip was proper regardless of which hand she was using.

 

If his hand hurts, wouldn't that be because he is holding his crayon improperly?

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My son did that for years until he was about 5.  In fact, he played 2 seasons of T-ball right-handed and it turned out he was left-handed.  By 6, he was definitely left-handed.  My youngest son is starting to do that now, too (he's almost 2) - switching off from right to left...so I'm thinking he might be a lefty like his brother (why do I keep having left-handed kids??).

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Dh was ambidextrous until a teacher TAPED his pencil into his right hand and made him use it.  (He's still bitter about that)  He does every thing else left handed.  He still has horrible handwriting...don't know if it is related.  I don't see any harm in being able to use both hands.

 

Oh, no.  That happened to my sister.  She's actually left-handed, but the school forced her to write with her right hand when she was learning to write.  (And she's still mad about it, too)   :tongue_smilie:

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Dh was ambidextrous until a teacher TAPED his pencil into his right hand and made him use it.  (He's still bitter about that)  He does every thing else left handed.  He still has horrible handwriting...don't know if it is related.  I don't see any harm in being able to use both hands.

That's horrible. 

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One of mine switched back and forth for awhile; I would put eating implements/writing implements in her right hand, and let her go from there. I just made sure that her grip was proper regardless of which hand she was using.

 

If his hand hurts, wouldn't that be because he is holding his crayon improperly?

It hurt because he was on his fourth coloring sheet, the first day he tried coloring inside the design.  He overdid.  He's a little... intense and driven. 

 

I love your quote, btw.

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Dh was ambidextrous until a teacher TAPED his pencil into his right hand and made him use it.  (He's still bitter about that)  He does every thing else left handed.  He still has horrible handwriting...don't know if it is related.  I don't see any harm in being able to use both hands.

 

This is exactly what happened to me. I can still write with my left, but it is slow & uncomfortable.

 

My son is ambidextrous in everything --- writing, sports, arts, ... He shows a slight left hand preference. He is now 7. I want him to stay strong on both hands, so, I tell him to use his right on Tues & Thur and left on the other days...things like that. His baseball coach thought he was trying to switch hit at 7 and I had to explain that it was natural for him---not forced.

Edited by RenaInTexas
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My one daughter took a long time to decide on which hand to use. She eventually picked her left hand.... But she is apparently right handed for everything else. At age 4ish she would mirror write, and has had problems reversing numbers and letters last the normal are. Her handwriting looks awful too.... I have wondered if it would have been better if she had picked her right hand....

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Work on crossing the midline exercises and he'll probably pick one. If he doesn't, he's naturally ambidextrous.

I was going to suggest this. Most kids who go back and forth at that age probably have midline issues.

 

My 6yo still goes back and forth. After some careful watching I noticed he was avoiding crossing the midline. It was little things, like moving a workbook over to the writing hand instead of taking the hand to the book, turning his whole body when a reach or stretch would have worked. If you Google there will be better examples. We made a point to do silly midline exercises with him frequently (dabbing contest anyone?) and it slowly started fading. Now he more obviously favors one hand and he's still pretty good with the other.

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My thoughts are similar - I see no reason to push one hand as long as he doesn't have trouble with exercises that cross the midline. Have him draw (with pencil or a finger) sideways 8s that are big.

 

I'm right-handed in writing. Everything I learn as an adult, I learn ambidextrously. I can draw blood and use a scalpel equally well with either hand and trade hands without thinking. I sign mirror image to most as I learned from a left-handed deaf person.

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We had trouble figuring out if my dd was truly right or left handed as well. Just makes sure that whichever hand they use, they have the correct writing posture for now. By the time he's six he will make more of a choice and if he's truly Ambi, he will likely choose right hand becuse it's a right handed world.

 

My dd eventually showed she was right handed by 6, but she still uses the left hand way more than most right handed people. It's a constant problem with eating, as well. Becusde I'm trying to teach her proper table manners but she switches hands all the time. :)

 

As far as his hand being tired maybe he just loves to color. Or maybe he is holding the crayon way too hard. One of my teachers used to sneak

Up and pull your pencil out of your hand. If it didn't come easily that meant you were gripping too hard. It was a fun way to teach us to try to grip lightly. But that was second grade. He is too young to focus on that right now. :) just saying that coloring or gripping hard may be the reason and nothing to worry about :)

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