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Lefties and scissors


athena1277
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My 5yo dd is a leftie.  She has done a little cutting with scissors, but will be doing more in her coop class this year.  Is it better to buy her left-handed scissors or have her learn right handed since that’s what most scissors are?  

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I bought left-handed children's scissors for my ds's. At least I had 2 dc that could use them, as they weren't cheap. Totally worth it, though, because the frustration of using right handed scissors was easily solved by supplying the right tool for them.

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Get left-handed.

It will hurt her hand.  (Be uncomfortable.)

Some kids who are left-handed can do more with their right hands, and some really can’t do much.

My daughter really can’t do much.  My MIL noticed her using her left hand while she was still a baby, and she never had a “uses both hands” phase.  
 

I think some left-handed kids are a lot more flexible.  My daughter really isn’t.  
 

A lot of scissors now say they are for either right- or left-handed (for little kids).  Those were fine for my daughter.  The two arms would be the same length and the circles the same size.  Those were fine for her.  
 

Edit:  I think look and see what is working, though.  It can depend.  But there is never a default of purposely doing something left-handed and hoping it works out.  That is really potentially putting a child at a huge disadvantage and making them feel like they are bad at things.  It’s not worth it.

Kids who can do either way are just like that, it’s not something their mom did.

If your daughter is like that — left handed but with a lot of mixed dominance — that is just how things have worked out.  
 

Edit:  I do think there are kids who are fine to cut with their right hand while writing with their left hand — but I don’t think that’s because someone taught them to cut with their right hand!  I think some kids are just that way.

And in cutting — both hands are important, the hand that holds things is also really important, not just the hand that holds the scissors.  

Edited by Lecka
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I just looked on Amazon — there is a big selection of ambidextrous scissors.  I would see ones this way at many stores, too.  They aren’t hard to find.

The arm and circles are just the same.  

I can cut easily with these scissors using my right hand.  They do work for my daughter.

I am in favor of left-handed scissors too!  But these did work for my daughter when she was little, and they are easy to find in little scissors for little kids.

If you have a preference for tiny “handed” scissors, I would say get left handed!

But a decent number of left-handed kids might use either hand at this age, too.  You can see what works best.  
 

My daughter always used her left hand with the ambidextrous scissors and they worked fine for my right-handed sons, too.

 

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I never had a pair of left handed scissors until last year when I treated myself to a pair of left-handed fabric scissors.  I used to scoff at the need for left handed scissors, but now I repent of the error of my ways. 😁 I always thought I was just "bad at cutting" that my cuts were often jagged.  I can cut perfectly well with the left-handed fabric scissors so I do now believe they make a great deal of difference to a left-handed person being able to cut with greater skill and precision.

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I use right handed scissors and always have. The only reservation I would have  about her using left handed scissors is that they are rare out in the world. They are hard to source and I’ve never seen left handed kitchen scissors, pinking shears, the small sewing scissors, for example. She also wouldn’t be able to borrow scissors if she should need some and be without hers. 

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DS is a closeted leftie—he does everything like a left hander except write. With writing, it took him several years to decide which hand to use; we didn’t intervene figuring it would sort itself out. Even so, he holds his arm and hand in that awkward, kind of over the page way that a lot of lefties do. 
 

The few times he used scissors as a kid he just used standard scissors but I think he cut mostly using his left hand. I doubt he’s used them much since his handedness (kinda) got sorted out.
 

I would think knowing how to use standard scissors would be useful for a leftie, but if they use them often a lefthanded pair would probably make their life easier. 

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31 minutes ago, TechWife said:

I use right handed scissors and always have. The only reservation I would have  about her using left handed scissors is that they are rare out in the world. They are hard to source and I’ve never seen left handed kitchen scissors, pinking shears, the small sewing scissors, for example. She also wouldn’t be able to borrow scissors if she should need some and be without hers. 

This, exactly! I learned with right handed scissors and I don't regret it. I can use left handed scissors if I have to, but I much prefer the right handed ones.

Edited by Catwoman
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51 minutes ago, Junie said:

BTW, today is left-handers day, so happy lefty day to all of you!!

Thanks! I had no idea it was left-handers day, but I just made plans to celebrate with chocolate. Because chocolate. 😉 

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THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AMBIDEXTROUS SCISSORS. THOSE ARE A LIE.

Left-handed scissors are jointed 'backwards' from right-handed scissors, meaning that when you cut, you can SEE the cutting line and the scissors move naturally with your hand in the natural movement. So-called "lefty-righty" scissors are RIGHTY scissors with weird handles. They are NOT a substitute for left-handed scissors, and I advise anybody who thinks so to get a proper pair of left-handed scissors and try cutting a printed line on a piece of paper using them in the right hand.

Unless your child uses her right hand when using scissors I advise you to buy left-handed scissors. They're inexpensive, and you can just bring them with you if you expect to go somewhere where you need to use scissors.

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4 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AMBIDEXTROUS SCISSORS. THOSE ARE A LIE

Interesting.  Because I bought Fiscars kids' scissors for my kids when they were little., but now I will keep that in mind.  I just tried them and they cut for either hand. I didn't follow a line, but I never noticed a problem when dd was little. One kid was right handed, the other, left.  My lefty grew up not knowing there was such a thing as left handed scissors.  So as she got older, she just grabs the right handed pair and adapted with her left. I am left handed, but cut with my right, so it never occurred to me that she was left handed everything.  I would let your child try both and go with the stronger hand.

When my daughter got into soccer as a teen, the coach asked if she was right or left footed. Huh? Not knowing much about soccer, it never occurred to me that one chooses the left if they are left handed. Again, I naturally kick right...ah, the things we learn!

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My understanding based on what other people tell me (and seen here) is that everyone has their own degree of need. 
My daughter has never had left handed anything, except her softball glove. It didn’t occur to me, because nothing was left handed in my house growing up with a left handed mom and sister. 

My daughter bats righty, but nothing else.


That doesn’t mean it isn’t super important for other people.

Side note: my grandmother sent my mom to school with a letter forbidding them from “turning her right handed.” 

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With seeing other posts — I agree my daughter now at age 12 could use “whatever” scissors to do a little cutting.

It’s not like when she was little.

I think she would truly want/need some special-order scissors to use for anything more than the most minimal use.

But when she was a little 5-year-old just learning to cut?  What purpose is there in not providing her scissors that she can use more easily, while she was learning?

I don’t think it is the way things work that you *start* with right-handed scissors.  

I think you start with whatever will be the best, and then people can often be more flexible as they get much older, or just be sure to bring their own scissors (which frankly — I am sure my daughter would be completely capable of doing).

And there are definitely children who are flexible with it from an early age, but I think that is natural to them.

It would have been miserable for my daughter, and to what purpose?  Because honestly I think if she “has” to use right handed scissors now in some minimal way, she can, but it is from being 12 and not because she was made to use that kind at an earlier age.

A lot of things have gotten easier as she has gotten older, but not because of making her be uncomfortable or artificially poorly coordinated while she was so young.

But she can use different things now and be okay for a minimal usage, just because of being older.  But she still prefers left-handed things, and it doesn’t somehow prevent her from making do at other times.  
 

It is one of those things where I don’t think it is hard to order left-handed, and I also don’t think that it’s required to “learn” with right-handed in order to be able to use right-handed, in a pinch, at an older age.  

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Note: You can be left-footed but right-handed, or the other way around. It's weird, but a lot of people are cross-dominant in that way - left is preferred for the eye or foot, but right for the hand or ear, or some other mix.

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7 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Note: You can be left-footed but right-handed, or the other way around. It's weird, but a lot of people are cross-dominant in that way - left is preferred for the eye or foot, but right for the hand or ear, or some other mix.

Yes.  I'm left-footed and I'm right-handed except for playing pool.  

When dh and I were first married, we met some friends to play pool.  I knew that one of the couple was left-handed, so I thought it would work out well to have two righties and two lefties.  Except he played pool right handed. 😉  

OP, if your daughter cuts left-handed, I would get her lefty scissors.  But if she cuts right handed, I would just leave it alone.

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I would get left-handed scissors!  My dd suffered with right-handed and ambidextrous scissors for years.  It wasn't until she was a sophomore in high school that we got specifically left-handed scissors.  She couldn't believe what a difference it made for her!  I feel badly for waiting so long.  (Ambidextrous scissors are really not the same at all as left-handed scissors.)  

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