My Little Lefties
Although being a lefty is certainly not frowned upon or discourages as it once was, left-handed children living in a right-handed world face some challenges that aren't always obvious to us parents (parents who are right handed, like myself).
Left-handed children can struggle to adjust to everyday tasks such as dressing, handwriting and learning to play sports or musical instruments.
When I realized that my daughter was left-handed, I was thrilled. Really, I was! I wasn't worried at all. My little brother was left-handed as a small child AND his teachers 'taught' him to write with his right hand. In fact, they forced him! And to this day, he does everything left-handed--EXCEPT write. He hates to write and will only print if he has too. I was not too worried that I wouldn't be able to teach my daughter to tie her shoes or anything of that nature.
I was worried that my daughter would not be able to articulate her frustration or confusion as she struggles to master new skills as a lefty. When my little one came along and started to use her left hand, to my utter amazement, I realized that I have two lefties. What are the odds on that one!
I hope my girl's development and self esteem will not be impacted by their left-handed-ness. Left-handed children may be uncomfortable with the fact that they do things differently than their right-handed peers. My daughters have yet to tell me they want to be right-handed though (which is good) I don't want to have to "convince" my daughters that it is OK to be different. Because they are not different, they are simply left-handed.
Historically, lefties were scorned and feared. The word "Sinister" derives from the Latin word for left (really, isn't that interesting??!). Even the devil is traditionally depicted as being left-handed. In earlier times, children who favored their left hand were encouraged to use their right hand instead (case in point--my brother, who is only 38).
Although these practices and beliefs are no longer prevalent, left-handers still live in a world that favors the right-handed majority. Scissors, musical instruments, notebooks and everyday kitchen tools are designed for the convenience of right-handers.
Adults sometimes aren't able to competently show children how to do things the left-handed way. Even more confusing, many children fall into a grey area and use their right hand for some activities and their left hand for others -- this is the case with my daughter. Although my little one uses her left hand 100% of the time.
A little extra effort to see the world from your lefty's perspective can make a big difference.
I embrace my Little Lefties!