Raise your left hand and repeat after me: My child is unique and lucky to be left-handed!
On August 13, lefties of the world unite to celebrate “International Left-handers Day”. Left-handers International Inc. began the annual tradition in 1976, all to applaud their right to be a lefty.
Perhaps your family just discovered that they are, in fact, raising a left-handed child. If you and your partner are righties, it might feel daunting to lead your little one around left, when it feels like the rest of creation goes right . Fear not! Below are some tips about bringing up a lefty with confidence in a right-handed world.
Adopt a No-Big-Deal Attitude
“We can do this” is just the attitude you need for raising a lefty. Similar to when your child trips a tiny bit on the playground and your screams of “are you okay?!” elicits an even bigger response from them, now is not the time for overreaction. Talk to your pediatrician, find resources, discuss with his or her teachers, supply them with special tools/equipment when available, and make it apart of their every day life just like anything else. But as a parent, remember…
Left-handers Do Think Differently
It is long proven that the right side of the brain–which controls the left hand–is the side that produces music, art, and emotion. The right side handles the abstract. The left side is more linear, black and white thoughts. A lefty is more flexible in nature, and this could be because they have to constantly challenge themselves in the right-handed world. The other side of their brain gets more of a workout then righties.
Lefties Make for a Distinct Club
It’s helpful to remind your child that they are in really good company. Eight presidents including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama were all left-handed. Babe Ruth, Jimi Hendrix, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Gates, and Orpah have given great gifts to our society as lefties, some at a time when the world offered little support.
There’s Never Been a Better Time to be a Lefty
Ask a lefty from 50 years ago: did you have left-handed scissors? Left-handed spiral notebooks and pencil grippers are now easily available. And gratefully, there is more open communication between teachers and parents nowadays, with schools providing additional support for a left-handed student. You might not be able to change the door knob placement in their classroom, but knowing they can take notes with ease takes some pressure off everyone.
How Many Lefties Are Out There?
A surprising 10 percent of the world is left-handed, yet so many every day items, like appliances and tools, are built for the right-handed. So 700 million people around the globe get to exercise their non-dominant side of their brain every day.
Raise an Advocate
As a parent, you will naturally fall into the advocate role for your child’s left-handedness. Try never to be aggravated when an obstacle arises, rather show your child how to speak up to make a change. Being aware of a way to make slight adjustments, or more importantly, to calmly ask for help when needed, serves to be the best role model. Self-awareness leads to self-advocating–your child’s necessary skill for when you are not around.
Happy International Left-Handers Day!
Sources: rd.com, parents.com, Oprah.com
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