Left handed question? — The Bump
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Left handed question?

My son is 4 yrs and in preschool now. He has always disliked coloring and writing. We recently have been working with him more and he writes with his left hand. He refuses to use his right. When he colors, he just scribbles all over and gets nothing in the lines. He tells me that he is just not good at coloring and writing.

I am wondering if anyone who has experience with their child being left handed if they were very frustrated with writing and coloring early on? DH and I are both right handed so I think its very strange to have a left handed child! He does use his right for other things. He also gets very frustrated with scissors.

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Re: Left handed question?

  • jlw2505jlw2505 member
    My older DD is a lefty and has never had an issue.  We have just had to learn how to show how to do things, make sure we buy left handed scissors and stuff like that.  Writing and color are a motor skill that just take some kids longer to grasp than others.  My DD was exposed to coloring at a young age at daycare and she worked on it a lot as they do arts and crafts stuff daily at daycare/preschool/prek.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Both my girls are lefties and my husband and I are both right handed,. It's kind of strang.it may be he just needs a little time. Just be patient.
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  • Your son is probably a leftie, and he should be encouraged to use his left hand, if that's the most comfortable for him.  Kids can also have what's called "weak lateral dominance" which causes them to have trouble choosing a hand.  Sometimes kids who have weak lateral dominance seem uncoordinated, but they can blossom into ambidextrous teens later on. 

    My DH and I are both right-handed, but we have one left-handed child.  Both of my children struggle with fine motor coordination, and learning to write was a challenge for both.  DD also has weak lateral dominance (as many lefties do.) At ages 7 and 11, neither have particularly great handwriting.  Your son may dislike writing and drawing because he's a leftie who has always been encouraged to use his right.  Or, he may dislike drawing and writing because he has trouble with fine motor skills.  Or both.

    That being said, my daughter always enjoyed drawing and coloring.  My son has never been as into it.  One thing I have noted is that when he draws, my son likes to draw pictures that show actions instead of objects or people.  He draws mostly weather, movement, and explosions.  He'll occasionally throw in an insect or a vehicle.  He never draws things that typically appear in girls' drawings: people, flowers, houses, and animals.  If you just look at his pictures, they often look like a lot of abstract lines and squiggles.  It's not until he explains the action that you can really "get" what he was drawing.

    I read an article once that said most boys draw this way.  Unfortunately for little boys, most people think a "good" drawing is one that shows objects.  So, little boys don't usually get a lot of positive reinforcement for their drawings early on, and this can discourage them from liking to draw.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • MrsSRMrsSR member

    My husband and I are both lefties (although I do more things righty than he does).

    I have very nice writing and loved to color and do fine motor type things as a child.

    DH's writing is nice when he tries.  Usually he doesn't care and just scrawls anything down.  You should see his signature.

    He also enjoyed coloring as a child.

    I don't think it has to do anything with what hand you write with.  As a teacher I've had lefties with bad writing, righties with bad writing, lefties who love to draw, righties who hate it.  I think it just depends on the child really.

    At a young age it might have more to do with their fine motor control.  I'd work on some things to build up those small muscles in his hands and see if that helps any.

  • EXL311EXL311 member
    My daughter is left-handed and has always enjoyed writing and coloring/drawing.  My son however who is right-handed has never enjoyed it.  I think it depends more on the child than what hand they use to write with. 
    Dee Dee DS Elijah Xin 3/11/05 DD Evangeline Mei 8/24/06
  • rakle99rakle99 member
    I don't think this has anything to do with him being lefthanded. Does he go to preschool? If so, maybe talk to his teacher about how his coloring and drawing skills are compared to the other kids. The things you are describing seem to be related to motor skills and could be the result of your son being a 'late bloomer', or having low muscle tone, or he could just be trying to do things that are more difficult than his motor skills allow. If you are concerned you may want to set up an OT eval to get a professional opinion. If he is frustrated with writing this early there is a program called "Handwriting without Tears" that is really cool. Good luck!
  • I agree that it sounds as if he needs OT and this is not a left/right issue. 

    My son has delayed fine motor skills.  He is a righty, but always hated art, writing, cutting, etc.  He cannot write as fast as he thinks.  We got him into private OT (and later school OT and extra help with handwriting) and he has made great improvements!  Get him tested and start privately if you need to. 

    Try to get him tested / on track to receive OT as soon as he starts school.  I had to PUSH and PUSH and PUSH for DS (even though he was tested and I gave the results to the school) and it took 18 months for him to receive help at school (even though his teachers kept saying how horrible and illegible his handwriting was). 

    I was a lefty and never hated coloring or drawing.  Some things were a pain, especially sports when coaches couldn't show me how to do things, and I needed the lefty scissors, but overall I had no problems.

  • I would second the idea of OT.  My son did private OT for a year, and it made a huge difference.  His OT used the "handwriting without tears" program, and it worked well.

    He has relapsed a little since he stopped seeing her, but he can keep up with the writing demands of first grade. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Dd always picked up things with her left hand so I automatically help her do things lefty except she throws righty. I would be frustrated if someone tried to get me to write lefty since it is not natural for me. 
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • DD is a lefty and has never had an issue.  DS is 4 and switches between left and right a lot when coloring and using scissors, but it's pretty clear he's right-handed.  He does get frustrated a lot but I think it's just because it's so tough to be a 4yr old ;)
    SS10 - SD9 - DD7 - DS5 - DS born 10/3/12
  • DH is right handed and I am left.

    DD#1 is left handed and DS is right handed.  Too early to tell about DD#2 and DD#3.

    Both of our older two have always loved to color, draw and write.  DH homeschools our kids, so he had to learn how to teach her to write/hold a pencil, but we have had no other issues.

    DD#1 likes to make up stories and create her own books now.  So great to see!

    DD#1 11/7/04 DS#1 6/24/06 Chemical Pregnancy 6/08 DD#2 1/28/10 after secondary infertility, Clomid, & acupuncture missed m/c 6/2010 at 8 weeks (baby stopped growing @ 5.5) DS born sleeping 1/13/2011 due to cord accident at 22 weeks. DD#3 3/10/2012
  • DD is a leftie and the only one in our family.  She did not choose her dominant hand until kindergarten.  She has always been advanced in her drawing skills.  My husband is the same so she comes by it naturally.  Her handwriting is not the greatest, though, and she has greatly improved in this area this year (first grade).  She has had to work on switching her b/d letters and number 3 and 9.
  • My son is a lefty. I don't remember him ever getting irritated with coloring but it has never been his favorite thing to do. He's 9 years old and just got out of 3rd grade, and writing is his weakest subject. I am not sure if it is because he is left handed or because he doesn't like to write period.

    My husband and my brother are lefted handed, so we weren't surprised to see that my son was the same.

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