Left Handed/Right Handed ?? — The Bump
Pre-School

Left Handed/Right Handed ??

Hi.  I usually lurk on this board since I have a 4 yr old daughter. 

I was wondering if some of you moms could answer my question.  

At what age did your child determine if they were left handed or right handed?

DD still uses both hands for everything.  She just turned 4.  She will switch on and off while coloring, eating, etc and really doesn't favor one hand over the other.  We're trying to practice writing and coloring neatly and she's having a difficult time.  She switches the crayon from one hand to the other constantly and gets frustrated over holding it properly.  I've tried showing her left handed and right handed. 

Thank you ladies.

Re: Left Handed/Right Handed ??

  • imageJillBrady:

    Hi.  I usually lurk on this board since I have a 4 yr old daughter. 

    I was wondering if some of you moms could answer my question.  

    At what age did your child determine if they were left handed or right handed?

    DD still uses both hands for everything.  She just turned 4.  She will switch on and off while coloring, eating, etc and really doesn't favor one hand over the other.  We're trying to practice writing and coloring neatly and she's having a difficult time.  She switches the crayon from one hand to the other constantly and gets frustrated over holding it properly.  I've tried showing her left handed and right handed. 

    Thank you ladies.

    I am interested in hearing responses to this as my 3.5yr old DD is the same way as your DD.

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  • I am pretty sure two of my three are lefties (one of the twins and the 2 year old).  The 4 year old still switches too.  Is your LO in preschool?  I had the teachers watch my son last year and they said he would switch depending on the activity - eating, coloring, reaching for things, etc.  I am going to have them keep an eye on it again this year. 

    I have noticed he gets frustrated with anything involving smaller hand movements.  I think it's because we show him right handed which is uncomfortable for him but he can't translate that to his left.

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  • I don't know exactly when they start to prefer one hand over the other. But I know they are both righties.
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  • DS was really late to favor a hand. In his case, a piece of this was related to his ASD/LD issues. Most kids have a strong preference by around age 3.  It's not usually a problem if they swap out hands when tired, but if she's coloring one side of the paper with one hand and switching to the other hand for the other side of the paper it could indicate issues crossing the midline.

  • DD already has a strong preference for her right hand (age 3), but I'm not sure what's typical. A year ago, she was definitely still switching.
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  • DD switched hands until she turned 3 and now she's right-handed.  I never mentioned anything to her about switching hands or preferring one more than the other.  I only stepped in when I noticed her struggling to get the food into her mouth when she used a fork or spoon or when she became frustrated while scribbling and even then, my interference was minimal.  But, being as though she was (and still is) extremely independent, that wasn't always easy.  I found that by letting her do what was comfortable for her worked out best.  
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  • DS isn't 3 yet, but he is just starting to favor his left although he doesn't use it exclusively. 
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  • DS has always favored his left hand but by 18 months I knew he was definitely going to be left handed.

    DD, however, will be 3 next month and still uses both hands equally as often and as well. 

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  • My daughter is a lefty and did what you described until she was almost 3.  She is exclusivly left handed.  Your daughter may be ambidexterous (sp).
  • DD (32 months) is starting to show a preference for her right hand, but she still uses both.
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  • My kids were always domanate with 1 hand.  My 5 year old is a lefty and my 3 year old is a righty.  They just always were that way.  They do certain things with both hands but always had a clear one that they used more.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • I think by 4 if they are still doing this, an OT evaluation is recommended.  She could have issues crossing mid-line or she could have low muscle tone and they get tired and switch a lot which my 3 yo does or he will use both hands to hold crayon.  He does get OT and he has low muscle tone.  They should have a preference by 3 but no later than 4 I am told.  Worth a shot for an evaluation....it only helps now!
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