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2-21-00 Question 7

Dear Preschool Teacher,
    I am having some difficulty with a child exhibiting trouble with fine motor skills. This seems to be in using his left hand only. The problem is this is the hand he chooses to use. I have seen him use both hands for cutting, drawing, and writing. His skills are wonderful and age appropriate with his right hand. However, he INSISTS on using his left hand which he has little control over. I am at a loss. Should I remind him to switch hands? He instinctively uses his left hand on all projects. HELP!!

Dear Ambidextrous?,
    Your question was a hot topic among the "Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff. Below are the answers.
The Preschool Teacher

Dear Ambidextrous?,
    From all that I have learned, you need to let him use which ever hand he chooses to use. Maybe he is not good with his left hand yet, but give him time to build up the muscles in it. He may be one of those lucky few who can use both in life. Encourage him to use what is most comfortable and then let him take his time trying to use it;)
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

Dear Ambidextrous?,
    What age is the child?  A young child may not have a dominant hand.  Let him/her explore his environment with both hands.  A dominant hand is more important around the age of 6. Parents tend to emphasize a hand dominance similar to their own, even though the hand may be different.  Observe the situation for now.  
Good luck!
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

Dear Ambidextrous?,
I think it's best to allow the child to choose the hand (s)he is most comfortable with.  I have seen several students use one hand to write and the other to eat.  Best not to force a child to use one hand or the other.  In time, he'll figure out which hand
"works" better, even though you can see which one's best.  Give it a few months.
"Ask the Preschool Teacher" staff member

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