Lefty things you should know

Living in a world totally adapted for right-handed people is not an easy task if you're left-handed.

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  • Parents will be able to tell what hand their child prefers when they are between two and three years old. Some children don't really develop as fully left-handed until they are about five, usually when they start holding a pencil and learn how to write.

  • What do you do if your child turns out to be left-handed? How can you help them? Here is my experience as a lefty in a world made for right-handers.

    • Keep in mind that between 5 percent and 10 percent of people are left-handed. It's a skill set you're born with; research even suggests that you may inherit a "leftie gene" from one of your parents. So if one parent is left-handed, your son or daughter is more likely to be a leftie, too.

    • Never try to change your child's dominant hand. There is nothing wrong with using your left hand instead of your right hand. You may need to help your child feel accepted in a right-hand world.

    • Let your child's teacher know that your child is left-handed. It could impact seating arrangements so your child doesn't bump their right-handed classmates.

    • Purchase triangular shape or 6-sided pencils. I've found that lefties handle them better than round pencils - they are more comfortable to hold.

    • Look for quick-drying pens. Left-handers rub their writing with the left side of their hand as they write, smudging the words and leaving a stain on themselves.

    • Buy things specifically made for lefties. An action as simple as cutting a piece of paper can be a big challenge for your left-handed kid, so buy them the types of products that will make their lives much easier.

    • Don't make your child feel different from their friends. Being left-handed is not a disease, so it does not need a cure. Celebrate their left-handedness as a part of their unique personality.

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  • Living in a world where nothing is made for you is complicated: I live it daily. During my classes there are usually no desks for me and I have to sit in an awkward position to just complete my assignments. Learning to cook was a challenge and still is. I've had to learn how to cut with my right hand until I got a pair of leftie scissors.

  • When I was six, realizing that my world would be "upside down" and different than my friends' world wasn't an easy task for me or my family. But I must admit that my mother's endless patience made it possible for me to learn quickly. I also always felt loved, even though I was different. Work on showing that same amount of love and acceptance to anyone in your family who may be left-handed.

  • _This article has been adapted and translated from the original "Cosas de zurdos que debes saber" which was originally published on familias.com.

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Camila, is Chilean and has a passion for public relations and marketing. She's a wife, mother and loves to help strengthen marriages.

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