Yesterday I got a WhatsApp message from one of my Facebook friends, she wanted to know how to stop her 2 year old from using her left hand!
From the little I know about this matter I quickly discouraged her from even thinking about doing that, I explained that the way our brains are wired are affected if we change the dominant hand that is natural to the individual. Please teachers and parents, leave this thing alone. We may have societal reasons why we disapprove, but that is just what it is societal. Do not frustrate a young one and make their lives more difficult than they are right now by forcing them to use the right hand instead of the left.
I have seen first hand how this thing about not wanting people to be left handed damages and affects people negatively. I once knew a child whom it was obvious was left handed we could tell even at 2 that that was the dominant hand for him. But by 4 plus he was using the right hand. His teacher noticed the change, we then brought it up with Mum. She was shocked! She knew her child was left handed and was fine with it. So was this change natural or was it forced? It was forced, by the house girl, she thought it was an abomination and decided to right the wrong.
The result was: bad handwriting and difficulty in getting new concepts, which was a new problem as he was previously quite quick at grasping new things introduced to him. Try as we did the child struggled to use either hand well. I am not a psychologist but I know that looking at the child a lot of confusion was going on in his little head. Why? Just because someone decided that the left-hand was not good and useful as a persons dominant hand.
It is a known fact that at least 10% of the world population is left handed! That to me is a lot. The worst thing though is that nearly everything in our world is made for right handed people. I am appalled by the amount of stress simple activities like writing, using a pair of scissors or even zipping up a pair of trousers can become a stress point for a left handed person.
We need to become more aware of how to help our left handed brothers, sisters, children and colleagues enjoy life. Did you know that 13th August was the Left Handers Day? There are a lot of famous people who are left handed, President Obama, for one who happens to be my most favourite of American Presidents! He beat all the odds, hands down, left hand and all. A black man, not even completely black and then he is left handed, that did not stop him though. He went on to rule the world because he did not let his left handedness stop him, neither did his mum stop him from using the hand that was most dominant.
I started searching for more information. There are a lot of myths out there, but one thing is sure, a lot of people are left handed, we must accept and embrace this fact and help left handed people as best we can. I have resolved to learn more and get more resources for my teachers to help the few children we have that are left handed. I found some great resources at Anything Left-Handed. Life is difficult enough let us not make it worse by discouraging our children who are left handed.