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Forcing a hand to use one hand?

My son is 5 and in pre k. Today the o/t teacher said I have to pick which hand my son will use from now on. My sons' pre k teacher has no problems with my son using both hands to write. My son writes fine with both hands. How do you pick a hand for your child? And why does a child have to only write with one hand? Can't a child use both?
I'm afraid I'm going to pick the wrong hand.

Answer Question

Asked by MuddyHuggies at 1:11 PM on Apr. 7, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 14 (1,481 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • It is not up to you or your son's teacher to "pick a hand". You son will automatically start using one hand on his own. I am left-handed and in third grade my teacher told my parents that I was retarded cause I was left-handed and that they needed to teach me how to stop using my left hand. Luckily my parents told the teacher that she was NUTS! Trying to force a child to use one hand over the other is detrimental. Let him be a kid and discover himself!

    Answer by Merjo at 1:15 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • My oldest son (almost 9) writes with either hand. He goes out of his way to practice his handwriting with each hand.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:17 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Definitely get a 2nd opinion - no OT should be telling you that your son needs to "choose a hand"!!

    Answer by missanc at 1:24 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Hey tell his teacher he is going to decide, if he wants to limit himself to just one hand. I don't see anything wrong with him using both, I look at it as a plus!

    Answer by older at 1:26 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • yea i agre with merjo - the child has to pick himself. you canot MAKE him if the teacher doesn't understand this I would find another teacher or school w/e it took

    Answer by MoMoFu at 1:26 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • if it is a matter of paperwork only tell them to put what ever they feel like as long as they don't force it in the class room. if the child can use both hands thy can use both hand. i'd be furious if they told me my kid had to stop doing what worked for him

    Answer by MoMoFu at 1:41 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • I went to edit my reply and I ended up deleting it. grr. I called the school district and they said it's needed on forms which hand he uses. Since my son is special needs the forms must say what hand he uses. I don't see why it matters. I don't want to force my son to use just one hand. My whole family uses both hands. I've always used both of my hands too. It's natural for us to use both hands. I will be taking to his teacher later today to see if we can put down both hands on the forms. Then I will have the forms to show the o/t that both hands can and will be used.
    Thank you all for answering my question. I thought it was just me that thought it was wrong to force a child into using just one hand.

    Answer by MuddyHuggies at 1:55 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Tell the teacher to mind her business. I think it's great that your son is ambitextrous. There is no reason why he has to "pick a hand". The teacher doesn't have the right to say this. I would take it up with the teacher and the principal.

    Answer by offrdngal at 2:22 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • You do NOT make him or anyone else chose which hand he will write with. There are many people who can write well with both or either hand. Tell his teacher that you will not make him chose which hand and she will not either. Tell her if you find out she tries to that you will file complaint against her. My son didn't make up his mind until well into 1st grade and neither of his teachers had a problem with that.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:33 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Is o/t an occupation therapist?  If it is, he or she may be asking because teaching kids how to write is different if they are left handed. The OT may be working on writing skills or other fine motor skills and wants to know what approach to use. Maybe they didn't mean for you to pick a hand. Could they have been asking which he prefers? By kindergarten most kids' handedness is obvious, maybe he or she thought you already knew which he preferred.  I would definitely contact the person who said that to you and ask exactly what he or she meant and ask why this needs be done when he is so young.


    Answer by maxswolfsuit at 5:40 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

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