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When Do You Know If Your Kid Is Right- Or Left-handed?

By dadcamp |

right handedMy 5-year-old and I were throwing rocks in a pond this weekend. I was trying to show him how to let go at the top or bottom of the motion when I noticed he was switching hands. I asked which he preferred and he said both.

When we came inside to practice his printing books, he grabbed the crayon in his right hand.

When we play baseball and street hockey, he goes left.

I’m confused. So I did some research to find out when your kid goes righty or left.

Laura Jana is a pediatrician with Babycenter and says that most kids switch things up until they’re about 6. Right where my guy is.

Hand dominance is a genetic thing. My sister and I are right, my brother is left. My wife is right. My kids will most likely be right handed, as is shown by their preference for handwriting already.

But what about the sports? Why does my son write with his right, but throw, shoot, and hit with his left?

That is called cross-dominance and here comes the scary part — it’s a trait that pops up in those with learning disabilities.

The link is the brain likes everything to be lined up. If you’re using your right eye, but left foot to do things, wires can get crossed and some say it can lead to learning difficulties.

I’m so not worrying about that (yet), I’m just glad my baseball-loving kid likes to throw with his left hand. Time to work on that nasty slider.

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About dadcamp

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DadCAMP is Buzz Bishop, a dad, broadcaster, writer, and runner from Calgary, Alberta. When not working the mic on XL103, or wrangling his two boys, he's always training for another Team Diabetes marathon somewhere in the world. Read bio and latest posts → Read Buzz's latest posts →

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One thought on “When Do You Know If Your Kid Is Right- Or Left-handed?

  1. Cariad says:

    I’m a leftie, my mum said they could tell as soon as they put a pen (or pencil or crayon) in my hand.

    Everything I don’t think about I do left-handed, apart from holding a knife and fork. I’ve always eaten like a right-hander.

    If I’m learning something new, like playing guitar or playing golf, I’ve found that it actually makes no difference which hand I use. The activity feels so alien to me that if I’m learning from scratch I might as well learn right-handed. It’s actually a benefit because specialist left-handed guitars, golf clubs, etc are more expensive and there isn’t as much choice.

    So yeah, no learning difficulties to speak off. There might just be some odd things that your kid does with his other hand, or perhaps they don’t feel much difference when it comes to certain activities. This will come in v useful!

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