Left-handed readers send words of encouragement


Earlier this month, I wrote about parenting — and clashing with — the first left-handed child in our family: my 7-year-old son.

While I anticipated some scathing emails, none came. My inbox was instead, full of encouraging, informative (some concerned I would force my lefty son to become a righty) emails from other lefties.

“Celebrate this kid and try to understand the situation that we left-handers find ourselves in,” wrote Neil Webster of Springfield. “Everything in his environment was designed by and for right-handed people.”

While I never considered being left-handed a disadvantage, I also never considered unique safety issues.

Webster continued, “He needs to understand his vulnerabilities as well. Machines and tools are designed for the right-handed. He needs to be especially safety conscious. Motorcycles are right handed … guns are right handed, especially rifles.”

I had no idea. Guns and motorcycles aren’t on my hobby list, but they could one day be on my son’s. (Can you hear me screeching in motherly protest? Eek!)

“As a firearm instructor in years past, issues with not so much which hand was used, but which eye was dominant became a factor in shooting skill development,” said a reader named Rick.

“Most individuals are dominant with the eye on the same side as their dominant hand. A few are cross-eye dominant. Doing an activity that utilizes/requires hand-eye coordination is much easier when on the same side.”

Dr. Susan Marine of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, is also a lefty. She said, “It was difficult as a child always being different and having trouble learning to do things. Similar to the child in your article, my left-handedness was inconsistent. It took a long time to realize fine motor skills functioned best in my left hand and my right arm was stronger than my left.”

Marine said learning new skills is still a challenge as an adult.

“When I cannot predict if I will be right-handed or left-handed, I still try to learn the standard method and switch to something else or make my own modifications if the right-handed method does not work.”

There might be more left-handed desks in schools these days, but we do live in a (mostly) right-handed world.

Webster made another good point, “(your son) will grow up being able to use both hands nearly equally. We lefties work with both hands, and that can be a huge advantage.”

He went on to admit, he’d rather go under the knife with a surgeon capable of using both hands equally, than a surgeon with one dominant hand.

He’s not quite ready for the operating room, but my son has an advantage in that he can bat left-handed or right-handed, shoot hoops with either hand and throw a mean left-hook when a right-hook is expected.

Any thoughts on anger management?


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week
3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week

We’ve really got to hand it to this year’s Winter Restaurant Week participants. The menus that keep rolling out are top-notch, as well as a great value. It would be almost impossible to attempt to try every Restaurant Week menu.  So to ease your foodie anxieties and help you decide, we’ve selected three menus that we think sound...
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing

The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant can be life-altering, which makes it that much more important to conduct a home pregnancy test when it will provide the most accurate results. In fact, according to a local obstetrician, the timing of a home pregnancy test is much more vital than the type of pregnancy test a woman chooses from her local...
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests

Having surgery to treat obesity may seem like a drastic option, but a new study suggests it may actually be a safer route than more traditional options. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Clalit Research Institute in Israel, recently published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association...
Get fit: 3 mistakes to avoid while exercising

One of the greatest benefits of exercise is that it enables you to be more in tune with your body. During a workout you learn how your body reacts to different types of activity. Uncomfortable responses associated with exercise such as muscle soreness are normal, while other situations can be an indication of a more serious problem. Over-training and...
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton

Growing up in Dayton left an indelible imprint on Bill and Erma Bombeck – and they, in turn, now leave an enduring legacy in their hometown. Bill Bombeck died Jan. 12 in Phoenix, Ariz., and he soon will be buried alongside his wife in Dayton’s historic Woodland Cemetery. But the couple will live on in the hearts of many friends in the Dayton...
More Stories