left handed

LEFT HANDER’S DAY – HAVING A LEFT-HANDED CHILD

On left hander’s day, I thought I’d dedicate a post to our very own leftie – Delilah!

Having a left-handed child isn’t really any different to having a right-handed child. The main challenge is writing. When right-handed people write the are moving away from what they have written, not the case for a leftie. So Delilah definitely used to have a mucky left hand from it constantly running over what she had written. Something we also observed in Delilah at a young age what letter formation. She would regularly write some letters back to front. Her nursery teacher noticed this and they’d never come across it before. We’re sure it was a quirk of her left-handedness and she did eventually grow out of it. 

Why are people left-handed?

left-handed

I can’t find that any source with a definitive reason for why some people are left-handed. About 13% of the world’s population is left-handed, although this ratio fluctuates in regions. It is thought to be genetic and definitely runs in families. Researchers have recently located a gene they believe “makes it possible to have a left-handed child”. So, if you have that gene, one or more of your children may be left-handed, whereas, without it, you will only have right-handers – sorry! The good news is, that if you are left-handed yourself, you have that gene and will pass it on through the generations!
 
The way the brain works is incredibly complex. A simplified explanation will give you some understanding of where our left-hand dominance comes from. The brain is “cross-wired” so that the left hemisphere controls the right-handed side of the body and vice-versa. Hand dominance is connected with brain dominance on the opposite side – which is why we say that only left-handers are in their right minds!
 
Left hemisphere (right-hand control)
Right hemisphere (left-hand control)
Speech, Language, Writing, Logic, Mathematics, Science, this is the LINEAR THINKING MODE Music, Art, Creativity, Perception, Emotions, Genius, this is the HOLISTIC THINKING MODE
A creative person

Delilah actually used both her hands equally when she was little. It took some time for her left-hand dominance to really show itself.

Now that I’ve researched left-handedness a little more the traits associated with the right brain really stand out. She definitely a performer and very creative. I’ve also noticed her being more emotionally expressive recently too, but that could be hormones! I’m not sure about genius yet but there’s time.

The interesting thing is that she did develop quickly at a child in terms of speech, language and writing. So, does hand dominance actually indicate which side of the brain is stronger when it comes to a person personality?

Definitely genetic

I’m no geneticist but I am certain left-handedness it’s genetic in some way. I’m one of four children, my eldest sister and I are right-handed whereas my middle two sisters are left-handed. Both our parents are right-handed but I’m not sure about grandparents. Helen is right handed too and only one of our four children is left-handed. That tells me that somewhere in my family genetics there is a left-handed trait.

Apparently, there is a growing weight of evidence from linkage and genome-wide association studies suggesting that genetic variance in handedness cannot be explained by a single gene. I won’t argue with people far cleverer than I am on this subject, I can only draw on personal knowledge and experience.

Left hander’s problems

Sometimes I feel a little sad for lefties though as the world does seem set up for right-handers. Even if you go back to medieval castle design, the spiral staircases were designed so that defenders coming down had room to swing their swords with their right hands, thus assuming all the attackers coming up the stairs were using their right hands for the swords. I like an underdog and would love to have seen a leftie invading using his left hand!

More of a US problem would be the integrated desk and chair – always set up for right-handers. You have to find special scissors for left-handers and those pens on a chain at the bank are always set to the right as well. Tin openers are also discriminatory – have you ever seen one design for a left-hander? And don’t even get me started on Delilah having to write on a whiteboard!

One thing that always makes me smile is when I set our dining table for a meal. I was brought up with the “proper” way of using a knife and fork – i.e. for in the left hand and knife in the right. I still do this and it feels unnatural to use them the other way around. However, everyone else apart from Delilah will switch their cutlery around. So, at least Delilah’s left-handedness will serve her well if she ever goes for a posh meal or is invited to tea with the Queen.

Famous Lefties

I thought I would do a bit of research and see how many famous folks are also lefties. I was surprised by some of these…

  • The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William)
    Well, I never knew that!
    Prince William left handed
  • Barrack Obama
    At least 4 from the last 8 US presidents have been left-handed.
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Paul McCartney
    Now, I had noticed he played his guitar left-handed so I did know this one.
  • Bart Simpson
    Okay, I know he’s not real but it’s cool that Matt Groening made his left-handed.
    Bart Simpson left-handed
  • Pele
    Lefties really are in excellent company!
  • Julia Roberts
  • Justin Bieber
  • Angelina Jolie
Does it matter?

Does it matter if you have a left-handed child? In a word – no. Sometimes being different is good.

Are you a leftie? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Dave


 

4 thoughts on “LEFT HANDER’S DAY – HAVING A LEFT-HANDED CHILD”

  1. Lol – I didn’t even know that there was an annual lefties day – our youngest has now settled on being left handed – she would swap between the two but is now writing consistently with her left hand – my Dad is left handed so not sure if it runs in the family but the only consideration we have done so far is to buy her some left handed scissors. Certainly this post has been food for thought on what else to do 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. It funny how you say she has settled on her left hand. I did notice with our D that she seemed to take longer to settle than her older sisters – I wonder if this in subconscious pressure from people to thrust pencils and crayons into the right hand?

  2. I knew there was a Left Handers Day but had forgotten when it was. I’m left handed and so is my mum. I actually cut with my right hand though, because I could never get on with left handed scissors!

    There does seem to be a tiny proprotion of us compared to right handers, lol. Would be interesting if anyone actually found out what causes the differences one day.

    Zania

    1. My research seemed to suggest there was a genetic element too it. Then I found it was disproved. Who knows? Thanks for reading and commenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *