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Children's Fiction > Question for teachers, and parents of left-handed children

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message 1: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 257 comments I am about to e-publish a story for 7 - 10 yrs olds about a left-handed child and the problems she encounters being left-handed. I had intended to put a short chapter at the end for parents and teachers to help them recognise left-handedness and what resources are available and what they can do to help their left-handed child.
Should I address the adults in this last chapter (which will give more opportunity for useful information) or should I keep it at the level of a 7 - 10 yrs old?
Your comments will be welcome.

message 2: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 88 comments IMO if the story is geared toward 7-10 years old then I would address the last chapter to them.

message 3: by Sharon (last edited Jan 26, 2011 10:55AM) (new)

Sharon (scpennington) | 21 comments What a cool idea! Having grown up as a left-handed woman, I would say address a special chapter at the end for parents, teachers, adults in general. I remember those who tried to get me to eat right-handed so things went smoother at the dinner table, tried to get me to use scissors right-handed, the list goes on and on. Left-handed people, southpaws as my husband calls us, are not broken. Simply unique. And some of the most creative people I know.

What might be an interesting addendum, would be to name some famous southpaws - so these kids know they are in good company.

Sharon (Cupp Pennington)

message 4: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 257 comments Thanks. I am going to have a 'note to parents and teachers' at the end of the book. There are lots of useful websites and there is even a left-handers club online. You'd be surprised at the number of items you can now buy that are designed especially for left-handers. I will certainly have a list of famous left-handers. I make a point of watching out for them.

But Can You Drink The Water? But Can You Drink The Water? by Jan Hurst-Nicholson The Breadwinners The Breadwinners by Jan Hurst-Nicholson Something to Read on the Plane Something to Read on the Plane by Jan Hurst-Nicholson Mystery at Ocean Drive Mystery at Ocean Drive by Jan Hurst-Nicholson

message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (scpennington) | 21 comments Sounds like a good plan.

Sharon (Cupp Pennington)

message 6: by William (new)

William | 46 comments Jan wrote: "I am about to e-publish a story for 7 - 10 yrs olds about a left-handed child and the problems she encounters being left-handed. I had intended to put a short chapter at the end for parents and tea..."

Wonderful! What a great idea. My wife and I, along with our son and my mother, are all left handed. We don't know what went wrong with our daughter, who is right handed, but we still love her anyway. :)

message 7: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 257 comments Good to know that you like the idea. I am busy trying to sort out a cover and then I will upload it. There was a time when you just had to be a writer - now you have to be a photographer, illustrator, graphic artist, marketer, accountant and computer whiz! Also remembering that computer keyboards and cameras are made for right-handed users!

message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Hendry | 4 comments Hi,
I am naturally left handed. My Mom did not scold me or anything like that, but gently took the cup, knife or crayon and put it in my right hand. I would go back to LH and she would repeat. The result was I am right handed, and it was a quite painless transition.

We have to accept that life IS designed for RH people as they are the majority, but when I injured my arm and it was in a sling, I just used my left arm, as I am in effect ambidextrous. I am glad I was left-handed and was trained in a kind way to be right-handed as life is so much easier if you are right-handed than if you are left-handed.

When I use a camera, I use my left eye as most cameras are suitable for either, but I have one digital camera that is dreadful if you are left-eyed, so I use my right eye. At school I preferred catching balls left-handed and that was great, as some crafty kids realised that most people are weak on their LH side, so throw that way. I would catch left handed and return the compliment to their LH which was weak.

Some experts condemn reprogramming.I suspect that being reprogrammed from LH to RH must start very early. Mom being a nurse picked up my lefthandedness quickly. It may be that if it is left too late, that problems do crop up. Likewise if it is harsh, then it will cause emotional stres. Perhaps these are the reasons why many people argue against what I regard as one of my greatest blessings in life.

As I have "been there done that",I can only express my gratitude to Mom for giving me such a wonderful benefit in life. I would not want to be naturally right handed as my left side co-ordination would be poorer. I would not want to be left handed and not to have right handedness. In my view,the greatest blessing any child can have is to have the same start in life that I did, A left hander who was gently and lovingly reprogrammed. It's great, believe me.

Years ago I knew another left hander who was trained to be right handed. He was a friend of my dad's and could take a pen in each hand and write a sentence with both pens, joining it up in the middle! I saw him do it many times. I was so envious and I tried, but you gotta be special to do that. I just could not do it.

He worked as a draftsman, and would draw left handed when at the LH edge of the board, and RH otherwise. As his R hand did most work, he would sometimes take a rest and work left handed.

Because of that wonderful reprogramming, I use whichever hand is convenient. If I am working with some sort of tool in a confined space, and it is easier to use it left handed, so be it. If R handed that's fine.

I respect people who are left handed and remain that way, but I have always been grateful for the way I was gently edged into right-handedness. Being left handed by nature and right handed by training is a wonderful blessing, that I am eternally grateful for.

message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Hendry | 4 comments Something I should have added was that I had tennis elbow in my right arm a couple of years back, so you can guess what I did. I wrote left handed and I typed left handed.

It was awkward as a keyboard is designed for right handed people, and I sympathise with anyone who is left handed and confronted with a RH keyboard, but I expect it would be worse if you departed from the standard QWERTY layout.

Jan seems to want to give sensible advise to parents of left handers, and I praise her for this, but I would say to her from the "been there done that" perspective that the best advice you could give any parent with a left handed baby is to train the child as early as possible to be right handed. BUT it must be a loving and patient retraining, not "bad boy" or "bad girl". That is what is WRONG (caps intended.

I am sure that the reason retraining is said to be bad is that most parents are told it is bad, so do not dare go down that road, and who can blame them? Often when it is attempted, it is the "stick" method ("You are a bad child") that is used, not gentle persuasion. That stinks.

As an aside to Jan, if you want to talk about it more, then I would be happy to, not to undermine your ideas but because I have "been there done that" and to me there can be no greater blessing that being born left handed and trained right handed.

Even when I was tiny, when Mom told me to do something or not to do something she would offer an explanation, and she said years later, "If I can't find a sensible explanation why a 2 year old should not do something then there probably isn't one.' When our eldest girl was two, I started explaining when she should not do something.

Someone was astonished when they heard me discussing things with a 2 yo. She's just over three now and will say, "I shall not get down that way, it's not safe" and she says to her smaller sister. "Don't do that, it's not safe.' I heard her reason out
what was not a good idea and tell her sister why not, and she was right.

Born left handed - trained right handed (in the right way) is a dream. Two of our daughters seem to be unlucky enough to be right handed naturally. I had hoped they might have had the gift of being left handed and I could give them the ability to be right handed, so they were in effect 'double handed.'

I recall how mom helped me. Was I lucky!

message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen (karenvwrites) | 14 comments Jan wrote: "I am about to e-publish a story for 7 - 10 yrs olds about a left-handed child and the problems she encounters being left-handed. I had intended to put a short chapter at the end for parents and tea..."

It's good to have a chapter for parents at then end to honor their south paw and encourage them to use the abilities they have and point out good things about being a left hand. When her dad and I realised our daughter was a lefty we didn't try to change that. It was part of her as she has a left handed uncle. Parents and teachers need to know that their child is not weird for being what they are. Go with it and get over it.

message 11: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 257 comments Thanks to everyone for the input. I have added the notes for parents and teachers at the end of the story. These are part of an article that I had published in "Your Child" magazine. Today I took the book to a local school. I would like to take a picture of the children in The Race to illustrate the front cover, but of course we now have to get the permission of the parents etc. Then I'll have to get a graphic designer to tweak the cover. It's all go.

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