Let Your Child Choose to Be Left-Handed or Right-Handed

Parenting September 14, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 27-28 Month Old Toddler

Question: My daughter feeds herself and reaches for toys with her left hand. I don’t want her to be left-handed, but I’ve heard that if I try to keep her from using her left hand, it may cause problems. Should I try to make her use her right hand?

Answer: Most children change handedness several times before settling down to their preference. The key word is preference. Most children settle into a left or right hand preference, but some children continue to have equal skill in both left and right hands throughout their lives.

Don’t try to make her use her right hand. Preference in using hands, feet, and eyes is already present in the child’s brain at birth. If you pressure your daughter to change her preference, she may become confused.

Forcing her to change might also affect her self-confidence and her learning. If your daughter is really left-handed, she won’t be alone. Fifteen percent of the United States population is left-handed.

Learn more about Your Toddler: 27-28 Months from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.

Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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