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Left and Right Brains

Fortunately the times when lefthanders were forcibly altered into right-handers have already passed. Nowadays a baby operating well with his left hand or with both hands equally won’t surprise anyone. So, why do some children become lefthanders and the others right-handers?


Actually the dominating half of the brain, either right or left, is responsible for your child’s development. Cerebral hemispheres functions are inborn, but they are revealed while the child is growing. The brain is constantly working and the connection between the two hemispheres becomes more complicated.


Two halves of one whole. So, what is the difference between these two equal partners, the two sides of the brain? The thing is that the right and the left side perceive and process information differently. The left one is responsible for verbal behavior; the right one is responsible for concrete-creative thinking.


If the right hemisphere is dominant, then the left hand becomes the leader. And vice versa, if the left half of the brain is dominant, then the majority of the work is performed with the right hand. There are adults with no dominating side; that is, both of the hemispheres work equally, but more often one of the halves prevails.


There is a hypothesis that at the pre-school age the majority of children have the right hemisphere dominating, because it develops faster than the left one. Children are very emotional in this period; their cognitive activity has immediate, integral, vivid character. Another point of view is that significant changes in brain half interaction are noticeable only by the age of 5-6 years. Both opinions have the right to exist, because brain development is individual depending on hereditary factors.


If your baby is a lefthander. There is an opinion that lefthanders are more creative than right-handers. It is party right; it is creative thinking that is a characteristic of artistic people. Van Gogh, Surikov, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Shuman were lefthanders. However, little lefthanders’ parents very often face the following problem: their children’s spatial perception is disturbed; such kids are often awkward and slow. It is hard to teach them use a needle, scissors or to tie their shoelaces. It happens because lefthanders’ mechanical skills are disturbed and they have to master the skills not by mechanical repetition, but by choosing logical connections – thinking of the action each time. So it is not surprising that the kid becomes awkward and slow because he has to control all his actions. It is especially hard for these children to switch from one thing to another or do two things simultaneously.


When teaching a lefthander something new, you should remember his individuality and try to make this process bright and colorful. Here are a few recommendations:


  1. Teach your kid to write and count using three-dimensional digits and letters.
  2. It is difficult for little lefthanders to define what time it is using a clock with hands. So you can make a special clock-face where your child would move the hands himself.
  3. To help your kid to memorize the right and the left sides use visual orientation: for example tie a red lace on the kid’s left hand and say: “turn to the red side”, “take it into the red hand”.
  4. Protect your baby from excess nervousness; be tactful punishing him because learning wears the nervous system out.


Perhaps it will be more difficult for the lefthanders to learn the simplest things than for those who use the right hand rather actively. However, this long and complicated process will transform into firm skill, which is why left-handed adults are good at handiwork because their natural fantasy and creative thinking help them to become real masters.


A Jack-of-all-trades. If a baby uses both his hands equally well (for example, he takes the spoon while eating or a pen while drawing in one hand and then in another) he is ambidextrous. Mind peculiarities of these children resemble those the lefthanders have, but they easily get used to writing with their right hand. Ambidextrous geniuses are Lomonosov and Leonardo da Vinci.


Our expert a children psychiatrist, answered these questions.


  1. Sometimes the lefthanders are taught to write with their right hand at school. How should the parent react?
    The parents should understand that it is unnatural to re-teach a lefthander. It is hard to teach the lefthanders to read and to write as a rule. Making them write with their right hand will make the process next to impossible. That is why it is better to talk to a teacher before going to school and discuss the problem. Otherwise your kid’s neurosis is guaranteed.

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