‘My parents want my son, 4, to be right-handed – they’ve started making threats’

By Staff

A woman has shared her disgust after her parents started threatening her four-year-old son into being right-handed as he started to show a dominance toward his left side

Considering the world is mostly set up for right-handed people, it can make it challenging for those who are left-hand dominant. According to Everyday Health, around 10 percent of the world’s population is left-handed. So, when teaching a child to write, some parents may assume their little one will be right-handed, especially if they are themselves.

But concerned for her son, one mum said on Quora: “My son is a four-year-old leftie. My parents so desperately want him to use his right hand that they are resorting to threats. What do you think?” While most users urged her to go no contact with her parents for both her and her son’s sake, others shared how difficult it is to go against your dominant hand, saying it will only cause him problems later down the line.

One user said: “You should leave him as he is. People who are left-handed have different brain “wiring” from those who are right-handed. Forcing them to be right-handed can seriously screw up their mental development. Why do your parents “so desperately” want him to be right-handed? What business is it of theirs?”

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  • Another user added: “Do not let your parents abuse him. There’s not a thing wrong with being a leftie. You need to protect your child from abusive grandparents. Why would you allow them to threaten him. His brain is wired to be a leftie and you think it is a good idea to try to get him to change?

    “I have been a leftie my entire life and it hasn’t hampered me in any way. You need to protect your child from abuse. You do not allow people to mistreat your child. Doesn’t matter what hand your parents want him to use stand between them and your child. Incidentally, my mother was a leftie and in first grade, they tied her left hand behind her back to force her to become a rightie. She began stuttering. They never made her a rightie but it took years for her to overcome her stuttering.”

    Sharing their own experience, a ‘leftie’ said: “As a naturally left-handed person, I can tell you that being forced or getting threats to use your right hand, only causes problems it doesn’t do any good. In the mid to later 60s, once I started grade school, all of my teachers and the principal and vice principal tried to ‘turn’ me right-handed (and I did not go to a Catholic school, and my teachers were not nuns).

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    “I used to wear my watch on my right wrist, so it wouldn’t scrape while I was writing; my teachers “forced” me to wear it on my left wrist by sending me to the principal’s office and/or making me stay after school if I didn’t do it. I was told almost every day of my life that being left-handed wasn’t “natural”. “It’s a right-handed world” people would always say to me.

    “But, lucky for me, I was obstinate (or “ornery” as my dad would say). I wore the watch on my left hand, but I still wrote with my left hand not my right hand, no matter how much I was made fun of (mostly by the adults!) or threatened. I continued to write with my left hand, all through grade school, and got in lots of trouble for it.”

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