Left - toddlerTeaching your left-handed toddler how to live in a right-handed world can be a challenge. Babies may begin to express hand preference as early as 7 to 9 months, although it is common for children to switch hand use frequently during their infant and toddler years. As children move into their toddler years, hand preference becomes more noticeable, although it may not finalize until children begin school.

Famous Lefties

About 1 in every 10 people is born left-landed, according to Parents.com. If your child is left-handed, he or she is in good company. Four recent presidents have been lefties: President Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Time magazine’s list of most influential left-handers in history includes Microsoft founder Bill Gates, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, baseball legend Babe Ruth, artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci and legendary blues guitarist Jimi Hendrix. And the list of south paw sports stars is long and distinguished.

Left-Handed Gene

Left-handedness often runs in families; and scientists have found a genetic connection between hand preference and genes passed down on the father’s side. To determine your child’s hand preference, watch which hand he or she uses when eating, reaching for toys, stacking blocks, holding crayons and writing or drawing. Parents should not attempt to change a child’s handedness but can help their child adapt to living in a right-handed world. We’ll talk about that next time.

For more information on raising left-handed toddlers, parents might wan to read Lauren Milsom’s book, Your Left-Handed Child: Making Things Easy for Left-Handers in a Right-Handed World. (Click to read the review on Goodreads.com.) Your toddler’s Horizon Education teachers are another good source for tips and tricks on helping lefties learn to perform common tasks.

Photo Credit: Vassilis