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Who’s On Left ?

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-17-2004

I finally put The Baby behind a computer the other day. I should have sat her behind a screen when she was around two, as I did with The Boy and The Girl, but life is tough when you are the third child : old Mum’s can’t even bear the thought of hearing Elmo’s screechy little voice once more or dealing with that tiresome Robby Konijn.

But she received a free computer game a week or so ago, when Oma and Opa took us out for some fine cuisine at McDonald’s, and I was forced to let her go on.

She has figured it all out very quickly, not that I had much to do with it : I asked The Boy to help her and he quite enjoyed it, a nostalgic romp through the programs which he loved as a wee boy.

Of course, at times, I have to help her- when changing the programs or putting the computer on. Sometimes I sit with her a while, to see how she is doing. And I wonder what I should be doing about the mouse that she uses. Right now, the children have a wireless, optical mouse, a right- handed mouse. Baby is left- handed. Right now, she is using her right hand, on the right side of the keyboard. Should I move the mouse to the left side of the keyboard ? Let her use her left hand ? Or is it better to just let her learn to use a mouse with her right hand ?

Now that she is getting older, I face the question of how much must she adapt to a right- handed world and how far should I go to provide a left- handed world for her.

  1. Becky Said,

    Oh, she will catch on quickly. My own son could navigate his favorite children web sites when he was barely three. He knows how to turn on and turn off the computer – using the “start” function, not the button. Hee!

    Let her use whichever hand she feels comfortable with. I myself am ambidextrous because I was born left-handed in a right-handed world. While I now use my right hand more than my left hand, I still use my left hand for lots of things. It’s helped me a whole lot, I think. Typing quickly, knitting, playing instruments…the list is endless.

  2. sue Said,

    I tend to think that life would be easier for her if in the little things – for example , the mouse- she can learn to use her right hand.

    But I’m always a bit nervous about her being left -handed, one hears those stories, you know, like how Ted ( Bundy) was such a lovely little boy, until the teachers forced him to write with his right hand….

    Nice to see you again, Becky-

  3. Catherine Said,

    Callum seems to favour his left, but still hasn’t settled. Kevin started turning into Mediaeval Dad, encouraging the boy to use his right hand. (Kevin is a leftie for some things, including writing, and wanted to help Callum avoid the inconvenience.)

  4. sue Said,

    catherine, Meg has been left handed since she could reach for things by herself. At times, you encounter the oddest things, like she doesn’t have enough space to get her left hand properly around the door knob to our front door.

    Although it seems being left is better than having a ‘right/ left confusion’. This is the label Mike has and is supposed to explain away his less graceful movements…

    Hope you had a pleasant weekend. We could have used a 4 day one here !

  5. Viki Said,

    Maybe I am in the minority. I am trying to accomodate her to use her left. She preferes her left ever so much. She puts her shoes on backwards, and I think that it is only because of the way it feels to put them on. She knows which way is right, but how she handles it is different. I am trying to do all I can now for her (she uses the mouse with her right hand, not that it cant be moved to the left, but she can navigate with her right, and does well) to let her get familiar with things she will use in school. writing, cutting, drawing…I dont think she really can use her right hand too much. I dont force it, so I cant really say. She is very leftie, like Meg, since she was tiny. If she picks up right handed things, good for her. But I am not going to force it. We will see how that goes, I guess…lol

  6. sue Said,

    Viki, it’s not that I’m discouraging her in her leftiness, it’s more like I’m waiting to see how things go. Take this mouse business , as an example: I can see that the finer movements/ control are tougher for her than when she uses her left hand. At this point, I’m at wait- and- see. I’m afraid to start her off right away with a left-handed mouse because later on in school- well, who knows if they will have left handed mice ? ( mouses ?) I don’t know that the usage of special ‘tools’ would be of more help or a hindrance.

    But she reverses a lot of things also. When she is pretending to read, pointing out the words as she is going along, her finger consistently goes from right to left, even though I have told her a number of times that you read from left to right. Unless, of course, you live in Israel or that neighborhood.

    I- of course- have alsways secretely admired lefties : it seemed such an exotic and exclusive club !

  7. Karan Said,

    Like water, Meg will seek her own level…of comfort with the right-hand world. If she learns to use the mouse right-handed her life will be easier but she won’t suffer if she can’t manage it.

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