How Do Kids Become Right or Left Handed?

by ParentCo. April 08, 2016

Via: The Conversation

Today, we understand that handedness is not a binary characteristic (left or right), but rather, it exists along a gradient that ranges from strongly left-handed to strongly right-handed.

As children grow older, they tend to favour one hand over the other for certain tasks, particularly for writing or drawing. A child’s “handedness” is generally categorised as right, left or mixed, and tends to settle around the same time they acquire language – about four-years-old. It remains a persistent characteristic throughout our life. The left and right hemispheres of the brain control motor action on the opposite sides of the body. Yet, the left and right halves of the brain are not equal in their control of different types of behaviours, which results in a bias of one hand over the other for certain tasks. The dominance of one hemisphere over the other for certain behaviours is called cerebral lateralisation. As they start to develop their motor skills, children may use both the left and right hands equally for simple actions such as reaching for objects. This is because both hands can accomplish the task with ease. Observing a child’s handedness for fine motor activities, such as writing, can give us an indication of how well the two hemispheres have developed their specialised processing capabilities.



ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

little boy playing with toy car
How to Praise your Kids: A Process Praise Primer

by Jessica Williams

To put it simply, process praise is praise that emphasizes the work, effort, or actions of the child. Praise contributes to our kids' development.

Continue Reading

kid in glasses reading book
12 Books that Reflect the Diversity of the World Around Us

by ParentCo.

I want my children to know that many kids look and live differently than they do. These wonderful, powerful, and fun books can help.

Continue Reading

woman holding baby and laughing
Fighting for my Autistic Son to Stay in his General Education Classroom

by Megan Burgess

Why is my autistic son in a general education classroom? I could argue it's for inclusion, but the truth is, I fought to keep him there because it felt right.

Continue Reading