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Why doesn’t my ambidextrous child like to write?
Q: I have been having my daughter practice writing the alphabet to prepare her for kindergarten. She’s ambidextrous, but she hates to write, colour, draw or use scissors. Is that because of the ambidexterity? How can I make crafts more fun or interesting for her?
A: If it has any effect, ambidexterity should make your daughter more prone to enjoy crafts. I would compliment her on her ability to use both hands effectively and tell her that not everyone can do that. I wouldn’t try to stop her from using both hands. However, I would tell her that, when she begins kindergarten, her teacher will want her to choose a favourite hand and use it most of the time.

You could get your daughter to participate with you in making a decision as to which hand she will mainly use in the future. Ask her to cut out pictures from an old magazine, first with one hand and then the other. Ask her which cutout “looks better,” and if it felt better cutting with one hand or the other. Do the same thing with eating. Say you’re going to count how many times she drops food off her fork when she uses her right hand and when she uses her left. Hopefully you can involve her in the “game.”

As far as not liking “crafty” things, she isn’t alone. Many children don’t particularly like them. So I wouldn’t push her to do them. I would, however, make certain that she has toys that help develop the same kinds of skills—eye-hand coordination, muscle control, distinguishing colour differences, finishing tasks—as drawing and colouring.