Is it best for someone who is ambidextrous to stimulate writing, eating,… or is that against nature?

Our daughter is 4.5 years old. She writes, draws, eats with both hands. It usually starts on the left and then ends on the right. Left-handedness is kind of in the family on my husband’s side, not in my family. She is intelligent, especially verbally very strong and she is very handy. At school, the teacher wants to start stimulating the right hand, I am not in favor of it, would rather let nature take its course and give her time to find out for herself which hand she prefers to use. Could it be that she will be ambidextrous all her life? Is that innate? Some believe that it is easier to be right-handed in society.

What is your opinion? Thanks in advance.

Asker: Anne, 34 years old


Hi Ann,

4.5 is still young! She still has time. I would just let nature take its course for now. Especially if she is handy, there is still no problem. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it either, because an intelligent child quickly realizes that something is ‘special’, children like to seek attention and that is how you break through the ‘natural’ process. Lateralization should occur at the latest around 6 years of age.
Lateralization is associated with brain dominance and with hand preference. The lateralization and the choice of the writing hand are important as reference points in the body diagram. Body schema and lateralization, on the other hand, are important for the development of time and space perception, which in turn influence reading and writing. In the third kindergarten, if lateralization has still not occurred, you can seek the help of an occupational therapist. Children with an unclear hand preference can be guided through exercises in the choice of their writing hand.

Answered by

Lecturer Kathleen Van Coppenolle

Dutch, Language skills, Learning care

Is it best for someone who is ambidextrous to stimulate writing, eating,… or is that against nature?

Erasmus University College Brussels
Quai de l’Industrie 170 B-1070 Brussels


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