Waldorf and Left Handedness? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-06-2003, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please correct me if I am wrong, but in reading an article on bobnancy.com, am I to understand that left-handedness is a "problem" that is to be corrected?

(I tried to get the link but it just takes you to the main page it is under waldorf-child development)

Does anyone have any experience/more info on this?

My grandfather grew up in Europe in the 1900-10s and was forced to write with his right hand in school, though he was left-handed. 70 years later he was still talking about the experience being very difficult for him.



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#2 of 14 Old 06-06-2003, 11:36 PM
 
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I heard this to somewhere and inquired at our school in Kimberton which is apparently more Waldorf than Steiner if that makes sense. anyway what I got was that left handedness is NOTviewed that way as it may have been writen about somewhere. My grandfather was raised like yours too. how sad, huh?
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#3 of 14 Old 06-06-2003, 11:53 PM
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my grandmother and most of her brothers were left handed but forced to use their right hand. She was glad I left DS use his left.
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#4 of 14 Old 06-07-2003, 12:00 AM
 
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I'm left-handed and never had a problem withit in all my years of Waldorf school. But, in my same class there was a kid who was also left-handed, and apparently his parents wanted him to be right handed, and the teacher went along with it, always correcting him, etc. He was the most messed up and rejected kid I've ever seen. I couldn't stand him then, but have nothing butp pity and outrage for him now...
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#5 of 14 Old 06-07-2003, 09:15 AM
 
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My brother was born in 1979 and our first grade public school teacher used to hit his hand with a ruler if he was writing with the left one.
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#6 of 14 Old 06-09-2003, 10:56 AM
 
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many teachers have told me that left handed children have a more difficult time settling into their bodies and can be unbalanced if it is not worked with through physical excercises. Also, the teachers look to see if the child is left 'handed' throughout their bodies i.e. leftfooted, lefteyed. It is more important to be balanced than it is to be right or left handed.

I think most of us can agree though, that it can be difficult for lefties living in a righthand world but that it isn't anything that can't be dealt with.
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#7 of 14 Old 06-09-2003, 11:04 AM
 
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I wrote a detailed explanation of lefthandedness a while back. You might be able to find it on a search.

Briefly, some children are born without the right-handed gene. They have about a 50% chance of becoming left handed. If you and your partner are both LH, then your child will be missing the RH gene.

If righthandednessis an issue for you, then you must "influence" in the first year (18 months if you are lucky). After that, restrictions will likely be psycologically damaging, or at the very least frustrating.

I had noticed that LH children have a struggle with writing until I changed the technique I used for these children. Even so, writing lends itself to RHness. With keyboards, it's a level playing field.

a

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#8 of 14 Old 06-11-2003, 12:40 AM
 
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My daughter is a lefty and goes to a Waldorf school. She hasn't had any problems, in fact-I am the painting helper (I set up the watercolors) and they made sure they had a count of how many lefties there are so-I could set their paints up on the left.
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#9 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 12:36 AM
 
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My left handed dad was raised to be right handed...and he has never been a good reader, but don't know if it is related. (He pretty much only reads magazines and newspaper.) And my grandma's brother and sister who were both lefties raised to use the right also happened to be the two of the eight kids who stuttered.

I have way more trust in our self-balancing mechanisms than a lot of Waldorf teachers do. I think it is dangerous to impose ideas like this on children as they grow. In some cases it does seem clear that individuals need a push, but most of the time I think natural inspiration is there or will arrive in its own time, in the direction appropriate for their unique nature.

A friend of mine, a Waldorf teacher and raised in Germany in a Waldorf family, told me about a period of time when kids need to establish dominance of one hand over the other. She didn't specify which hand...and she mentioned something about it being related to eventually crossing the median line of the body...so that messing with this natural process may hinder that development, as with my dad and reading, it may be hard for him to scan a page across from left to right, where columns are easier for him to manage. Don't know for sure, but this is what I seem to recall her saying.
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#10 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 01:07 AM
 
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I was left handed, but trained to be right handed by my mother... I'm left everything else (lefteyed, leftfooted) still though... I think its sad because I think it would have been neat to be left handed! My Dh is lefthanded, so I wonder if our children will automatically be lefthanded? Hmmmmm.

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#11 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 02:10 AM
 
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What is 100% certain is that they will have a 50% chance of being either LH or RH.

a

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#12 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 02:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexander
What is 100% certain is that they will have a 50% chance of being either LH or RH.

a
But there are more right handed people than left handed... how is it a 50-50 chance? : Or are you specifically speaking of me and my Dh? If that's so, and your handedness is genetic then wouldn't our kids be lefthanded (as you said in your last post?)... I'm so lost... : Not that it matters all that much either way its just fun to think about all these things that our children will be eventually

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#13 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 03:10 AM
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Handedness is somewhat genetic. In the general pop, there are about 5%--10% lefties. When both parents are left-handed, the chances do go up to 50/50. (So, the percentages go up, but by no means are you guaranteed that your children will be left-handed.)

I'm a LH, my dh is RH, dd is RH, and it's too early to tell with ds.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-21-2003, 08:35 AM
 
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If both parents have the right-handed gene, they will be right handed.

They are genetically right handed.

Not only that, but their children will be right handed. This is certain.

The children will be both right handed and genetically right handed.

If one parent does not carry the right handed gene (there is no LH gene), then that parent may or may not be right handed.

Genetically they are neutral.

Any offspring with one genetically right-handed parent have a 50% chance of inheriting the right handed gene, thus making the child both genetically right handed and right handed.

There is also a 50% chance that they will not inherit the right-handed gene (they inherit the genetic neutralness of one parent). If the child is genetically neutral, then that child has a 50% chance of behaving as a LH or RH person.

If both parents are genetically neutral, (50% chance that they show left or right handedness) there is a 100% chance that the offspring will be genetically neutral (meaning that they will definately not carry the right handed gene) and therefore a 50% chance that the children will either display left or right handedness.

It is interesting to note two things.

1) either parent missing the right-handed gene can give rise to handed neutral children indicates that the handedness gene is on the male chromosome.

2) All chimps (thus far checked) are right-handed.

If it is true that all chimps are indeed genetically right-handed, then this implies that the loss of this genetic information in Homo Sapiens Sapiens occured after the split from the common ancestor of Homo Barbarous (sp?). Infact, the prevelance of righthandedness in modern society indicaates that the loss of the righthanded gene is relatively recent (I would say in the last 25-30 thousand years or even more recently). It is now "epidemic". Within a relativlely few generations, genetically righthandedness will be in the minority, and then become extict from our species.

a

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