Q: Good day Doc. Thanks so much for your medical lectures on Facebook. God will continue to strengthen you. I am a first time mother I had my daughter last December. During the 1st trimester I was bleeding heavy but later stopped after medical consultation but I noticed my daughter is using only her left hand and holding the right hand so tight but if I force to open it and move it I found out nothing is wrong with it. My question is how can I help her to use the right hand too. Thanks ma’am as I await your response. God bless
A: It does sound like you assume the bleeding affected your daughter’s preference of what hand to use? If you think so, you’re wrong. No link.
Now, please be sure that there is really nothing wrong with your baby’s right hand. The way you describe her clenching it is a bit curious. If she appears to be in pain, please get it checked out in the hospital. If there’s nothing wrong and this is just an issue of being right handed versus being left handed, then leave well alone.
This issue of converting left-handed children to right handed orientation has come up again and again. Our culture, in Nigeria and perhaps other places in Africa, suggests that doing things with the left hand is wrong, rude and simply abnormal. But just take a moment and think about it? Why is it wrong? Or rude? Where is it written? When was it decided? Were you at the meeting?
Perhaps an understanding of how people become right or left handed is important here. The brain is cross wired such that the right side of the brain controls movement of the left hand side of the body and the left side of the brain controls movement of the right hand side. Most people are right handed and that’s because the left side of their brain which controls writing, language, logic, scientific skills etc is dominant. The left side of the brain controls emotional expression, imagination, creativity etc.
There are several reports of children who have been changed from left to right hand suffering unneeded hardship mentally, emotionally and socially as a result of this. Some articles have reported bedwetting, stuttering, being withdrawn, poor concentration and memory etc as fall outs of this change from left to right. It would appear that the brain is confused as it tries to re-define which area of the body it controls.
The way I put it is, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’ So, leave your child well alone. Right handed, left handed ambidextrous (one who has use of both hands), please love these children the way they are and encourage them. Ever seen the most powerful man on earth (president of the United States, Barrack Obama) sign a document? Well, if you do, take a close look. He’s left handed and that doesn’t appear to have hurt him much!
Let me know what you think.
I hope y’all had a great day