This article appears in August Family magazine.
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From spiral notebooks and pens attached to chains, to handshakes and table settings, the world is set up for right-handed people. So on Monday, Aug. 13, celebrate International Lefthanders Day.
“The challenge of raising a left-handed child in a right-handed world is the significant, and often unconscious, lack of awareness and often derogatory view right-handed people have toward lefties,” said Bridget McCarthy, social media manager for Lefty’s the Left Hand Store, located on Pier 39 in San Francisco.

“At Lefty’s we hear countless stories from lefties of all ages — and parents of lefty kids — who were shunned, ridiculed and punished in elementary school for being left-handed,” McCarthy said.

Imagine having your left hand tied behind your back, being hit on the left hand with a ruler and being failed for poor penmanship or artistry.
“You can imagine the damage this can do on the self-esteem, self-confidence and capacity of these kids,” McCarthy said.

Everyday items such as school desks, notebooks, pens, scissors, rulers and tape measures are not functionally designed for left-handed use, McCarthy said. Left-handed kids need pens that won’t smudge, scissors with the blades reversed and notebooks with the spiral on the right side for left-handed convenience.

Because they lack the ability to show a child how to perform a task left-handed, right-handed parents can help teach left-handed children basic skills by mirroring.

“Mirroring allows the right-handed parent to demonstrate with their naturally dominant hand leading, while the lefty mirrors with his or her naturally dominant hand,” McCarthy said.

When parents see lefty kids using, especially for the first time, products designed specifically for lefties, they are literally brought to tears seeing their kids’ enthusiasm and aptitude shine through as they use their naturally dominant hand for everyday school tasks, creativity and recreation, McCarthy said.

“Having the left-handed tool for the daily and unique tasks of life truly is a life-changing experience for us lefties,” she said.