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Question
Posted by: Mary | 2010/03/11

Normal behaviour?

Our neighbour''s daughter is in grade one this year. I''ve noticed that she takes the pen in her left hand, starts to write until she is in the middle of the page then shifts the pen to her right hand and continue writing the rest of the line. She also can''t look at you when you talk to her, she will never look you in the eye. She is a single child and is always playing outside all by herself. Is this behaviour normal? I am very worried about her as the parents do not give much attention.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The boundaries of normal are much broader than you may think. The writing pattern you describe is odd but may just be a way she developed on her own, and at school she will learn a more usual style. Experience at home and cultural factors play a major role in whether someone will look you in the eye. In some culttures we expect someone to do so, and worry that they're being shifty or odd if they don't. In some cultures it is considered highly rude and disrespectful to look an older person in the eye

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Sam | 2010/03/12

I hate that you HAVE to write with either your left hand or right! As a kid I was forced to write with my right hand, and to this day, I do everything else like a left handed person. My brother was ambidextrous as a child too (like the child you discribe), and he too was forced to write with his right hand only! Such a shame, so much talent, and not allowed to use it! I also played alone as a kid, as all the other girls wanted to be inside with their barbies and tea cups, and I wanted to be outside. As for looking you in the eye, kids wont look someone in the eye if they are scared of that person.

Reply to Sam
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/11

The boundaries of normal are much broader than you may think. The writing pattern you describe is odd but may just be a way she developed on her own, and at school she will learn a more usual style. Experience at home and cultural factors play a major role in whether someone will look you in the eye. In some culttures we expect someone to do so, and worry that they're being shifty or odd if they don't. In some cultures it is considered highly rude and disrespectful to look an older person in the eye

Reply to cybershrink

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