Help with My Son’s Hurting Hand During Handwriting

Heart of Dakota - Dear Carrie

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Dear Carrie

How can I help my son with his hurting hand during handwriting?

My 6 1/2 year old son is doing A Reason for Handwriting A with Heart of Dakota‘s LHFHG for 1st grade. His penmanship is pretty good, as you can see from the picture below. We got him a “claw” to help with his pencil grip. It still seems like he is holding the pencil a little tight. I am trying to turn his paper a little more each day to match his arm. But, it seems like his body and arm just move further around. He says handwriting hurts his hand. Is his hand hurting normal? Does he just need to build up stamina? He doesn’t crook his wrist particularly. I want to do something about it if there is something actually wrong. However, I’m not sure that there is. He’ll need writing stamina to do dictation in a couple of years. Do I go to an occupational therapist?

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Help with My Son’s Hurting Hand During Handwriting

Dear “Ms. Please Help with My Son’s Hurting Hand During Handwriting,”

At age 6 it is not uncommon to have a pretty tight grip on the pencil and to have an incorrect grip. Honestly, in my years of teaching (by the time the kiddos reached third grade) at least half of the class had an incorrect grip. I have a terribly incorrect grip myself, yet my penmanship was and is always fine. If you poll those at your own house to see who holds his/her pencil correctly, you will likely see about the same ratio as what I saw each each year in my classroom!

Thoughts on How to Help with Your Son’s Hand Hurting

I share this to let you know that you are very blessed to have a child whose penmanship is as good as your little honey’s writing looks. From my perspective, I would definitely get rid of the claw, as it can be tiring and confining to kiddos as they write. Next, I would simply work toward having your son try to point the top of his pencil eraser toward his body, rather than away from his body as he writes. He can achieve this by drawing his elbow toward his body, which will tilt the pencil toward him a bit more. This will encourage a more traditional hold. I wouldn’t focus on the grip continually though, but rather praise his writing, giving gentle hints to pull in his elbow just a bit toward his side as he writes. Make sure not to get him thinking that he has a problem area here. It is a normal part of the writing process. His handwriting is beautiful!

Blessings!

Carrie

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