10 fun-facts about your left-handed kid
Happy Left Handers Day! From scissors and smudged ink to spiral-bound notebooks and impossible-to-use tin openers, the lefties’ life struggle is real.
While our increasingly digital world has brought advantages to both the left and right, International Left-Handers Day continues to be observed every year in recognition of our left-handed friends and famous faces.
Only ten per cent of the population is left-handed. While there may not be many of them, being left-handed sure does come with some surprising perks!
To mark International Left-Handers Day,
we’veput together 10 fun-facts about these rare beings:
They are more likely to be president
Prepare to have your mind blown: Six
of the last 12 U.S. presidents have been left-handed. Only 1 out of 10 people in the general population share that same trait, so that’s a pretty wild percentage. What is it that makes a leftie so presidential? No one is quite sure of the exact reason, but one Stanford study found that those with a dominant left hand are better at “divergent thinking,” which means they’re good at coming up with fresh ideas from existing information — definitely a useful skill for a president.
They are more likely to be a genius billionaire
Lefties can count Apple founder Steve Jobs, Facebook whiz Mark Zuckerberg, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, former richest man in the world Bill Gates, and actress-turned-humanitarian Angelina Jolie among their ranks. One possible reason for the link between lefties and huge wealth? A study published in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Neuropsychology(JECN) found that lefties possess key traits related leadership — including inhibitory control and working memory operations — which may make them better suited for business.
They are more creative thinkers
Lefties have more “mental flexibility” than the rest of the population, according to that JECNstudy. Translation? A leftie is more likely to think out-of-the-box and be creative — perhaps like fellow lefties Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga, Jon Stewart, and Jerry Seinfeld.
They have less risk of some diseases
Lefties seem to have some protection against ulcers and arthritis, according to a surprising study published in the journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.Why? It’s likely nothing to do with left-handedness itself but rather the underlying DNA — genes associated with being a southpaw may also mitigate risk for those diseases, the researchers found.
They get lost less
Spatial skills are one of the most underrated superpowers — having a good awareness of your surroundings and how you fit into them can help with everything from remembering where you parked to reading a map. And left-handed folk have better spatial abilities than their right-handed counterparts, according to the JECN study.
They recover faster from some injuries
Of course you hope that your child never suffers a stroke or other event that causes brain damage, but if that does happen over the course of their life, they may recover better if they’re a leftie, according to researchpublished in the journal Nature. The cognitive functions of left-handed people appear to be spread over more parts of the brain, making them less likely to be affected by a stroke, the researchers found.
They exhibit more self-control
According to the famous “marshmallow test,” there is perhaps no trait that better predicts future success than self-control. Kids who can control their impulses and delay gratification do better in school and in their future careers. Good news for lefties: Left-handed people have better “inhibitory control,” helping them do just that, according to the JECN study.
They are more efficient at multitasking
Another key finding from the JECN study was that lefties have a better working memory than righties. The working memory is the part of your brain that juggles short-term and on-going tasks, giving left-handed kids an edge at school (and at video games).
They are more competitive
A kid with a competitive edge can go a long way in this dog-eat-dog world, and lefties are more likely to be competitive than cooperative, according to a Northwestern study. Chalk it up to evolution: The more importance cooperation is to a society, the more likely the society is to exhibit same-handedness. Being an anomoly doesn’t mean your child will be mean, but rather that they may be willing to buck societal norms to accomplish their dreams.
They earn extra attention from teachers
Learning to write is tricky enough, but for the ten percent of children who write left-handed, it can be even harder—not the writing itself, but the fact that the lessons are usually done by right-handed teachers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it means lefties may get more one-on-one instruction.