There are several factors that contribute towards poor handwriting. One important factor is the differed development of fine motor skills. Short-term memory could also be contributing towards bad handwriting in children. Short-term memory may make it difficult to recall words and shapes of letters quickly. There is a possibility that the child might be processing thoughts faster than he or she can put it down to paper.
Learning strength or style could also contribute towards a shabby handwriting. Some children are visual-spatial learners and others are auditory-sequential learners. The way in each behaves or learns new words or writing is starkly different. For instance, Visual –spatial learners may have no trouble noticing the broad strokes but miss out on the finer details and vice versa.
There is not much to worry about in such a case. Consult the school teacher to figure out how much time your child spends on handwriting at school and follow the teacher’s suggestions and involve your child in some practice to be better at it. Subsequently your child might also need more time to work on the handwriting than the provision at school. There are many kits and materials already available in education supply stores which you can use for your child’s handwriting exercise. Some children often face problem with the pencil weight or grip; so trying out various pencils of various weights and grip may actually help your child figure out what suits him or her best and is most comfortable. Other methods like encouraging your child to sit upright at the table rather than write lying on the bed can actually help. Subsequently, you could also use alternative methods like finger-painting, use of shaving cream or sand and other materials to help your understand spatial cues and shape of letters etc. There are many such techniques that you could use to help your child improve his or her handwriting.
But since poor handwriting may also be due to physical disability or developmental problems with the fine motor skills and muscular strength, consulting an occupational therapist might actually be a great idea. In such a situation, the earlier you start therapy, the better it is. It is also important to be sensitive towards your child’s self-esteem. Bad handwriting in children can always be worked upon, so always encourage your child instead of demotivating them or reprimanding them for the same.
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