When kids are learning new skills they will often use one side more than the other at first. Just like we have a preferred side they will have a side that is just a tad easier so that is the one they ‘practice’ more by default. And with practice and repetition comes mastery! So what do you do when they only use that one side? This could be in skills like reaching, pulling to stand, cruising, climbing, and more.
Here are 3 tips to try:
- Gently block or restrain the preferred side. Simply don’t let them use it. This should ideally encourage them to initiate with the other side. If they don’t automatically initiate with the other side then –
- Help them initiate with the non-preferred side. This may require a lot of help on your part or just some gentle cueing. Make sure you are still not letting them use the preferred side!
- Give them success. Help them enough on the non-preferred side so that they can be successful with it. We want them to build off of these practice sessions!
Make sure you have something really motivating that they want or want to do when you attempt these steps!
How often should you do this? Well that depends on your little one and your schedule. Generally when they are free playing let them do the side they prefer because that time is all about independent exploration and play. When you are down on the ground or purposefully playing with them is when you would help with this. And even then maybe its every other time or a 2:1 ratio. The goal is to get them successful so that when they are playing on their own they will choose either side!