Helping Children Distinguish Between Left and Right: Tips for Parents and Teachers

One day, Xiaoxin and his father were playing badminton in the yard. His father accidentally knocked the badminton on the eaves with too much force. So my father climbed up to the ridge of the house and wanted to take down the badminton, but he couldn’t remember which side it was on, so he asked Xiaoxin whether the badminton was on the left or the right. Xiaoxin said to go left, but his father almost fell off the ridge of the house. When asked about Xiaoxin, he said innocently: “Which side is on the left?”

Inability to distinguish between left and right is a common cognitive problem in children in early childhood. This is related to the fact that children’s brain functions have not yet fully developed. Some children’s lack of distinction between left and right is related to sensory integration disorders, while for most children, it is due to immature spatial orientation perception. Long-term indiscriminate care will inevitably have an impact on children’s lives and bring unnecessary trouble and distress to children and parents. How should teachers and parents provide guidance for children like Xiaoxin who cannot tell the difference between left and right?

(1) Promote the development of children’s second signal system through the development of children’s language. The maturation of the second signaling system is closely related to the development of language in young children. Promoting the development of children’s language can promote the improvement of children’s second signal system and increase the coordination of the two signal systems.

(2) Follow the development rules of children’s spatial orientation perception and proceed step by step. The training of young children’s left and right orientation perception should follow the characteristics of children’s spatial orientation perception. You cannot train left and right orientation at the beginning. You can start with up and down, then front and back, and finally left and right, step by step. The same is true for the order of relativity, with oneself as the reference first, then others, and finally objective things.

(3) Integrate the concepts of left and right into colorful activities. Games are the most important activity in early childhood and are of great significance to the development of young children. You can use this powerful tool to carry out left and right orientation perception training. You can also personify left and right and make a fairy tale to help young children understand the meaning of left and right. Teachers and parents should use mirroring when demonstrating.

(4) Pay attention to the interaction between peers and use cognitive conflicts to help children master the concepts of left and right. Regarding the problem of left-right indifference, developmental psychology research has also tried to use social cognitive conflict methods to train children in the concept of left and right, with the purpose of promoting children to remove their “self-centeredness” and cultivate the relativity and reversibility of their thinking. Social cognitive conflict theory believes that when young children interact, arguments due to different actions or opinions will cause cognitive conflicts. The process of conflict resolution is the process of changing the intellectual structure, and it is also the main reason for the improvement of children’s cognitive abilities.

Indifference between left and right is a perceptual characteristic of children in early childhood. At school age, it still takes some time for children to flexibly grasp the concept of left and the relativity of left and right directions. Even after middle school and high school, during military training, children can still see Some people may appear to be unable to differentiate between left and right. Of course, attention is an important influencing factor. So, don’t underestimate the left and right, it has a really big impact on people!

2024-04-14 00:01:34
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