a group of small arrows pointing right, but forms a left sign as a group

Learning your Left and Right

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You're in the midst of dressing your little one, so close to finishing the task – socks and shoes are on – when you kindly request him to lift his left leg, only to have him present his right leg instead. This scenario is all too familiar to me, or at least it was until his older sister shared a clever trick she'd picked up at school.

Reflecting on my own past, I was admittedly a slow learner. The concept of left and right remained elusive until JROTC training in high school, where I mastered the art of marching and obeying orders to turn left or right. A rather humbling experience when your entire platoon heads left, and you find yourself going against the tide.

My daughter taught us this little trick. Use either your left hand or your right hand to try to make the letter 'L' with your thumb and your index finger. You can only make that shape with your left hand; therefore, that is your left hand. At first, I thought she was making the "Loser" hand gesture, but no, this was a legitimate technique. If your child has trouble with their left and right, give this tip a try and let me know if it works or not!

Shifting gears slightly, during my time sailing, I encountered a useful nugget of wisdom from my instructor. He shared a mnemonic for remembering which side of the boat is which: the left side is the port side, and the right side is the starboard side. His clever trick? The word "port" and "left" both have four letters. Isn't that a neat little memory aid?

Incorporating these tips into our daily lives has made the seemingly simple matter of left and right a touch more manageable. So, the next time you're guiding your little one through the dressing process or navigating your way around a boat, remember these tricks. They might just steer you in the right direction – pun intended!"

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