My 5-year old is left handed. She has a ClickStart "computer" (which is essentially a keyboard and mouse that connects to our TV). The mouse she can use with either hand, but she prefers to use her left. It's a one-button mouse, so I never thought twice about it.

Now we're giving her her own desktop (a PC) and subsequently she has a mouse with 2 buttons. I arranged it to be a left-handed mouse, but my husband thought maybe she should learn to use a mouse with her right hand, just because of how much easier it will be for her going forward. If she needs to use a public computer, for example, or a library terminal.

Does anyone have any experience one way or another with putting their left-handed kids on computers? Did you give them a left-handed mouse? Also, any left-handed mouse users out there? Do you think it even IS that much more annoying to go through life using a mouse with your left hand? Thanks!

asked 09 Oct '09, 19:01

erin's gravatar image

accept rate: 31%

I am left handed, and I like the mouse on the right. I can write while searching and scrolling, and I can sit down at any computer (like our family computer) and use it without reconfiguring. I vote for teaching her to use it on the right, unless she has a physical reason for needing it on the left.


answered 09 Oct '09, 20:19

CKay's gravatar image

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I disagree. Use it on the side where she feels comfortable. I too am a left handed mouse user and I prefer it on the left.

(17 Oct '09, 00:01) Mark

My mom is a lefty and she prefers using her right hand for doing mouse work.

(13 Aug '10, 03:00) mkcoehoorn

I use mice with either hand, no special button configuration.

I guess it would be best for her to use the mouse with whatever hand she wants with the buttons configured as normal for right-handed mice. That way she can easily adapt to almost any computer she might use.


answered 10 Oct '09, 00:24

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Andrew Brehm
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I agree. I'm also left-handed and can use the mouse with either hand using the usual right-handed configuration. It makes it easy to use the mouse with any computer I encounter.

(25 Nov '09, 05:12) cat_g

I have left-handed relatives who learned using left-handed mice and it's a constant struggle for them to use computers that are not their own. It's also difficult for other people (like an IT person at work) to use their computer.

My daughter is left-handed (and almost 7) and has been using the computer since she was about 4. She's learned to use a right-handed, 2-button mouse, but she uses it with her left hand. That seems to be working so far :). We'll see how it goes now that she's using computers more at school.


answered 09 Oct '09, 19:06

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Mark Biek
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edited 09 Oct '09, 19:15

I would teach her how to switch back and forth (Open Control Panel, Go To Mouse, and it's the first check box (if you're not using a mouse that replaces that control panel like Microsoft mice do - if you're using Intellipoint from Microsoft then you have to swap the functions listed instead of just clicking a check box).

She can then decide which is more comfortable for her, and can (depending on restrictions) change it on a public/friend's computer (remember to tell her it's polite to switch it back).

Any IT person that can't toggle it back and forth shouldn't be an IT person.


answered 09 Oct '09, 19:32

BarrettJ's gravatar image

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You should really let her decide what is most comfortable for her. Most mice are wireless now, if we're still using mice when she's using a computer full time it is trivial to swap the buttons over.

Remember that 4 out of the last 5 US Presidents were left-handed.

Edit: I should point out that I firmly believe that left-handed/right-handedness is hard wired. I write with my left hand but play sport/use computers right handedly.


answered 09 Oct '09, 20:55

iainmh's gravatar image

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edited 09 Oct '09, 21:28

I am a natural left handed mouse user, but I can also use my right hand with the mouse as well. I always prefer the "most used mouse button" to be closest to the keyboard as it provides less stress on your hand to use the pointer finger as opposed to an outside finger.

Just my 2 cents.


answered 17 Oct '09, 00:04

Mark's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I use an ordinary mouse but place it on the left of the keyboard. there is always spare flex to put mouse on which ever side you want, its just having the confidence to move the mouse and mat in a public place. Let your child know its okay to move them. I use middle finger for left click and pointer finger for scroll - no problems at all - P.S. in the workplace they bought me a lefthanded keyboard which had the numbers on the left - I found this great but other leftys couldn't use it. Best wishes


answered 08 May '10, 08:48

Julez's gravatar image

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um... at library terminals and public spots, people see me using the mouse cross-handed, with my left on the mouse and right on the keyboard.


answered 13 Aug '10, 02:50

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Asked: 09 Oct '09, 19:01

Seen: 9,546 times

Last updated: 13 Aug '10, 07:19