What To Do When Your Child Struggles With Handwriting

Illegible handwriting, awkward pencil grip, letter, and number reversal are some of the handwriting difficulties children struggle with. When your child starts to learn how to write, it can be a complicated process that gets parents, and likewise, the kids themselves stressed up.

When your child is in third grade or upwards, less time is spent in school developing good handwriting. So you will need to help them correct their problems with writing while at home. Although helping your children fix their writing issues might seem like a difficult thing to tackle. Fortunately, this article addresses some aspects of common writing issues and provides you and your kid with suggestions on how you can tackle these handwriting problems.

Create a Positive and Encouraging Environment and Attitude

Before you start helping your child improve his or her handwriting, the first step is to encourage them. The atmosphere should be a happy one where your kids look forward to learning. It is essential not to make them feel wrong about their illegible writing. While as adults, we might easily understand the importance of legible handwriting, your child doesn’t fully understand it yet.

So it would be best if you had a positive attitude when practicing writing with them. Everyone has unique handwriting, rather than force your child to write in a certain way, try to help them make their unique handwriting neater and better. Also, instead of nagging at your kid, for having ineligible writing, remind them that it’s vital for others to read their handwriting.

Furthermore, it would help if you made their work area comfortable with the right table, chair cushion, and adequate lighting. When children are seated in the correct posture and angle, it helps them relax and write better.

Incorrect Grip

As your child grows, at each stage, they learn how to hold the pencil differently. Their grip might be closed fisted for toddlers, and then gradually, their hand, finger, and wrist movement improves. However, the developmental stages vary from child to child. While some children master the tripod-style grip naturally, there are a few tips for helping them when they find it difficult.

Check your child’s fingers and make sure that while holding a pencil, it is positioned in-between an arched thumb and index finger. The middle finger needs to be on the side of the pen by the index finger. While the ring and pinkie fingers should be tucked into the palm, you might want to try different pencil shapes for this.

Look for pens or pencils that are round cushions and thick, so it’s easier for them to have a better grip. Some are triangular-shaped tubes, which is perfect for the tripod-styled grip. Likewise, you can experiment with other shapes of pens and pencils until you find one that can improve your child’s grip and handwriting difficulties.

Sizing and Spatial Understanding

Irregular letter and number writing and likewise, spaces in individual alphabets that should not be there are the usual spatial difficulties children face when learning to write. For instance, your kid could write the letter “d” as a c and then a separate line. The size of their alphabets and numbers might not be consistent, and some might go above or beneath the line.

To correct this writing issue, you can use slope sheets to help keep your child’s letters consistent. Help your little one remember that all parts of an alphabet should touch without leaving any gaps. If the problem persists, it could be beneficial to have them practice the cursive alphabet so that they get in the habit of keeping their letters together. Also, ensure to give them positive feedback when they correctly close loops, dot “i’s” and cross “t’s.”

Alphabet or Number Reversals

Children are in the habit of writing their alphabets or numbers backward, especially when they are younger. It’s because they are yet to develop spatial consistency fully, so they don’t understand that letters written in reverse could form a different letter of nothing at all. For example, small letters “b” and “d” or a reversed letter c “ͻ.”

Correcting these writing issues takes practice and more practice. Form an early age, you can carry out finger tracing exercises to help your child practice the visual ways of writing such letters correctly. You can use several other motor sensory exercises like using fingers to write in the sand, writing with chalk, etc. it helps them memorize writing the letters correctly. Once they get the knack of it, you can move to trace the alphabets on paper with their pencils. Gradually they can grow up to become professional writers like those on custom writing review websites such as Online Writers Rating.

However, if your child is at a much older age (8 and above) and occasionally makes letter and number reversal mistakes, you should consider visiting a professional to evaluate them and check for any other learning disabilities.

Apathy or Anxiety When Writing

Lack of confidence, encouragement, and a general apprehension for handwriting tasks can make your child’s writing look sloppy and untidy. Additionally, when children feel a lot of pressure from parents and teachers about their writing difficulties, it can cause them to become anxious and feel undue tension.

Create a separate handwriting time for your child without the pressure of them having to think of homework or school project. Encourage their imagination using creating stories, puzzles, plays, and other materials that can inspire them to write neatly. It is important to note that because your child’s writing is illegible doesn’t necessarily lead to a disorder. Sometimes it could just be that he or she is suffering from an isolated writing problem commonly known dysgraphia.


When teaching your child how they can improve on their handwriting, especially when they have writing problems, try to make every moment a teaching-learning one. It could be on a foggy windowpane, using chalk on a slate or a sandy beach. Try to encourage your child in the best ways possible, so they don’t worry about failing.

Author bio: Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.


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