Confessions of a person with poor pencil grip

Posted by PlayBizAdmin on 01 November 2016

So, embarrassingly, that is a mug shot of my pencil grip!
My name is Natalie and I’m a leftie with massive thumb wrap issues and I hold my pencil tightly and I also have heavy pencil pressure.
As for my sight skills, please don’t ask me to find Wally in those Where’s Wally? books. I’ll be at it for days!
Throughout primary school, I had one of those old-school triangle shaped pencil grips, though fortunately pencil grips have progressed quite a bit in the last 30 years.
Then throughout high school, I had band-aids wrapped around my third finger and under my thumb to provide ‘padding’ because otherwise I got bruises and callouses from holding my pencil too tightly.
I spent a lot of time flexing my fingers and shaking my hands, trying to get rid of the painful cramps. Even now, almost 30 years later, I sometimes remember that feeling of always having to rush to finish my work because of all the hand-resting breaks I’d needed.
Basically, I was the perfect ‘candidate’ for occupational therapy prescribed activities that strengthened my hand and developed my ‘pincer grip’ (where my thumb tip and pointer/2nd fingertip would’ve been together)!

But what’s the deal with pencil grip anyway?

It’s a surprisingly controversial topic… but why? What’s all the hoopla about the way your child holds their pencil?
Well, it comes down to function – which grip is most functional for speed, fluency, and avoiding pain and fatigue.
Luckily for some, the preferred three-fingered ‘dynamic tripod’ pencil grip – where the pencil’s held between the thumb and middle finger and the second finger rests on top to guide it – comes naturally.
Others, such as myself, aren’t so lucky and adopting this pencil grip takes awareness, hand strength, finger strength, control in your posture, just to name a few. Oh, and a knack for developing good habits!
That’s why you need to look at little miss or mister’s grip with ‘functional’ goggles on and consider how easily it will help them write quickly and legibly throughout school (and beyond!).
A little bit of gentle encouragement now will mean a lot less discomfort later on!

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