Is it important to have good handwriting?

Ethan’s handwriting – good enough for me

This morning, when I sent Ethan to his daycare centre, I had a quick chat with his teacher. I just wanted to see how Ethan was doing.

Besides being his usual sensitive self, which was of no surprise to me, what the teacher added that did surprise me was that Ethan has poor handwriting and that he is not holding his pen correctly.

“Really? Oh, ok,” was what I managed to reply.

The teacher then gave me the assurance that she will teach Ethan to hold the pencil correctly and to improve his handwriting.

I always thought there was nothing wrong with Ethan’s handwriting. I admit that his spacing between words are sometimes too close but usually it’s fine and I could read his handwriting perfectly. His Chinese handwriting seems fine to me too, even though I don’t know how to read it. And does it really matter how he holds his pencil as long as he could write legibly?

So, anyway, I came back home tonight and googled for information that explains how a child’s handwriting will affect him and whether it is important to hold the pencil in a way that everyone else does.

Most websites explained the importance of handwriting, and not just using the keyboard. Of course, I would agree to this as children need to know who to write using a pen or pencil.

Other websites explained how to guide children with writing difficulties, as in children who are facing difficulties in forming words with a pencil. I don’t think Ethan has writing difficulties.

One website that I did manage to find that talks about the importance of having good handwriting was

Well, it says that it is important to have good handwriting even after graduation because “Like it or not, even in our machine-driven world, people still judge you by your handwriting.” Hhhmmm, really? I don’t judge people by their handwriting.

If we start judging people by their handwriting, then what does it say about doctors? You can hardly read a doctor’s handwriting and yet they are earning so much money.

In fact, I know a lot of people with poor handwriting who are just as successful as those with good handwriting.

Today at work, I observed how my boss held his pen. It was not the usual way people held their pens but he is someone who has a few successful businesses. So what does that says about him?

I do know of a few parents who emphasize on the importance of having good, if not perfect, handwriting. They would erase their children’s homework and make them write again and again until their children write perfectly.

I just fail to see the point here. I mean, as long as their writing is legible and it could be easily understood by anyone reading it, shouldn’t that be enough? Why the need to impose perfect handwriting? Why not spend time on something that is more important? Or maybe it’s just me missing the point here?

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