How to Teach Handwriting to The Child Who Refuses to Write Plus 2 Other Types of Kids

Teach Handwriting to the Kid Who Refuses to Write

Kids that struggle, whether it be with handwriting or any other area, tend to fall in three categories. Find out how to teach handwriting to all three types of kids in this blogpost! 

There are kids that will feel bad about struggling and they will just keep on trying because they know they can do better. They usually think, “I can figure this out on my own.”

Then you have the kids who do feel bad, but they have an “I don’t care” attitude. They think, “Who cares? I don’t care that I have to do things over again. I don’t care that I got docked points on my spelling test ‘cause my handwriting was messy.” They become stoic.

The last group of kids feels bad because they can’t do something, but instead of asking for help, what they do is they go “on strike.” They just refuse to write.

Do you recognize your kids in one of these categories?

In this blogpost, I’m going to break down the three categories of kids, how we can approach them where they are at and offer strategies to help improve their handwriting, plus how to teach handwriting to the child who refuses to write!

Prefer to watch this content? Click the play button on my video below!

⏬ Want to know exactly what to say to improve handwriting?  Get this FREE resource HERE

How to Teach Handwriting to the "On Strike" Kids

The kids that are “on strike” really break my heart because this attitude has developed out of feelings of defeat. These kids know they are struggling. They feel hopeless to make any progress because they’ve tried before and nothing has changed. So they just stop trying and refuse to do anything.

For these kids, it has become a confidence issue. The best way to approach these kids is first to back off and then to create opportunities for small wins. Remember, what’s behind this wall of refusal is actually a lack of confidence. 

How to Teach Handwriting 

Start with some modifications like dictation. If they’re an older child, you can write the beginning of the sentence and have them write the last words. Whatever you do, you want to be super intentional and super specific that they’re going to come out winning. 

Once their confidence has been built up, you can start slowly introducing strategies to improve their handwriting. 

The “I Don’t Care” Kids

This group of kids lack self-awareness of the importance of legible handwriting.

Self-awareness is the first step to improving handwriting.  

You need to show them how their handwriting has interfered in a non-threatening, non-judgmental way. Easier said than done – but you can do it! 

  • Say something like, “Hey, I noticed you had to stay out of recess the other day because your teacher couldn’t read your handwriting. You had to rewrite it. That kind of probably stunk for you that you had to miss recess.” 
  • Or, “Hey, I know you had to call your friend because you couldn’t read what you wrote for homework.” Homework is a big thing. They always recognize this.

Set up little instances where they can recognize for themselves the importance of legible handwriting. Make sure you keep the judgment out of it because these kids already have their own judgment. You just want to bring it up to the surface, not like, “Ha ha, told you so.” 

The "Keep On Trying" Kids

These other kiddos tend to keep on doing the same thing over and over again, reinforcing those incorrect writing practices. For these kids, you really want to jump in real quick and give them support. You want to interrupt their handwriting patterns, because the way they’re doing things isn’t working for them.

So we need to either come in there with a letter size lesson. We need to show them how spacing really clears things up in the picture. As long as they have the right support and the right step-by-step, these “keep on trying” kids do really well with it.

Handwriting Resource Guide on How to Teach Handwriting

Let’s do a quick review:

  1. The kids that are on strike and refuse to write, we’re going to back off and we’re going to give them as many wins as possible. 
  2. The kids that are like, “Oh, I don’t care,” we are going to increase their self-awareness.
  3. The kiddos that just keep on trying, we want to give them interventions to interrupt their incorrect motor patterns so they can do better.


Which category do your kids fall in? Go ahead and try these interventions and let me know how it goes.

Check out my FREE Real Life Handwriting Resource Guide for over 30 pages of practical information all about how to help your child improve their handwriting.

Want more tips on how to teach handwriting to your child? 

3 phrases you should say to immediately improve any child's handwriting!

Your Handwriting Resource Guide