I came to know about this problem in her a bit late. Because of this problem she gets easily tired while writing and the writing turns out to be bad.

I have got extra dark pencils for her and though they have helped the cause, I have still have to constantly remind her not to hold and press very hard.

I wish to know what further steps can be taken to develop a habit in her to hold the pencil lightly and not to press the pencil very hard on paper.

  • 1
    I had the same problem when I was a kid. I used to press so much that I got corns on my finger. This problem got resolved over time. I believe one of the problem was that I couldn't keep still the pen because my fingers are a way too flexible. For example, I could touch with the top of my index finger the back of my hand. Now, the best I can do is 4 centimeter distance between them.
    – Mihail
    Dec 16, 2019 at 18:56
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    @Mihail You seem to be describing hypermobility. oxleas.nhs.uk/site-media/cms-downloads/… Dec 17, 2019 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


What works for us is large pencils. There are pencils that are about double or so the normal diameter of a pencil; they're easier for smaller children to hold and control, with less developed fine motor control. Some even will have a slightly different shape (triangular). Ultimately the problem isn't how dark the lines are, but that it's simply hard to press the correct amount at that age. My older son used to break a lot of pencil leads for the same reason; he grew out of it as he developed better coordination.

Beyond that, I wouldn't worry too much at six years old. Ask her teacher what they think; it's likely she's in the normal range for children her age. If the teacher does have concerns, they can likely give you more ideas for working on the hand eye coordination that is necessary to press correctly.

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    You can also get pencil grips (search for them on Amazon for examples). These provide extra support for the fingers in gripping the pencil. Dec 17, 2019 at 10:26

In addition to Joe's practical answer, this can be a symptom of two wider issues:

  1. Joint hypermobility. Sometimes inaccurately called "double jointed". Some or all of the joints in the body have a wider range of movement than normal, so more muscle control is required to manage precision movements. If this occurs in the fingers then it makes gripping a small pencil difficult because the thumb joint flexes backwards, leaving the inner knuckle to take the load instead of the ball of the thumb.

  2. Dyspraxia. This is a general problem with coordination. It shows up in poor performance in hand-eye tasks like writing and eating, and also in general clumsiness (at one time it was called "clumsy child syndrome"). The child finds the fine movements required for writing or drawing difficult and tiring. To try to exercise the required control the whole arm is tensed up, which would show up as a tight grip and heavy pressure.

Note: I'm not medically trained and I'm not attempting long-range diagnosis. Look at the links and take it from there.

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