A common source of discord at home is “sharing” without asking. Children in general, engage in this behavior, but it may persist for a longer time for children with LD or ADHD.
Difficulty with self-monitoring or self-awareness contributes to a lack of recognition that a behavior is not acceptable. By that, I mean your child is running late for school (not an uncommon occurrence). She goes into the bathroom to get ready, can’t find her own toothbrush, deodorant or hairbrush and impulsively uses her sibling’s personal item. An eruption happens when the sibling finds out! The guilty party is completely surprised that her sibling would be that angry. She has no awareness that using someone’s personal items would be met with such outrage. She may not have even recognized that the toothbrush was not hers! It was convenient, she was in a hurry and she acted without thinking!
Sometimes there is borrowing of a sibling’s clothing (or your clothing) without asking. Suddenly the sibling is screaming and the child has no clue why his sibling is so upset with him. He may not even recognize that the clothes belong to someone else. This same youngster will also get very angry if his sibling goes into his room without asking and borrows a toy or wears his shirt.
There are two issues here. One issue is the youngster failing to recognize her own property (unless it is a video game or special doll). The other problem is failing to anticipate how others will feel when she uses her sibling’s property without asking.
For the first issue, the following environmental changes might help:
The second issue, anticipating how others might feel, will be addressed in the next blog post.
Blogger Mary Ann Mulcahey, PhD, shares her expertise in assessment and diagnosis of learning disabilities and ADHD, and the social/emotional adjustment to those issues. If you have questions, please contact Mary Ann at .