Friday, October 11, 2013

Sociopaths and children

A reader asked what I would do if I had a child. My response:
I think sociopaths tend to like children more than they like adults. I do. You can be relatively honest, even authentically nice to children. Children don't have the same expectations of you. Children aren't secretly judging you for being "off." You don't have to wear a mask around children. You can be yourself and, if anything, they will think that you are funnier and a better playmate than most adults. Although, speaking of playmates, children of a certain age sometimes have difficulty telling whether I am considered an adult or a child by society's standards because I don't fit the typical adult behavior patterns.

Even though I like kids generally, I find certain children to be completely intolerable. It can be very difficult dealing with these children because they behave so selfishly and unreasonably. If it were just up to me, no problem, I could just ignore or terrorize them to get them to stop. But a lot of the time other adults (typically their parents) will placate them in ways that tend to put you out. It's ridiculous to watch how easily these adults are manipulated. These parents are just feeding the behavior. Children, like sociopaths, need well established boundaries to feel safe. Parents are doing children a disservice through their exaggerated efforts to appease. But these type of parents don't really care about the kid's welfare, not enough anyway. They're just doing whatever it takes to get the kid to shut up and get off their backs.

Another tricky thing about children is that adults expect you to be nice around them, to not tell them crazy things, to behave in certain socially acceptable ways, i.e. to behave how they would behave with a child. That's fine and I understand there are certain things that are considered off-limits for children. For instance, I recently acquired this impulse to choke people, including children. They're crying, or they're hitting me with something, or screaming at me and I just want it to stop so I reach out with both hands at their throats with these crazy eyes full of intent, like the cartoon character Homer Simpson. It is completely impulsive. I did that with a little relative recently. It was hilarious looking up and seeing his mother's anxious (slightly horrified?) expression wondering whether she should intervene or whether I was going to stop myself (I'm very open with who I am around my family).

So overall, I like children, but I like them best when I am given significant leeway with which to interact with them, or otherwise don't have judgmental, interfering adults around to distort my very natural interactions with them. I would imagine that I would have that in spades with my own children, so there's that. On the other hand, I wouldn't have the patience to deal with the everyday bustle that comes along with children. I would need to hire full-time help. A really interesting question is, if I did have a child, would I want it to be a sociopath or not? I'll have to think about that one...

Another thing, almost everything I said here about sociopaths and children would seem to apply equally to aspies and children.

60 comments:

  1. Hahahahaha! ME is a man child.

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  2. I love children for all of the same reasons. They typically like me, too. The problem for me comes when they grow up and still want to know me. While I liked them as children, I often don't find them worth my time as adults. I try not to hurt them by saying something like this and I tend to just let us drift apart.

    I plan to have children eventually. I want a few, so hopefully I'll get at least one P/S and at least one neurotypical. I think that since I'll be raising them, I'll be able to guide them toward being adults that I want to be around. I also think that I'll feel something for them like I do for my family and friends- maybe even more since I tend to enjoy people more, the more ownership I have over them. I guess we'll have to wait and see :)

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    Replies
    1. My gosh do not have kids!!!! Why don't you read the horror stories of kids that are killed by their parents... Normal people do not do those kinds of things and I truly believe that kids that wind of dead on the news is all due to being raised by a sociopathic or psychopathic parent.

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    2. July 15 2014

      Stop knee jerking and generalizing. You obviously have no clue to what you are writing. No clue!

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    3. I have a three year old. He is mine and he came from me so there for I care about him more than anything in this world. Just because I am a "sociopath" does not mean I run around killing people. It doesnt mean Im going to torture and kill animals or people. I do not think about killing my son, or hurting him or whatever you "normal" people assume. Seriously, go educate yourself before you post anything else... anywhere.

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    4. My ex-husband is a sociopath, I believe as long as our kids are being good and/or emulating him(it's a pride thing) he seems to care. When they aren't he is verbally bashing them behind their back. He doesn't provide for them and we lived on the verge of eviction for most of our life together. He is very passive aggressive and is always trying to give the kids guilt trips for not spending time with him yet he doesn't do anything to try and spend time with them. He is always the victim.

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  3. They're just doing whatever it takes to get the kid to shut up and get off their backs.

    A lot of times it's also because parents crave love/admiration from their children; perhaps the kind they don't normally receive from adults.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I agree Aerianne. My son is an only child and I'm afraid his father and I have spoiled him. He's really a very nice little boy but there are a lot of mental situations in my family and it scares me that he has some of the personality traits of my uncle and my mother. Very strong willed almost mean sometimes. And then there are other times he's just wonderful and great company. He doesn't like the same kind of toys the other kids his age like..star wars or hero figures and yet he's exposed to them via movies/books. He loves riding his skateboard and he's an excellent swimmer. He will be getting a black belt in Taekwondo soon. He doesn't like to read or write but scores very high in math. Don't know..maybe he's just fine and I'm the one with the problems...lol. Maybe I'm a bit of a wimp and I feel he should be the same or then he's just mean. But we are different for sure and it's challenging for me and of course he can't express himself enough yet to talk about it. He did have to take meds for absence seizures for two years but he's been off it for a few months because he grew out of them. Don't know if the meds did anything to him..can't be sure. Oh what to do..

    Grace

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    Replies
    1. My eldest niece is a lot like me when it comes to reading. She doesn't like books that are intended for her age group, she likes adult stories, so we read a lot of adult poetry together as bed time stories. I went right from elementary school reading assignments to reading adult science books in grade 6. I remember reading Cosmos by Carl Sagan in grade 7 for my book reading assignment for the term when all the other kids were reading drivel, despite just two years prior being in remedial reading because I was two years behind my peers. By grade 7 I was reading beyond highschool level. Maybe your son is not interested in kids books and needs something more challenging and interesting.

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  6. I laughed at the choke moment. Bra-fucking-vo.

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  7. Anonymous, no one gives a fuck about the life story of your brat. Let's try to stay semi-relevant. About 90% of that post I thought I was on Pedophile OKcupid.

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    1. What's the URL for that site?

      Delete
  8. Agreed, but I personally cannot stand children. (Toss across room?)

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    1. I once threatened to throw a kid out the window if he did not "shut the fuck up." He was a spoiled shit and his parents more than him deserved to be thrown out the window.

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  9. If you don't find it interesting then don't comment on it..just ignore it.

    You're the brat Anon. Your whole comment says brat!!

    Grace

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  10. Its easy for me to understand why sociopaths would enjoy being around children. Though as an empath, i like being around kids for much of those same reasons- authenticity, simplicity, etc. However, since kids can easily be manipulated by sociopaths, they can also be easily victimized sexually, physically, and/or psychologically. How to determine whether a p/s has enough impulse restraint to be around kids without expressing some compulsive behavior that's not in the kid's best interest? Do you like kids enough to look out for their safety and well-being? or do you like children more than adults because you are more free to be yourself?

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  11. However, since kids can easily be manipulated by sociopaths, they can also be easily victimized sexually, physically, and/or psychologically.

    ...Because only sociopaths manipulate and victimize children, right? Getting my ass beaten was a common thing in my household (typical of most immigrant nationalities), yet my father was no sociopath/pyschopath.

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  12. No, not because 'only' sociopaths manipulate... I did not say that. I know there are plenty of rotten parents and cruel people out there that are not sociopaths. People do damage to kids for many different reasons, whether intentional or just not caring about the outcome of their actions.

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    1. They probably have started down the road to sociopathy. I'm convinced it's not an either or disorder. You can be a little or a lot, and most people are very little, some are a little more, and very few are a lot.

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  13. I like kids for all the reasons listed by ME and everybody else. Kids are great! Then they become adults...

    And LMAO on the choking story. I did that a couple of times too, only I was younger (teenager) and there were no witnesses. Sometimes those darn babies don't when to stop whining! ;-) Otherwise, some of them are really adorable.

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    1. I refuse to look after any kid, even a niece or nephew until they're at least 6 years old. A baby is inconceivable to me. What would we do? I didn't even hold my nieces when they were babies. I didn't want to. The idea was repulsive.

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  14. Wow... what?

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  15. I laughed first when I got to ME's account of child-chokery, and a second time at Daniel's. I feel like I'm the only one who's strangled an adult. :/

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  16. Are there any self-help websites or books for dealing with sociopathy? Everything I find focuses on the "victims" and how to avoid sociopaths. I am certain that I am a sociopath and I desperately want some help. I feel powerless since "discovering" my condition (although I've been aware that I was VERY different for some time now). thank you.

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    Replies
    1. This is it. Welcome. There's also a forum where you can chat with others: www.sociopath-community.com

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  17. September 8 Anonymous: What do you need help with? You're different. You're neurologically wired in a way that the vast majority of people can't even comprehend. I won't give you false hope that this might change - it's permanent. The only things you need to know are to control your actions and be happy with who you are.

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  18. Anon,

    What do you mean different..in what way? You don't sound like a sociopath to me. Not that I'm an expert. Try to get a professional opinion before convincing yourself, or letting anyone else convince you, that you're a sociopath. It might be something else.

    Grace

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  19. wow to the choking kids comment, just...sick.

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  20. Hmm. Can't say as I've ever gotten violent, except for one incident in elementary school. I don't know as I ever knew the cause, but I was attacked by another child in the restroom. I engaged heartily, smashed his head into a mirror (broke) and then into the sink below it (porcelain - did not). As we were only children, the force behind my assault was not enough to cripple or hospitalise, I don't doubt it would have were it high school.

    Perhaps it is how far I go when the impulse takes me - and my obsessive strangulation of thoughts not under my control - which prevents me from engaging in any similar behaviour.

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  21. i very much dislike children, even those within my family

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  22. Sociopaths, if they love their children treat them like disposible pets.
    They love their children "as far as it goes", which often isn't very far.
    How can they tend to children, handle the "sticky" responsibilites,
    when they are so much like children themselves? Children are the
    most narasistic of beings-so are sociopaths.
    The sociopath will probably take her child off the shelf, and display her
    as a "prestige" item. Then it's right back on the shelf.
    If the sociopath is a woman, vying for the attention of a man, (Who
    usually doesn't want to provide for another man's progeny.) The
    child will likely be disposed of like so much refuse. Do the names
    Diane Downs, Susan Smith, and Casey Anthony ring a bell?
    When Lenoard Padilla, the bounty hunter bailed Casey Anthony out
    of jail in the hopes she would lead him to her daughter, he assigned
    a female "minder" to watch over Casey. The woman wanted to see
    baby pitctures of Caylee. In the midst of looking at Caylee's baby
    photos, Casey placed an album of her own baby pitctures on top of
    Caylee's pitctures and said, "Why are you looking at her? I was just as
    attractive."
    Sociopath "babes" like engaging in the activities that create babies,
    they just don't like caring for the babies they create.

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    Replies
    1. I was once with a sociopath babe. Two sociopaths together make for a perfect storm. We're both lucky to be alive after that relationship ended. Fortunately we did not have children, and whenever we talk on occasion if only because we are taking her brother for all we can get out of him, I feel that this is the only person who knows what I am, and I could tell her any crazy thing and she wouldn't care like everyone else would. On her own, she can barely function. She'd probably have had social services take any child from her if she had one.

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  23. motherhood certainly has mellowed the rough edges of my soul- for good or for ill. I suspect that you'd be a very protective and dedicated parent, ME, no matter the temperament of your child.

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  24. Much of what we call "normal" behavior in children we call "psychopathy" in adults.

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  25. i love children with hot moms
    (i sometimes charm kids to get the attention of the mom)

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  26. I have always liked intelligent and interesting children. Often times they are actually smarter than adults, because they ask questions and want to understand rather than assume they already know. If we can play legos or make something together, or watch fun cartoons or even do simple science experiments I really like them, and they seem to think I'm the eminently cool adult, because I play with kids like a kid. But if kids become intolerable to me I tell them waht I don't like that they are doing. I cannot understand soft endlessly tolerant parents who simply will not say no to their child. Most problems I've had with kids, either with my nieces or with my brothers when they were very young were easily solved: I'm going to make you do something you despise (bed, bath, nothing to play with, go to your room, or I'm going home) unless you do what I want you to. It has always worked, without fail, even if the kid is tired and I'm threatening bed right now, no stories, and I don't care if you cry or hate me. Because I don't care. My youngest brother was a difficult child for everyone except me. If he did things I didn't like, I sent him to his room and took his toys away from him. This only happened twice before he understood that I never deviated from what I said. He was almost 6 years old when I was beyond annoyed by my father and step mother giving in to him every night and giving him his soother. Yes, that's right, a soother. So I took it. And I kept it. And three nights later he didn't ask for it, and not ever again, and this annoying problem was solved. I gave it back to him on his 16th birthday. Everyone thought this was the funniest thing ever. My point was to embarrass him, which it did, among all his friends. We're now even, well almost.

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    1. Narcissist. Sociopaths don't suffer the need to "embarrass." To hold onto something for 10 years implies feeling. You are nothing but a Napoleon.

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    2. Narcissist. Sociopaths don't suffer the need to "embarrass." To hold onto something for 10 years implies feeling. You are nothing but a Napoleon.

      Delete
  27. An interesting litmus test to tell the difference between a sociopath and a narcissist.

    A sociopath and a child share an in the moment enjoyment that can enable them to truly enjoy each other's company.

    A narcissist may pretend to like children, and certainly enjoys any adoration they give him/her but ultimately resents the fact they "steal" the spotlight. Children are props and competition, never interesting in an of themselves.

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  28. Once again, sociopaths don't seem to understand the impact of their actions. That kid will probably be scared of "making noise" the rest of his/her life. So if they're being attacked or raped, it will be harder for them to scream. The proper response from the mother would have been, "Sweetie, if someone ever grabs you like that or in any way you don't like, you scream like hell and hit them as hard as you can to get away. Don't ever let anyone hurt you."

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  29. "I did that with a little relative recently. It was hilarious"

    Promise me you will never get a bad head injury....

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  30. Where the fuck is Monica these days?

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  31. I don't think someone who considers themselves a sociopath should be around children. How could someone who feels no empathy for others possibly understand how to treat a child? Children need love and affection, something I can't imagine rates very highly in a sociopath's mind. I doubt that some of these people who say they are sociopaths actually are, why would a sociopath care about being judged by anyone, adult or child, unless they needed to get that person or others around them on their side to manipulate them and wouldn't want to show their true self. A sociopath being around children is dangerous not just because they could abuse them but because they could manipulate the child into doing all kinds of things. Sociopaths could build up a relationship with a child, pretend they care about the child then push them away, treat them cruelly or withhold love to watch them cry or beg just because they enjoy seeing the child suffer. I really shouldn't be giving you people ideas but you've probably already figured this out for yourselves and much worse.
    About children not judging others, I disagree, I think children can be more judgemental and more aware of things then most adults, children are naturally curious so they watch you, they observe your behavior, they ask questions. Adults are usually too busy thinking about themselves or too preoccupied with what they are doing to pay much attention to other people's behavior. I agree that children can be manipulative if they want something out of you and sometimes you have to put your foot down and say no, not give into them. I don't have children but I have been around children and I like children. I think those who buy their children gifts to keep their children out of their way instead of spending time with them, raise spoilt, selfish children who equate love with material possessions and manipulate their parents (and others) to get what they want. I'm not saying this causes someone to be a sociopath but it may be one of the things that could contribute to it if that tendency is already there.

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    Replies
    1. I believe someone mentioned this already but we like to have ownership. Our own children might be the only people we could actually love.

      You should be careful judging us. Almost all the information on psycho/sociopaths comes from research done on unsuccesful P/S's.

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    2. What a horrible assumption to make about a segment of mental health you've obviously not read an ounce of legitimate research on nor heard the viewpoint of one who has sociopathy. That's like judging you as criminally minded because you're a black male who grew up without a father. A hearty fuck you to you as further proof that indeed, we're right, and a lot of you are simply taking air that could be better used for more intellectually minded individuals who aspire to creative tangents. Like children.

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    3. Because "successful" P/S's don't volunteer for research, if you want the image of sociopaths to change you need to provide that image, change the world's perception by accepting yourself and being willing to accept the consequences of your actions like everybody else.

      M.E. started this but she's doing it anonymously, there's still a ways to go, and many empaths will support you when the time comes, if you haven't ran us over yet, so please take it easy in the meantime ;)

      Delete
  32. Most of you are simply a bunch of wannabe Dexter's. Pitiful really.

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  33. There are some truly pathetic comments on ths thread I.e. laughing at the choke story, it's ridiculous and so obviously people writing found shock value so people read it and think oooooo they're definitely a sociopath. This is not some kind of club to belong to, im a sociopath and I absolutely hate it. If the people leavng these obvious inflammatory comments did suffer (yes suffer, it's an illness) then they wouldn't write with such bravado and peacock feather behaviour. Being a sociopath is a private thing, most of you lot just seem to want attention and for people to think you're scary, utterly pathetic. .....

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  34. Help me
    I am probably a Sociopath and I've got to babysit kids TONIGHT. I like kids but help me because the last time I was with one I almost punched him in the face.
    F Mc

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  35. Please, if you're a sociopath don't even consider having kids. My father is a sociopath (diagnosed), he was never directly cruel or mean to any of his 3 children but he did not and, I realise now, could not love us. As a child I was almost unaware of it, my mum made up the difference, however by the time I reached ten years old I had figured it out.
    I cannot even begin to tell you the various different ways it has affected me and my siblings. We all have sociopathic traits from including manipulation, lying and addiction.
    Anyway I know none of you will really care about my sob story but I thought if by posting I could discourage even one of you from afflicting a child with a sociopath parent then it would be worth sharing.

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    1. I am a sociopath who chose to have a child. I have a 5 yr old son who i love more than anyone else, & 1 reason is because, as a sociopath, i consider him to be almost an extension of myself, & so thus as a sociopath of course i love him. He is the exact opposite of me: 1 of the most empathic & emotionally intelligent children i've ever come across, & some teachers said the same of him. I'm glad he is who he is, & i'm fine with who i am, & the 2 of us are extremely close, especially since his alcoholic dad isn't around.

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    2. I have 2 children now. Your dad wasn't a sociopath, he was just a dick.

      I love my children to the point that it confuses me. They make me feel things that, prior to their existence, I have never genuinely felt with such intensity.

      Being a good dad is one of the few things that I can honestly say brings me unfettered pride and happiness.

      Delete
    3. I love this...I know this is an old post but the love I have for my child is insane and I have never before had such emotions for anyone. I tell my family that there's no one in the world that loves their child more than I love mine and I truly feel like that! Only now I realize why.

      Delete

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