Psychopathic Children

“I gave birth to a monster”-this is every mother’s worst nightmare.  Unfortunately, some mothers (and fathers) come to a realization that they are living that nightmare. Psychopathic children do exist.


But mothers (I’m talking about real mothers and not just someone who gave birth to someone) would never consider their child a monster, a psychopath, no matter how bad he behaves or how other people see him, because they always find excuses for him. Their love is unconditional, greater than the love for the self.


It eventually hits them in the face and there is no denying it.


And no matter how guilt-ridden they are, deep down they know it was not all their fault. Thinking back, they realize that this particular child (if they have more than one) has always been different. No matter how hard they tried, they could not establish the connection with him (or her). And then, on top of being heart broken, the parents get blamed for the way their child has turned out. Although people give them no understanding or support, this is nothing comparing to the abuse they suffer from their very own child.


This is something so painful, yet still a taboo in our society. It needs to be talked about, discussed, debated, for if we do not learn to recognize the early signs of psychopathy in our children, we will not be able to help them and protect ourselves and other people from them.


My encounter with a child “monster”


An old friend of my husband came to visit us when he was in town. He stopped by with his wife and their six-year-old son.


The parents were quickly immersed in a conversation with my husband and did not pay attention to their son. He sneaked out of the yard and went into the street.

At that time my first child was just a baby, so I didn’t know much about kids. I thought that he was probably old enough to go out  and that he was probably just bored. But I still went after him to tell him that it would be better if he stayed in the house or the yard.

I was shocked to see that he was actually going after our cats and throwing rocks at them, focusing really hard as he aimed. I yelled at him: “Hey, why are you throwing rock at them? You are going to hurt them like that! ” He turned around and looked at me, and his look was saying “Yes, I know, STUPID, that is exactly why I am doing it.” But he didn’t say anything. I asked him again. I get no answer again, just an evil smile. Instantly I got really mad with this kid. I told him in a very imperative tone of voice: “Go inside. You can’t be out here.” He looked at me like I was a poor little creature and said “No.” I screamed at him to go inside or I will call his parents. His mother appeared at the front door and called him to come in. I didn’t know what to do-should I tell her that her child is “evil”? Has she even seen that look in his eyes? I was totally upset but of course I should just keep my mouth shut. Saying something would probably get me in a huge fight with a woman that I just met and my husband and his friend would be put in a very awkward situation.

I decided to spend the rest of their visit in the house, while they were in the yard. I just could not stand being next to that kid. My excuse was that I had to be with the baby. At one point, the kid came into the house and wanted to see the baby. He was clearly bored and looking for a way to entertain himself. I hissed at him like a lioness protecting her cub- “Just get the hell out.” I think he then stuck his tongue out at me or something like that, and left.

Gentle Strength

When they were gone, my husband came inside with a worried face. He didn’t know what happened with me and the kid in the street, but he knew something was wrong and seeing how the kid behaved he got the picture why I was hiding in the house.


He said that the whole time the kid was trying to get attention, he was just acting like a spoiled little brat. The parents did not pay any attention to him, but if he yelled hard enough, they would do exactly what he asked for without thinking twice about it, and then continue the conversation.


I am very thankful for their visit because I know exactly what not to do as a parent. I think this poor kid probably never got attention from his mom and dad in the right way. They are “artists” if you know what I mean, so they have more important things to do than to raise their child. To teach him right from wrong. Teach him respect. Teach him discipline. Teach him empathy.


Brats are all around us


I can feel sorry for a child like this now because he is only six, but when he hits puberty  and becomes dangerous (like the Devil I wrote about in My Story) feeling sorry, or anything for that matter, will not be able to bring him back on the right track.


We now have too many kids  who are not only disobedient, but who are completely detached from their family, who have scary role models, who get raised by the streets and video games. And what do the parents do? They think “all a child  needs is love” so they turn the other cheek and take another blow. Then they think “well, maybe a child needs a little more entertainment” or “maybe we can try to negotiate” or something as ridiculous as that.


Spoiled brats are all around us, and that is why we cannot differentiate between them and little psychopaths, kids who are truly difficult.

Spoiled brats will likely lose all their potential for empathy and remorse with rearing like this, and grow up to be just like the real psychopaths if they don’t get help.


But let’s look at these other kids first. The one that the article is actually about.


Psychiatrists do not like to talk about this subject because psychopathy is very difficult to diagnose. And because it is such an untreatable condition, people who get clinically labeled as “psychopaths” really cannot escape the diagnosis for the rest of their lives. Still, the main experts on this subjects agree that psychopathy can be recognized very early.



The early signs of psychopathy in children


Some mothers of psychopaths claim that, thinking back, they could say that the earliest signs of something not being quite right began when the child was still and infant. The child did not like to be held, did not like to make eye contact and was somehow cold, detached.


Then, when a kid like this becomes a  toddler, he (or she) starts to learn about manipulation. It is almost as if he can switch his charm on and off to get what he wants.  All kids do this, but this child seems far better at it.


The conscience in children forms around the age of five or six, and this is usually the time when the parents realize that something is terribly wrong. Their child is not responding to socialization like the other kids. He is refusing to play by the rules. He is getting better at lying, deceiving, and getting away with something he did. It seems like he does  understand that other people and animals have feelings, but does not care about it.


A psychopathic child does not express love, because he cannot feel it. He does not respond well to love from others, because he does not understand it.

A psychopathic child is very jealous of his sibling because he sees that they are receiving and giving love, something he is not capable of. He tries to make the love between his parents and his siblings  somehow disappear.


A psychopathic child does not respond to punishment. He does not learn from his mistakes. He only learns how to get away with it next time. However, he does respond to bribing, or something “positive” that he could get if he corrected his behavior.

A psychopathic child is fearless. He is not thinking about the consequences of his actions, even if that means getting hurt and putting his life in danger.

A psychopathic child is only concerned with satisfying his needs. He stays on the emotional level of an infant in that sense. He feels entitled.

He observes the guilt his parents sometimes feel and uses it to get what he wants. “You are not a good enough mother if you do not do this for me”-they can say this as early as five or six years old.


They think seeing someone suffer is fun. Even if it is their own mother and father. Actually, they believe that their mother and father only exist to serve them. “Why did you have me if you are not going to do this or that for me?” is another favorite line that they can use later on in life.


 What can parents do?

As you can see, there are many similarities between a psychopathic child and a regular spoiled brat.

Experts say that psychopathy is often genetic, and that a psychopathic child is likely to have a psychopathic parent. It gets even more complicated when you think about a psychopath raising a child -how can that child be normal emotionally?  We tech our children by example, and if a psychopathic or narcissistic parent has no empathy and no moral values, the child cannot learn it even if he had that capacity to begin with.


But considering that the parents are normal, “morally healthy” people, this is what could be done:


Stop being “a friend” to your child and start being the boss. Set the rules. Make sure that they are followed.

Stop making excuses for your child. Respect his intelligence. Do not make things easier for him all the time. Let him have obstacles that he will need to overcome on his own. It does not make you a better parent if you give him a silver spoon, it is quite the contrary.

Do not make things easier for yourself, either. Stop avoiding confrontation. Stop numbing the situation with TV or computer games. Things will not get better with time. They will get worse. Much worse.

Do not think that he will be better off with a predatory character. Psychopaths are miserable beings. They cannot be happy. Their existence is two dimensional. Plus, they end up as drug addicts, prostitutes or criminals. You certainly do not want that for your child.

Although psychopathy is incurable, experts agree that psychopathy in children can be treated in a way that makes them less dangerous to others and allows them to lead more productive lives as adults.  There should always be hope that the child can be brought to the right track.


If you are the parent of a psychopathic child, get help. Don’t avoid responsibility. And just as with dealing with other psychopaths, remember that “unconditional love” approach does not work. It will only turn you into a victim of your own child.

Gentle Strength

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  • Misty Champlin

    All of your advice in dealing with a psychopathic child, while good, are wrong. My son was a psychopath and nothing worked; not boundaries; not punishment; nothing. Evil is evil and cannot be righted except by God. My son thought my husband (not his father) and I were “deluded” because we believed in God but his biological father who raised him didn’t. My son was extremely arrogant, charming, condecending, manipulative, mean, paracitical and everything had to revolve around him. It’s so sad. His “real” father never dealt with him and then dumped him on us; we actually tried to help him but the more we tried to teach him, the more he was disgusted by our goodness. It makes me sick to this day. My son is dead. He died right next to me after his 21st b-day because he tried to take over our home when is own father couldn’t deal with him and his shooting-up drugs/drug abuse/stealing/lying/manipulating anymore. My psychopathic son abused our handicapped, blind Wolf pup and almost killed him. He also abused our other small dog. My son at the age of 12, sexually molested by force, a child I had been a part-time nanny to for 7 years and ruined that relationship but he never admitted it even though she was only 4 years old, he had known her since she was a baby and he never, ever showed any remorse or anything towards his abuse of others. The girl spent 6 months in therapy and I lost my job. I truly feel for any parent who has a child who is completely incapable of empathy and compassion and who has no problem hurting ANYONE around him/her, in order to get what they want. My son’s favorite saying to us before my husband shot him was this: I hurt people because I can. My son brought a gun into our home, tried to take over our home AND he sexually abused me and my husband shot him. Now my husband is serving 40 years to life in prison over this parasite of a child that I gave birth to. I wish I had killed myself right after it happened. Evil is evil and only God can right it. My husband did his job and I’m not sorry my son is no longer in this world; we have enough evil, horrible, people on this planet as it is and most of them are running countries. I’m glad my son has returned to the Source/To God. Maybe next time his soul will be more evolved. I AM sorry that my husband is serving prison time for protecting his wife and animals. It is just so unfair.

    • Daffyd Landegge

      First off people do not learn how to become or are raised to be true psychopaths and secondly, your own over-dramatic emotional response to that child (being a normal typical boy) with the cat (animal) is made it worse. He responded immaturely because your own reaction was immature in expression. You made it a game to him instead of act like an authority figure.
      Spoiled neglected brats like that can end up to be Sociopaths (not psychopaths). Even if he is a psychopath (at birth), does not mean he will automatically be “evil.” Your own fears of incompetence is what created your paranoia (and yes it was paranoia).
      Your views of that child become skewed once you percieved his actions to be in deliberate attempt to kill and mangle your beloved cat. Simply because you would never think to ever do anything like that, the boy automatically became “evil” in your mind. That child is in serious need of love and affection and stern/steady discipline…there goes your treatment for maintaining “control” of a psychopathic and sociopathic child…any child for that matter.
      You and your husband sound like those over-achieving goodie two-shoes types…too damn passive. Especially if you both thought that child was “evil.” From the things you described, he was simply a sociopathic brat because that is how he is being raised. You both may not be comfortable with “violence” but you do need to come to grips with the reality and understanding that it naturally exists in nature to maintain balance…without violence (handled appropriately) there is no balance. Please chew on that (in hopes that the juices soak in thoroughly).

      • Daffyd Landegge

        Sorry Misty Champlin, that last comment was meant for the author (obviously).
        But since we are on the topic…your issues with your son were not created becuase the child was raised “godless.” He was raised without affection (more than likely) at the very beginning and probably never got any kind of emotional reinforcement or attention from a “loving parent.” This detaches the child (any child) from others and therfore will naturally lack empathy…and become sociopaths. Now if the child had already been a psychopath, such neglect and careless handling is what possibly made him worse (over time).
        And yes, some psychopathic children are just pure evil and no matter what is done or how much affection, love and discipline they receive, they will never be “normal.” Sounds like that child was leading up to becoming a psychopathic killer/rapist.
        P.S. the raping was probably to create the affection he wasn’t getting and may have been to fill in the blank of having no motherly figure in his life (not saying its your fault, just stating possible “why’s”). Remember in their mind a purely insane act is seen as a logical means to an end, and will often rationalize it to make sense or to manipulate it to make sense to others.

    • Angel

      Thank you for taking the time to share. No offense but are you sure this is ‘all’ sound & accurate vs. emotionally ridden? Why 40 years for stopping rape & mayhem unless something else happened & it was not clear he was upon the mother sexually abusing her & had to be stopped. Next the child abuse case sounds confusing the dates: “My son at the age of 12, sexually molested by force, a child I had been a part-time nanny to for 7 years and ruined that relationship but he never admitted it even though she was only 4 years old, he had known her since she was a baby’.. Was she 4 & abused for 3 years before you found out? Why would he have access to do this esp. in light of knowing he was so awful? My heart goes out. Hope your family is restored as much as possible. Reincarnation is a lie of East religion…his soul is not evolving & coming back…its appointed to man once to die and then judgment. I desire your best.

      • Tomislav

        “Reincarnation is a lie of East religion”, “its appointed to man once to die and then judgment.” It amazed me how you cant see the hypocrisy using these two statement.

        • Daffyd C. Landegge

          How do you explain children who can accurately tell who they were in a past life..providing proof. Speaking or understanding a language not taught to them…the list can go on.

          You speak of hypocrisy yet choose to not look in the mirrors. Your self righteous Christian attitude does not see the many hypocritical ideas that are present: having free will yet subject to follow the plan of your God, claiming to spread peace yet openly express hate and fear towards those who choose not to follow YOUR beliefs. Again, the list can go on even longer. Christians are the biggest hypocrits of all time…too bad you all are too stupid and into yourselves to realize this.

        • John Charles

          Psychopathy is not merely by chance. It does not happen without cultivation or development. If you want to help a psychopath, there are two things you should know first: 1. They usually cannot be helped, and your efforts will most likely be fruitless and pointless. 2. You will never be able to help anyone change or overcome something if you identify them as “evil.” Psychopathy is much like depression, schizophrenia, or other mental conditions. It is a condition of the mind which is not always under the control of the victim.

          • Tomislav

            Why are you telling this to me? I know the difference; Psychopaths are born with it, there is no cure for that, but sociopathy is learned behavior.

          • John Charles

            I’m sorry, my reply was intended for an earlier comment. But you should know, that you are incorrect. Neither are necessarily present at birth. And there is no true difference between sociopathy and psychopathy. There are theoretical and superficial differences, none of which are valid or proven. Trust me. Unlike everyone here, including the author of this blog, I have an actual education in this. I make a living off of criminal psychology.

          • Tomislav

            I’m no expert but I know that there is a disagreement between experts about that differences.

            But the fact is that there are children that showed psychopathic behavior from early age for no reason. CT scans of that kind of individuals showed not only inactive amygdala in brain but smaller in size also.
            Sociopaths can behave like psychopaths but we must make a difference if they have the capability to feel empathy or feel it even very limited.

            I did not find better description of these two disorders.

  • mary

    This is in reply to Angel’s comments about Misty’s tragic situation. A psychopath will manipulate and confuse you to the point that facts are obscured from your view. I am sure that Misty had no idea at all that her son was molesting the child at the time it was happening. You just never expect your son to do anything like that. I know this because I have a daughter who is a psychopath and It took many years for this to become clear to me. While she was growing up, a pattern of behavior was occurring right in front of me that from day to day I kept expecting to improve. I certainly couldn’t “diagnose” the total picture of what was really happening. We tried EVERYTHING to help her gain a sense of responsibility, etc. and NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING worked. You can’t teach or train someone who is unable to feel guilt or remorse to do the right thing. They just don’t care. If you are a person with a conscience, you can’t imagine living without one. It never occurred to me that someone could be that evil. After suffering such abuse from her son, I pray that Misty can find peace in her life, know that she is a good person with a good heart. This is all that matters.

  • Rosanna Miller

    Wow! Thank you for posting this story. I am a mother who is dealing with a daughter who is exhibiting similar psychopathic behavior.

    That is the one thing I disagreed with in your story. I am a mother who loves her daughter more than anything but to love your child unconditionally doesn’t mean that you are blind to their flaws and the bad they choose to do. I think the reason that I am the way I am is because before anything else, I am a daughter of God. Nothing is more important than God. Yes, I am a mother, but that doesn’t mean anything if I neglect my love for my Father above. I love her enough to discipline her when she needs it because I love her and I hope she will be able to live a long, productive life. Pretending your child is perfect is not only ignorant but selfish! It’s the truth that sets us free, not lies.

    Again, great article!

  • John Charles

    The six-year-old you met is not a credible or citable instance of psychopathy. It is important to realize the difference between a small child who is simply troubled or influenced by the first inklings of aggressive behavior and the factual rush it provides, and a child who is actually a psychopath. Psychopathy and other derangements of the sort are usually very inconspicuous in small children. Psychopathy is not genetic or hereditary. It is cultivated, grown, developed. There may be hints of psychopathy within a child, but until it is actively surfaced by either a frequent or constant exposure to psychopathy-inducing experiences or a recurring trigger, it cannot be accurately or assuredly defined as actual derangement. If I were you, I would be careful when speaking about someone’s child. You’re bound to hurt some feelings and make some enemies when you start calling someone’s son a psychopath. It is also important to have an actual education about something before you begin writing about it and polluting other people’s minds with uneducated theories and fears.

  • Lost76

    I am not sure if I am in the right place , I am not even sure right now if there is a place for me.
    My 9 year old son has shown signs of something not being right. We have an ongoing CAF and have been assisgned a family support worker. I have read so many articles on childhood psycopaths that my head is spinning. He has killed animals , he has shown no empathy , he lies, he scares me. Our FSW seems to think if I give harsher punishment his behaviour will improve. It doesn’t seem to make a difference whatever the punishment i give he doesn’t seem at all phased . I don’t think she understands that his behaviour is not that or a ‘normal’ 9 year old boy. I have 5 children. I have never shown any type of violence towards them and there is no abuse going on in my home. He gets the same attention as the others (perhaps more so due to his behaviour). I am afraid to take him out places. One parent in our village has asked me to keep him away from her children as he is ‘disturbed’. I do not know where to go or who to ask anymore. I have seen my GP . I have liased with the school ,who have been very good in setting up the CAF. I have attended a group called Strengthing Families to try different ways of parenting. This only led to opening my eyes even more to the fact that something is seriously wrong.
    Apologies to you all if I am not in the correct forum/site. If anyone has any help or advice on where I should be or where I should go please let me know.
    Many thanks .Lost76.

  • Bezgramotny

    Just found this article and, as someone who manages young workers in a high pressure environment, I would like to add that this has more to do with “parenting 101”. I mean this in the sense that there will always be difficult situations where the parents will have to be assertive and constantly need to be proactive for any child in the world. I get to “train and instill work ethic” (read: “figuratively whip into a societally acceptable shape”) a constant supply of spoiled teenagers and can only say that consistency is key in everything. If one was to treat everyone as a boss should then the place I work in would not have any workers for reasons of letting go of all the hired stubborn shits who waste labour and offer no return on investment. A “parenting” approach on the other hand works wonders as people who just turned old enough to work are still very impressionable and are subconsciously still seeking role models. In both cases you would need to set and to consistently uphold standards without fail for the benefit of the person managed. Avoid “do as I say and not as I do” at all costs as this approach will get all but the thickest of people ripped to shreds even by civil well mannered adults, let alone children with or without any disorders.

    • Lexi

      You have been manipulated or would be considered as an ant (which could easily be step on) by a psychopath because what you have written lacks all the wisdom that only comes from knowledge of experience. “Disorders”, “parenting 101”, “train and instill work ethic”. Mental health is NOT a “beginning to business” course. Psychopaths are highly intelligent with a keen eye to observer the unsuspected.

  • jas

    I don’t care who you are and what you say about this subject if you have never had a child like this. You can’t possibly know the horror, when your 10 year old child rapes his grandmother and tries to rape his great grandmother, when your wife wakes up and your son is standing staring at her at 3 in the am. You can’t have anything because it gets stolen. Your cats disappear, he pushes his siblings down the stairs, he calls in bomb threats at the school, he was caught the first time when he was 12, but we knew when they happened after that, it was him. there’s no help, no one believes that charming smart witty 17 yr old is any trouble. If you have never lived with pure evil, you have no right. He is now gone and that’s even worse because at least when he was at home we knew about what he was doing. I raised this boy there was no dramatic event, no abuse, loving home. He is smart very intelligent but dropped out a month before graduation. His brain scan at 10 was abnormal, compared to infamous killers his was the same. His dr told us to lock our door at night and never trust or believe anything from him. If you’ve never lived these horrors. We have other children that do not have these issues. So don’t through your ignorant opinions around like you know what others have been through.

  • Kathryn Granger

    You are a fool who knows not what they say. But even still, I am as outraged as the other parents. You have no business talking about something you aren’t capable of understanding.