Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

The Time I met A Sociopath

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. I’ve changed the beginning of my latest WIP and now I suspect I’m going to have to rewrite the story.  Oy!  But it’ll be worth it in the long run because the story will be better, grittier. That’s my hope anyway.

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about a new friend who has entered the group my son hangs out with. He’s a smart little guy who we’ll call Damien (not his real name). Right from the beginning hubby and I thought there was something off about Damien. He’d call and ask my son if he could come over and spend the night. My oldest would ask us and we’d say, “Sure. Why not. Have his parents drop him off after four.”

My oldest would inevitably return and say, “His parents prefer that you pick him up.”

Well. We thought maybe there was something going on in the family where they weren’t able to drop him off, so the first time we obliged and picked him up.  However, this started to become a pattern, and we noticed other things too. Damien could tell real whoppers. I’ve never heard a kid lie with such ease. Hubby and I started discussing how something wasn’t quite right about this kid.

Photo credit: Moheen Reeyad via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

We were perplexed, but we didn’t want to tell our oldest about our misgivings until we had more evidence than just a weird vibe.  A few weeks later, I happened to chat with one of the parents of another friend. We’ll call him Mitchell. Mitchell’s dad had seven hundred dollars’ worth of X-box games charged to his credit card. It wasn’t done all at once, but at times when Mitchell was with him (Mitchell’s parents are divorced), and he believes Damien must have somehow gotten his credit card number because Mitchel would ask before he’d charge anything to his dad’s card. Mitchell’s dad also went on to say that Mitchell had thirty five dollars in his piggy bank and the money had mysteriously disappeared.  Later that day,  Damien pulls a wad of bills out of his pocket states, “I want to buy Mitch a game.”

Photo credit: Refracted Moments™ via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Damien flaunted his cash in front of Mitch’s dad. Now, the dad’s totally suspicious but he has no proof so he doesn’t say anything to the kid. After I heard this story, alarm bells went off in my head. I shared this info with my boss who shook his head and said, “That’s sociopathic tendencies right there.”

Click here to see what Sociopathic tendencies are: Sociopathic Tendencies

I totally freaked because my mind immediately goes to serial killer.

 

Photo credit: aftab. via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

 

When I got home from work that night I shared this info with my hubby and after doing a little research, we sat down with our oldest and explained why we wanted him to distance himself from Damien. I listed the characteristics of the sociopathic personality and my son listened and he agreed with quite a few of them, especially the one about lying.

My son has distanced himself from Damien, he’s still in the group of boys he eats lunch with, but that’s the only interaction they have together. He doesn’t come over to spend the night anymore. Phew! Crisis averted!

Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via Visualhunt / CC BY

I can see this kid when he’s older getting caught doing something illegal. Maybe he goes to a store and steals something. I can see him blaming it on his companion without feeling any guilt.  Sociopaths have no moral compass and that’s bad news for anyone who ends up being friends with them.

It’s fodder for a story, because as you know real life is stranger than fiction, but it’s also another example of why parents need to be involved in their kids’ lives. If we hadn’t been, this situation could’ve escalated into something irreversible.

Photo via Visualhunt.com

Sociopaths are among us. Most of them haven’t suffered child abuse or been neglected so there’s no way to tell who they are until you get to know them. Your child doesn’t have the life experience to understand the consequences of hanging out with someone like this, and the sociopath is manipulative. He can easily gain control in the relationship.

I’m still shocked I’ve seen one in action at such a young age. Sorry. I’m not a psychologist, but I totally feel this kid is one. To what degree, I can’t say, but I know he’s heading down the wrong road. Luckily,  my son won’t be travelling with him.

How about you? How do you handle it when one of your kids brings home someone who’s headed down the wrong road? Does your child listen or does he defend the kid? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

46 thoughts on “The Time I met A Sociopath

  1. Oh, that is strange behaviour definitely. You did right to get your son to distance himself, but not totally. Maybe after your chat with him, if he notices anything strange again he would tell you so you could act upon it for the child’s behalf?

    1. Maybe. We’ll see what happens and if the opportunity presents itself. He’s heading down the wrong road that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by, Ritu. I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. I’m a mother too, and you did the right thing by getting involved and not ignoring what was going on. I’ve met a sociopath as well and this kid definitely sounds like one.

    1. Yes. I’m so glad to hear you say that. I’m trying to teach my son to not exclude anyone, but at the same time teach him boundaries and protect himself. Oy! Parenting is hard sometimes. 🙂

  3. Omigoodness! I must admit that there are times when I am so totally NOT upset that The Child is not still a lovely little child. And this is one of them! How incredibly awful to have to deal with a budding sociopath. The only thing even CLOSE to this that I had to contend with was a little girl who smuggled the Starr Report into our house where she and The Child read it together — NOT understanding most of it, thank the gods.

    1. Wow. Yes thankfully they didn’t understand it. I’m so glad my kids and I have open communication. I don’t know how long that’ll last, the teen years are looming, but I”m hoping it’ll last throughout adulthood. (crosses fingers)

      1. Dear Lisa, don’t be too overly disturbed if the communication links get a tad frayed during Teen Times. The Child turned into an Alien Being for a couple of years. But then she snapped out of it, and we get along very nicely indeed these days. (She is now 26)

  4. My son knows a child who tells some real whoppers too. It’s tough sometimes to know what is truly troubling behavior and what is behavior I just don’t like. I talk to my child about his friends behavior and help him identify what is manipulative behavior and how to make choices about his friendships. He’s only eight, but I want to help build his acumen to determine for himself what he wants in a friend. Much like what you did with your son, I’m giving him knowledge and guidance versus a directive. My son decided on his own not to invite this particular child to his birthday party and when he was asked why by the boy, my son told him that he lies too much. Truthfully, I don’t know if this little boy is just figuring life out or has an issue that goes deeper than that. I don’t want to label him. But, I do want to arm my kiddo with tools for understanding what he wants to build in his relationship environment. It’s a challenge!

    1. It sure is, Angela. And I’m going back to edit my post to include a link for the sociopathic personality traits. I should’ve done that earlier, but I got distracted and didn’t do it. I wouldn’t worry too much about the lying, but if it’s coupled with other tendencies that’s when you need to worry. I hope this little boy you’re telling me about changes his ways so he doesn’t end up friendless. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      1. Yes- I agree. I hope that little things, like realizing other people don’t like to be lied to, will help him change. I often tell my son if he’s too bossy, people won’t want to play with him. But only when he experiences it himself will he decide only having it his own way means no one else wants to play! It definitely goes both ways–we learn as we go!
        Thanks for adding the link–I’m sure it will help a lot of folks to have greater awareness.

  5. Hi Lisa,
    You are lucky your son listened to you. Children at that age think they know best. I know that’s how I felt when I was his age. A nice warning post for parents.
    Janice

  6. Your son dodged a bullet there, Lisa! Good call, and great parenting! Cheers, girl! And yeah, loved your choice of names!

      1. I asked because every time I thank someone for their support I think of the creators of those wine coolers. They did their own commercials and they were funny and at the end, they always said, “Thanks for your support.” That’s all. I just wondered if they were prevalent in Canada and if you might know them. 🙂

  7. Scary bringing up children but you did the right thing and I believe ( having grown up) kids that if you lay the right foundations..They will probably stray but will come back as they know really what is right and I always said to my kids….If you do something wrong..don’t ever tell me it was because ” Johnny” told you to do it…Tell me it was your decision to do it… Basically, I will be even more upset with you if you tell me that..not saying I won’t be upset if it was your decision but more so if you did because someone else told you to do it….Does that make sense? I wanted my kids to take ownership of decisions they made 🙂 Good post Lisa 🙂

  8. That sounds scary and I feel good to read that your son was so receptive. Children if they understand your view, it is great. Good parenting about researching before opening up the follies of the world.

  9. Great to know that the crisis is averted, Lisa…..and your narrative sounded real eerie…..yes, people like these are real complex, very cold and manipulative……and they need help…..

  10. Great that your son listened to you. Some kids do the oddest things really early on and continue to do them even when they are older. My daughter was friends with a girl in primary who did the most awful thing, she continued in the same vein later too I heard. Luckily my daughter distanced herself from her.

  11. Gosh! This can happen so easily. Well done for noticing and keeping a check on this young lad before your son got too deeply involved! So far we have been lucky with our kid’s choice of friends. They have often distanced themselves from those who they knew they didn’t need in their lives. But none with sociopathic tendencies.

    1. I know. I’ve never met anyone so young with these tendencies so it blew me away and scared me at the same time. I’m glad we figured it out before my son got to heavily involved with him.

  12. I am truly thankful that I do not know any sociopaths. Or at least, that I keep my distance from people who may be sociopaths, so I don’t even know that they are sociopaths. 😉
    Kudos to you all for avoiding malignant situations!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Erik! I hope all is well with you. I hope you never meet one, but if you do, you’ll know because of the link above that discusses the characteristics. Once you see them, they’re kind of hard to miss. 🙂 I’m glad to see you back in the blogosphere!

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