Psychopaths see children as an inconvenience.
In his book, Without Conscience, Dr. Robert Hare writes, “Indifference to the welfare of children—their own as well as those of the man or woman they happen to be living with at the time—is a common theme in our files of psychopaths. (He prefers the term ‘psychopaths.’) Psychopaths see children as an inconvenience.”*
This indifference to children’s welfare may take many forms. Sociopaths may leave children—even infants—alone or in the care of unreliable babysitters. They may fail to provide children with food and proper clothing.
Sociopaths who appear to be taking care of their children may still be manipulating the kids for their own purposes. They may:
- Demand certain behavior or accomplishments—for their own image, not for the benefit of the child.
- Inflict emotional abuse, so that children have no concept of normalcy.
- Deliberately try to corrupt a child through inappropriate or dangerous activities, such as pornography.
When sociopaths are involved with children, always be on guard.
Co-parenting with a sociopath
Many sociopaths appear to be outwardly respectable, and are therefore able to convince family courts that they should continue to have parental rights. Courts seem especially reluctant to accept that a mother may be a sociopath and is damaging to the child. If you are co-parenting with a sociopath, expect to be hassled.
For your own mental health, maintain No Contact as best you can. Exchange the bare minimum of information about the child with your ex—preferably by e-mail or Our Family Wizard. If you must deliver or pick up a child for visitation, have someone with you or ring the doorbell and then wait in the car.
Never let the sociopath into your home for any reason. Do not give your ex any information about your life. Resist any baiting. The sociopath will try to undermine and hurt you through the children. Document everything that happens.