Traits of Sociopathic Parents
At the most basic level, sociopathic parents aren’t warm and fuzzy. Cold, distant, and unwelcoming, he provides neither comfort nor affection. James Fallon, a neurobiologist who studies the brains of sociopaths and happens to be one himself, is one of the rare sociopaths who has sustained a marriage over time and helped raise children. He describes his feelings toward his children as indifferent, “[d]ominated less by warmth than by entertainment and intellectual interest.”
By sociopathic standards, Fallon is “loving parent of the year”. Other sociopath parents aren’t so kind and generous. The only true feeling sociopath parents have is anger, and they typically express it loudly and physically (Do Sociopaths Cry or Even Have Feelings?). Because the expressed anger is out of proportion to whatever induced it, children are left hurt, confused, and with a sense that the world is unpredictable, illogical, and unsafe. Antisocial parents teach their children that the world is chaotic and inconsistent.
Sociopathic parents have other hallmark parenting traits that amount to psychological abuse:
- Lack of attachment, bonding, love
- Dismissiveness (because kids are boring)
- Disregard for the child’s welfare
- Harsh expectations and demands
- Neglect, often extreme
- Purposeful attempts to corrupt a child (exposure to pornography, encouraging delinquent behavior)
As if the sociopathic parent wasn’t bad enough, this parent is often a spouse or a partner. Co-parenting with a sociopath can be a daily challenge. In all parenting partnerships, there exists an ongoing need to negotiate and compromise; unfortunately, the sociopath neither negotiates nor compromises. Ever. Co-parenting with a sociopath creates a strained relationship that adds yet another layer of difficulty to family life (Co-Parenting With An Abuser: How to Help Your Kids, Yourself).