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#4931 - 09/21/05 07:02 PM Children of Psychopaths
neverthesame Offline

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 53
Has anyone had experiences with psychopath's children modeling their behavior after their parents?

#4932 - 09/21/05 08:31 PM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: neverthesame]
Dianne E. Offline


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 2789
Loc: United States
Hi neverthesame, thanks for bringing up this topic, it has been on my mind for quite some time. I suspect that the children would model the behavior to some degree. I feel very sorry for children of Psychopaths, there must be so many conflicting feelings particularly when the child is used as a weapon against the mother or father, depending on which parent is the Psychopath and/or other family members.

When you get to thinking of the impact of a Psychopath particularly their unfaithful ways I wonder how many children they have in the course of their lifetime. I suspect that they (the P) normally doesn't keep commitments or pay child support. Like everything else they do I would suspect P's would only use the child if it works to their own means. I can only imagine when the P has time with the child the amount of lies and deceit they try to spread about the mother or father depending on who is the P in the family.

It will be interesting to hear from parents in this situation.

Also what about a P who does in fact have a P for a child, now that situation would appear to be extremely complicated for the non P members of the family.


#4933 - 09/22/05 06:49 AM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: Dianne E.]
neverthesame Offline

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 53
The P's that I have dealt with are a married couple. Their children are beginning to pick up the traits and have begun bothering my children at school. I guess that they would be true bred p's. I do feel sorry for the children, being a p is all they know, it is all they have seen and all they have been taught. And so the behavior continues on and on....

My children have been warned about the parents and now I feel that I have to warn them about the children. I never thought I would have to tell my children to not be a friend to someone. Anyone else experience a similiar situation?

#4934 - 09/22/05 04:02 PM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: neverthesame]
WhiteKnight Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 80
hi Neverthesame,

I have observed a sample of two:

  1. An atheistic, politically active socialist couple with P
    being the father.

    This couple's kids have been turned into Monsters. P
    justifies this with the rationale that everyone
    is "like this".

    Other children WILL NOT play with them, and the couple have
    been semi-ostracized from their social group on this issue.

    Ironically, P has turned his kids into caricatures of the
    Capitalists he professes to hate.

  2. In couple #2, the mother is quite religious. Church-going,
    and family prayer are bedrock parts of the family routine.

    In this instance P had to maintain, and did maintain the
    appearance of a morally upright religious father whose
    family behaviour had to stay inside a religious envelope.

    When the mask dropped, some 17 years later, and he went
    outside envelope, he was ejected from the family.

    The children are clearly scarred from a divorce, but no
    more than children from non-P infected families.

Based on my limited sample, I think Religion sets some
standards that limit the harm a P parent does to a child,
and the moral relativism in Religion's abscence creates
a "Devil's playground" where the child has no external
frame of reference to defend his world-view from the P.

I'm sure other people have counter-examples,

-- All that is essential for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -- Edmund Burke

#4935 - 09/22/05 06:16 PM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: WhiteKnight]
neverthesame Offline

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 53
Thanks for the info. WhiteKnight. The couple I refer to I believe are both p's. Their children have been referred to as weird, one has even been described as one who would bring a gun to school. One has had several encounters with law enforcement for attacking other children and even claiming being sexually attacked by another child. When confronted about the sexual attack, the child finally confessed that it was made up.

I wonder how someone can get help to these innocent children before it is too late.

Edited by neverthesame (09/22/05 06:30 PM)

#4936 - 11/08/05 07:05 AM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: neverthesame]
Diane1969 Offline

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 147

About modeling, as some of you know my father was a typical philandering, sadistic psychopath. The pain that he inflicted on his family is immeasurable. I am the youngest in the (rather large) family, and I have one brother who did actively model my father as a child. He is still rather sadistic as an adult, but is not psychopathic, as he does at times feel remorse, and his emotional affect is deep.

As a child he would shame and belittle and torture me and our other siblings, but only as my father's little shadow, and he seemed to get extreme satisfaction out of the behavior. It was the closest he could come to approval from my father, which he never ever gave his children. This brother also tormented the household pets, yet as an adult has shown great love of animals, and wept bitterly at the passing of one of his pets.

At about the time our father died, he began to struggle and is still going through recovery (as we all are) thirty years later.

If a psychologist had looked at him in isolation as a child, he would have seen a budding P, sadistic and seeming without remorse.


#4937 - 10/09/07 09:46 AM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: Diane1969]
James Offline

Registered: 10/04/07
Posts: 134

I have an emotionally sadistic father with contradictory behaviour. He shows adorement towards people whom het "gets" and then knowing their weaknesses, he torpedoes them.
My father is an extremely complex very ill Psychopath. But physical, but emotional sadist.

A normal relationship with him is impossible.
I wrote my long story under the "Son of a psychopath" section. He's a horribly complex, twisted slippery mind. He always goes through metamorphosees, you cannot catch him, nor understand him. Life with him is a constant dogfight. He hates all people who are close to him (me, my mom, his borther, etc.).
No soul, no love, but wild sadism, laughter at suffering, charming and diplomatic in public, the "teacher of morality" (he educates us all the time, moralizes) and adores himself.

What I ask my self often is...
Why did my father ever want to have a child?

I was born at about the time when he was 50... And he always showed me to people as his "defect mentally ill and antisocial kid"... But, the problem is with him.

I guess that psychopaths have a social need. Maybe he wanted to have a kid, "just because" or 'cause he would have bigger credibility.

All my life I was his punchbag...

#7500 - 10/29/08 06:04 PM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: James]
Lena906 Offline

Registered: 10/29/08
Posts: 2
Hi everyone!

I'm new to the board. I just found out I may be pregnant and I'm a bit concerned about my kid developing psychopathy. I personally don't know of anyone who inherited psychopathy from a parent but I guess it could happen. I'm glad that I've stumbled into this website and seen that a lot of you have psychopathic parents and are normal, sensitive people.

I am mentally ill myself and wouldn't really be devastated if my kid were born with BPD or OCD but psychopathy is just on a whole other level. There is just no way that one can even begin to describe the sadness of trying to relate to someone who has no emotions.

I have been with the psychopath for 6 years and do want a kid but I don't plan to stay with him much longer, especially because I don't want him influencing my kid. I really do hope that there is no psychopathy gene to be inherited or at least that this is not the usual outcome for their kids \:\(

Anyway, have a nice week everyone :-)

#7502 - 10/29/08 06:32 PM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: Lena906]

hello Lena,
Welcome to the forum. It can be of great use to be here and people can indeed give lots of support when needed.
I do hope your child won't have the psychopathy gen. As you saw already, lots of people with a psychopath parent or even parents haven't.

I understand you are still living with a psychopath partner and want to leave. Have you made plans to leave or is it still a bit vague?
Do you have a support system and a place to go yet?
Is there an organisation where you live who could be of help?
Lots of questions only to be answered as you feel like doing so.
regards Segaya

#7504 - 10/30/08 03:03 AM Re: Children of psychopaths [Re: ]

Hello Lena

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your pregnancy.
What is it about your partner that makes you think he is psychopathic? You must have been doing research to come across the forum so looking for information on this particular condition. It won't be possible to get a diagnosis for your partner unless he gets involved in the judicial system so all you can do is further research and come to your own conclusion. Without knowing more about him at this point maybe he isn't psychopathic but has some other disorder.

You say you intend to leave your partner and I presume this is not a decision you have just made since finding out you are pregnant, that it would have happened anyway? Do you have family and friends that can support you and help you with a baby?

The statistics say 1 to 4% of the population is psychopathic, it is a spectrum disorder so there are various degrees of severity depending on how many characteristics from the checklist they display. Have you looked at Dr Hare's checklist? It will give you a clearer idea of what to look for and to assess the severity of each factor.

You asked a question about inherited psychopathy and going on the facts, psychopathy is highly heritable but also seems to have a trigger factor so that brings us to the nature/nurture debate. There is a twin study about this so I will find the link for you.
There is no reason to expect your baby will have a personality disorder so all you can do is look after your health and look forward to having your baby. There have been some studies into babies in the womb being harmed by toxins so that is something you can avoid in your environment but I don't think there is a conclusion that this could cause psychopathy but it is just sensible advice.

Most pychopathic parents have 'normal' children otherwise we would have many more in society so try not to worry.

If your child is affected in any way then being aware is the only thing you can do about it. It is thought that very early intervention is the thing that will make the biggest difference for the child's future.

When you are ready maybe you could tell us more about what you are dealing with. There are many people here on the forum who will have faced the same problems so will be here to support you.


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