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It is not highly unusual for parents to consider their kids angelic and dismiss their deviant behavior as nothing more than mischief and immaturity. You may not know it right then, but by letting the ostensibly minor behavioral anomalies pass by, you may be overlooking the warning signs for teenage sociopath features. While slight and covert at first, these tendencies can eventually mature into something far more threatening, thus proving themselves to be a harbinger of devastation.
Misbehavior, immature, reckless, naive; these are the kinds of words that probably pop into your head every time you witness or hear about your minor engaging in an inappropriate behavior. However, that’s not a very valid presumption to make, as some of the things they’re doing may be signs of tendencies and features present in people who are sociopaths.
A couple of notable traits in kids harboring the tendency to develop this personality disorder is the lack of regard for the feelings of others and affinity for violent content. They think little of physically bullying, emotional harassment, spreading rumors, or targeting someone over the Internet. These acts of bullying may rarely, if ever, be followed by remorse. While they are insensitive towards others on one hand, they tend to be hypersensitive on the other, displaying an extremely aggressive reaction when ticked off. They my get involved in physical altercation, or even swearing, thus showing an impulsive behavior and uncontrollable anger. Of course, their affinity for violent content, be it in games, comics, cartoons, of films, would have already made it quite obvious that things such as blood and pain hardly have a cringe effect on them, thus leaving them disassociated with the feelings that the person they are attacking physically or verbally may be experiencing.
Additional signs of the presence of sociopathic tendencies in kids are the marked lack of reality and truth, and the disregard for rules and limits. For sociopaths, lying is not what it is for normal kids. They simply take it to be another and actual version of the story, and stubbornly defend it. They don’t just say it’s true; they believe it to be true. Furthermore, they think little about rules and limits, and hardly hesitate to break them. These two signs are more noticeable in delinquents. Talking to them about the seriousness of their crime may leave them puzzled, as they’d fail to see what the whole fuss is about. They may also reject the facts about their crime, inadvertently insisting that whatever they’re saying is the actual truth.
An early identification of signs of sociopathic tendencies holds the key to treating it. Needless to say, it’s imperative that you keep your kids away from content that’s not appropriate for minors, which basically means you should review everything from the comics, games, and films first before letting them view them. Remember to take violence just as seriously as nudity and language. Once you detect smoke, immediately react by increasing the degree of surveillance on our child’s online activities, and confront them upon discovering anything alarming. Aversion therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy may help alter your child’s personality by instilling empathy and sympathy in them. You may even consider getting them enrolled in volunteer work or some program that is designed to encourage helping others.
As a parent, you may be doing everything you can to protect your young ones from the external threats, but your job would be far from complete and successful until you ensure that they are protected from internal threats as well, threats that can impact their personality and consequently for life.