11 Signs Your Child Is A Sociopath

Your kid may be a lot more troubled than they look.

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Looking at the news these days reads like a dystopian horror story; there’s always one mass shooter or horrifying torture story on the front page.

Most people can’t help but wonder what goes through the minds of these people, and what these peoples’ parents thought. In many cases, parents have a feeling when their kid isn’t all there.

What’s really scary to think about is that, right now, there’s a parent who’s wondering if their child will end up being a bad person. Some may even see warning signs right now.


Sociopathy, for example, is one of the most common personality disorders among people most would deem “evil,” like serial killers, and the signs show up fairly early in life.

RELATED: Why People With These 3 Personality Traits Are The Hardest To Love


There’s some good news and bad news to learning the signs your child is a sociopath, or someone living with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). The bad news is that you probably would recognize these signs below in your kid, but the good news is that you can get them help.

11 Signs of Sociopathy in Children

1. You’ve caught your child hurting animals — and not just yanking a cat’s tail.

Both sociopathic and psychopathic children tend to hurt animals on purpose and often may even go so far as to torture or kill pets. Should you see this happen, you may want to book an appointment with a therapist immediately.

2. They lie, without guilt, frequently.

All kids lie, but there’s lying and then there's lying. If you notice that the lies are no longer innocent “I ate the cookie dough” lies, you may have a sociopath on your hand.

What’s unusual about sociopathic kids is that they don’t just lie to avoid punishment; they’ll lie just because they can.


3. No consequence you give them seems to rattle them, at all.

Here’s one of the biggest signs your child is a sociopath: they don’t react to consequences.

Kids typically learn “cause and effect” lessons very young, and will start to behave a certain way because they know the consequences otherwise. All kids rebel a little bit, but sociopathic kids tend to take it to the next level.

If your child doesn’t seem to care what the consequence is, ever, there’s a good chance that they may be a sociopath.

4. Your child doesn’t seem to have empathy.

Research shows that sociopathy is a way of saying that your child lacks the ability to empathize with others.


For example, a normal child would cry if they saw a cat hit by a car. A sociopathic child would be more likely to just watch, then calmly go inside. That is a lack of empathy and a warning sign of ASPD.

5. He or she has really scary rage issues, despite having no reason to get that angry.

A lot of sociopathic children have issues when it comes to anger, and may actually flip out at the slightest provocation. Anger episodes can last for hours or just a few minutes, but the fact remains that it’s always shocking to those who see it.

6. Your child is very manipulative, and you know it.

Do you see your kid being way more manipulative and charming than others their age? This is often a key trait of a sociopath who has realized how far charm can go.

RELATED: This 27-Question Personality Test Reveals If Your Child Has The Dark Triad Personality Traits


7. Teachers or other parents have approached you about bullying issues at school.

Many sociopaths are bullies, or may end up being more like Regina George from "Mean Girls." If this is your child, there may be underlying issues that they need to have addressed professionally.

8. Even when he or she was very young, they seemed cold, callous and unemotional, and almost robotic.

Most children are very active and bright-eyed at the early stages of life. Sociopathic kids, though, often aren’t and show unemotional traits.

They tend to have a more “Wednesday Addams” personality when they are very young. They show a lack of emotion.

9. Your child regularly vandalizes items or sets things on fire.

Vandalism and fire-setting are both key signs of a seriously troubled youth. When you notice bedwetting at older ages alongside animal cruelty and starting fires, this is known as the Macdonald triad, and it’s often a key indicator that your child might end up being a serial killer.


That being said, they are also key signs that you may have a child sociopath on your hands. These kinds of behaviors need to be addressed professionally and, with hope, they may be able to be curbed.

10. If you were honest, you are somewhat afraid of your child.

You know that sinking feeling people get when they look at someone predatory? A surprising amount of parents get that vibe when they have a sociopathic or psychopathic kid.

11. Your child seems to have no regard for right and wrong.

From a very young age, children understand the concept of right and wrong, beginning around two years of age. But children and adolescents who have ASPD show no regard for right versus wrong; in fact, they don't care and don't mind breaking the rules.


What to Do if You Notice Warning Signs

If you notice your child exhibiting one or many of these signs of sociopathy, don't be disheartened.

The first thing you should do is take your child to a mental health professional. They can properly diagnose your child and set them up with a treatment plan that best suits them.

A professional may recommend certain treatments for ASPD, which can include cognitive behavioral therapy, problem-solving interventional training, behavioral family intervention, family therapy, and adolescent therapy.

RELATED: 16 Signs You Love Someone With A Serious Personality Disorder

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others. Follow her on Twitter for more.