7 Signs That a Child Will Be a Psychopath in the Future
Signs showing that a child might be a psychopath in the future can be noticed when a person is 3 years old. The actions of the parents sometimes push children to demonstrate these signs. The problem is that the parents don’t usually think that the signs are significant.
Bright Side has found some key features of children with psychopathic traits. Many serial killers behaved like this in their early childhood and, unfortunately, nobody noticed it in time.
Let’s start with the Macdonald triad. These are 3 signs of child behavior which indicate (with a very high probability) that such children are inclined to committing very violent crimes in the future. The triad was created by J.M. Macdonald, an American psychiatrist who analyzed the behavior of around 100 criminals.
1. Animal cruelty
Animal cruelty is one of the most obvious signs of a psychopathic disorder in a child. If you explain to a child that it’s not OK to pull the cat’s tail or to jerk the dog’s leash and the child understands and does not repeat these actions in the future, then you have nothing to worry about. But when children violently abuse animals or even kill them, that’s when it’s time to step in and take action. This is a way that future serial killers express their anger using absolutely defenseless animals. What’s more is that they often kill their victims in the same or similar ways as they harm the animals. The connection between animal abuse and psychopathy is so obvious that the FBI in the US even started recording the cases of animal abuse in their annual criminal reports.
Look at the photo below. This is Jeffrey Dahmer, an Americal serial killer who was got 15 life sentences. Notice the way he is holding the kitten.
2. A love for arsons
Pyromania, or a love for various arsons, is the second sign. This is another way to express anger and defiance.
Of course, there is no 100% guarantee that a child who is 6 years old or older and pees in bed is a future maniac. However, this disorder often provokes acts of arson, animal abuse, and many other things because this condition is humiliating for a child. As a result, they get angry and offended. If parents don’t react well to the fact that their child has these accidents or if the child’s friends mock them, this can make them make the wrong turn.
For example, Andrei Chikatilo suffered from enuresis and he was the most terrible maniac of the Soviet Union. His mother beat him whenever he had an accident. Much later, he started enjoying watching other kids suffer which led to the terrible things he did.
Psychologists mention many more signs other than the Macdonald triad. It’s worth paying attention to these signs because sometimes, there’s quite a thin line between what is normal and what is abnormal behavior.
4. Violations of rules
Is there anyone who has never broken someone’s favorite cup as a child, or has never been late? Every child has been in a situation where they understand that they must either lie or own up to the truth. But kids with psychopathic traits understand the violation of rules very differently: they get joy and adrenaline from it.
The same goes for the adrenaline that people experience when stealing something. Joanne Rowling described it very well in Harry Potter in the chapters about Voldemort’s childhood. If you remember, Professor Dumbledore found stolen toys in his drawer. The toys belonged to other children. The Dark Lord didn’t really need them — he just enjoyed watching someone lose something important to them.
5. Lying without remorse
If a child lies because they are afraid of being punished, you can understand the reason for not telling the truth. However, if a child lies just to lie, without remorse and with a very confident facial expression — this is a reason to worry. Maybe, there is something wrong with them. Maybe, they just like the process of lying.
Another important thing: when a child who has psychopathic traits gets caught, they start getting angry or even hysterical and this is a form of manipulation. But it’s not because it’s their fault, but because their lie was uncovered.
Of course, maybe this child is not a psychopath, but this may be a good reason to see a psychologist anyway.
Of course, not every bully is a future maniac. People can become bullies because of many reasons: they might want attention, power, they might want to look like their violent parents, their idols, and so on. However, there is one reason that can help you discover a bully with psychopathic traits: again, they might humiliate other people simply because they enjoy it.
Children with psychopathic traits don’t demonstrate fear as easily as their peers, and they don’t sense stress at the same level. They have no idea what compassion is.
And here is an explanation:
According to Heather Irvin, a senior psychologist at the R.E.A.D. clinic, the first year of a child’s life is the most essential in determining the future of their psychological health.
“Psychopaths don’t appear out of thin air. You just need to take a look at their early years, at what was happening to these children when they were just born. For example, if they cried for the first 6 months, and nobody cared for them, nobody fed them when they were hungry, nobody helped them, their brain memorized that and realized that feelings don’t matter. Other brain structures start forming based on this concept.”
On top of that, there is a curious fact: if a child grew up in a good environment, but after the age of 5 there was some violence in their lives, the chances that they will become psychopaths are much lower since their consciousness had enough time to form.
This means that parents have an immense responsibility not just for the child’s health, but also for the way the child sees the world. And if this child has any deviations, it’s always better to consult a specialist then try to solve the problem without the help of professionals.
What did you think about the traits described in this article? If you noticed any of these traits in a child around you, what do you think you would do? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!