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8 Year Old Boy at My Mother’s School Is Showing Signs of a Psychopath

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My mom teaches at a private school and one of her students kept fighting with others. She asked me to go talk to him so I did. The more I talked to him the more signs of being a psychopath began to show. He claimed he had no remorse for hurting people. And he said calmly that he thought another kid was going to beat him up (A kid who I know personally would never do anything like that) and so he said he had to kill him. That kind of scared me but I made no comment in an attempt to not discourage him from talking to me. I talked to him some more and I remembered that previously I had heard about some kids thinking that only weak people care about others. So I asked him if he thought that was true and he said yes. I asked him if his mom cared about him (which I know that she does, I’m friends with her) and he said yes. I asked him if that meant she was weak and he said yes. He then continued to say that he would like his mom more if she didn’t fake committing suicide, which from the way he told it, sounding like she was going to commit suicide then stopped because she realized that would leave him and his 4 year old sister parent-less. (His father isn’t in the picture.The reason behind this is unknown. He believes he’s never met his father.) I attempted to explain that she just really cared about him and that she didn’t want him to end up living with people that were mean to him. I asked him if he would like living with people that were mean to him and he calmly replied, “I wouldn’t care. They’d probably have knives and I’d kill them.” I asked if he knew that when people died in real life they didn’t come back to life and he said that of course he knew that. He went on to say that he enjoyed hurting people. I knew that he couldn’t hurt me much so I told him that if he liked hurting people so much he could hurt me. So he hit me then burst into tears. I think he’s pretty far down the wrong track but still has hope. How do I help him?

8 Year Old Boy at My Mother’s School Is Showing Signs of a Psychopath

Answered by on -

A.

While I appreciate your caring and effort and concern this is NOT something that you can or should be helping with. This sounds serious and important and at 15 years old you trying to help may be dangerous — and not what he needs. Don’t get me wrong here. Your sensitivity is genuine and wonderful, but he is talking about killing people, a mother with suicidal tendencies and when he was invited to hurt you he did. As much as I appreciate your desire to help, it isn’t what either of you need.

Explain to your mom that you tried to talk and you think his needs are going to be much more than what you can do to help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

8 Year Old Boy at My Mother’s School Is Showing Signs of a Psychopath

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). 8 Year Old Boy at My Mother’s School Is Showing Signs of a Psychopath. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/05/28/8-year-old-boy-at-my-mothers-school-is-showing-signs-of-a-psychopath/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.