Child victims of sociopathic parents

The benefits of a relationship with both parents depend on the quality of care the parents can provide. This fact is illustrated in the following story:

FREMONT, Calif. – A 6-year-old boy abducted from his mother was returned home safely Friday after his father was arrested 200 miles away in the Sacramento Valley, police said.

Ralph Baldenegro, 56, was arrested near Red Bluff and was being held at the Tehama County Jail.

Baldenegro allegedly broke into his estranged wife’s house, beat and handcuffed her, and kidnapped the boy Thursday night, said Fremont Detective Bill Veteran. He also hit his 14-year-old stepdaughter.” Read full story.

The news is full of stories like the one above that call into question the common notion that a child needs both of his biologic parents. Often, people say, “She needs to love her mother.” Or, “He needs to love his father.”

The majority of children do need a relationship with both parents

The idea that children need to love and have a relationship with both parents is indeed true for the majority of children who are affected by separation or divorce. In cases where both parents have an ongoing love and commitment to the child, they have proven it in words and actions. Actions such as providing financial support, spending time with the child, and making the parent-child relationship a top priority demonstrate a commitment to parenting.

Unfortunately however, some parents may also have a hard time getting along with each other for the sake of their children. Parents fighting over children and placing them in the middle of ongoing conflict is detrimental to children. These parents need education to help them in the transition to co-parenting. This education is mandated now for divorcing parents in most states.

Children of sociopaths deserve our protection

There are nonetheless a minority of children being raised by a relatively healthy parent and vexed by a parent who is a sociopath or addict. We advise other family members of sociopaths and addicts to cut ties with the affected person. Ties can later be reestablished if the person demonstrates a commitment through action that he/she desires a better lifestyle.

Why then, to we think it is healthy for the children of sociopaths and addicts to have a relationship with them?

Science has demonstrated that children are harmed by sociopathic parents

The scientific literature clearly demonstrates that it is detrimental for children to grow up with adults who are aggressive, controlling and manipulative.

According to a recent study of 1,116 five-year-old twin pairs and their parents, “Behavioral genetic analyses showed that children who resided with antisocial fathers received a ‘double whammy’ of genetic and environmental risk for conduct problems.” The authors therefore concluded, “Marriage may not be the answer to the problems faced by some children living in single-parent families unless their fathers can become reliable sources of emotional and economic support.” (Jaffee, Moffitt, Caspi, Taylor, Life with (or without) father: the benefits of living with two biological parents depends on the father’s antisocial behavior, 2003).

The children of sociopathic mothers are at even greater risk due to the stronger genetic basis of female antisocial behavior and the nature of the mother-child relationship.

What will it take to change our laws?

Why then do the courts consistently award visitation to parents who have been diagnosed with addiction and/or sociopathy? The lawmakers who have made these laws, and the judges who interpret them, are for the most part uneducated as to the nature of both sociopathy and the needs of children.

In my opinion, the concept of supervised visitation is confusing to children. How is the child to benefit from having his schedule disrupted to go to a strange place and visit someone who is supposed to be functioning as his/her caretaker?

There have been many instances in our public history where flaws in our laws have been detected and changed by concerned citizens. This only happens when those who are concerned form an organized lobbying effort.

Those of us who are healing from a relationship with a sociopath and working hard to raise children properly, have a hard time finding the energy for such an effort. We need the help of those who have already finished raising the next generation and others familiar with sociopathy. We also need the help of professionals who work in the field.

If we work together, perhaps future children will have a better chance at a peaceful childhood.

Comment on this article

34 Comments on "Child victims of sociopathic parents"

Notify of

Children are victims and the courts sometimes aid this. I have been in court proceedings now for 6 years. Last appearance 4th November 2011, same thing child maintenance. I have a court order he pays half for their university costs, which of course he is not going to do. Order arrived yesterday, the spath can insist my daughter be in court in Feb 2012. Why, he has not seen her in 6 years, not paid unless I send in bailiffs etc, and of course he will make sure she is there. I know she will be 19 by this date, but why allow a spath an opportunity to bully her. At his last appearance, he moaned ‘I don’t even get a father’s day card’, WTF is wrong with the spath! His last contact 6 years ago he told my daughter via email to f**k off. She was blasé about it, and thinks he is a to**er, but know it hurt her.

My daughter is okay about going to court, but I’m not, He will even get the chance to cross examine her ..she can hold her own, but why allow yet more abuse ..I have tried to rationalise it, they know he is a tw*t, and a vexatious litigant ….he thankfully does not even know which university she is studying at ..he is eaten up with jealousy. My poor daughter has even has to submit a statement, he earns over £100k a year, divorced yet again etc etc.

My daughter’s statement (which she has written) includes ‘I have not had any contact with Mr X for 6 years, and I do not want any contact now or at any time in the future. I respectively ask the court not to disclose any of my personal details to Mr X, inclusive of where I am studying’.

That of course is like igniting a fuse …her statement, but I know exactly how his twisted mind works. This hearing is for a full day. Every time we are in court he calls me a ‘whore, a slut, child abuser etc’ and they just let him rant on. I can take this carp, but my daughter

I know she is an adult etc, but she is still my baby. I maybe over protective, but he is representing himself (he has lost every time), and being superior to everyone else he of course is always right.

I guess I should be grateful he has stayed away, but married to someone off the internet, divorced 15 months later and now at a loose end and we all know what that means. I think he ‘enjoys’ court, even though he loses, and I am convinced its his only way to contact me, to keep on abusing. My dad (82) asked me yesterday, ‘how long do you think I’d get for murder at my age?’ ..Rant over ..

moveingon ~ That is outrageous. I think I would ask the judge if you have to stand by and listen to him call your daughter names also.

I think I agree with your dad, wise man.


Yea, he is using the court to hurt you….because he DOES ENJOY it, it is ATTENTION…and they thrive on that.

You may be getting some of the money he is supposed to pay for your daughter (his daughter as well) to go to school, but you know, you are being charged in BLOOD/EMOTIONAL coin, and only you can determine if it is worth it, or if it would be better spent just letting the Money go. ONLY you can decide that.

I understand your father! LOL Probably not much time. Tell him I will go his bail! LOL

I think we should take up a collection for your father! 🙂

Send this to a friend