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Controlling And Sociopathic Parents – Childhood Trauma Recovery

Controlling And Sociopathic Parents


Controlling and sociopathic parents will tend to see their child as an object/possession to be controlled and exploited according to the needs of that parent.

Sociopaths share certain characteristics which include self-centeredness, lack of empathy, an excessive need for power and control, deviousness and deceptiveness, a predatory and exploitative nature, lack of conscience/feelings of remorse for wrongdoing, a tendency to deflect blame onto others/inability to accept personal responsibility and shallow emotions.

In order to manipulate and control others, male sociopaths are more likely to use verbal threats and violence whilst female sociopaths are more likely to use flirtation, appearance and sex.

Just because a person is a sociopath this does not necessarily mean they have been to prison or even ever broken the law. In fact, they may present a very positive (but false) image to the outside world such as being involved in charity work and of being a devoted and selfless parent – although things are very different behind closed doors.

Indeed, once behind closed doors the sociopathic parent may show little or no interest in the child and treat him/her in a neglectful manner. Indeed, as alluded to above, the child may be treated as a personal possession whose sole role in life is to meet that parent’s emotional needs.

Controlling and sociopathic parents (especially in the case of the mother as it is she who generally has the role of primary carer) will tend to not see the child as an individual with his/her own set of needs but as an object to be moulded and manipulated by means of power and control (including verbal manipulation. the inducement of guilt. emotional terrorism and harsh, even sadistic, punishment – particularly if the child, quite naturally and normally under the circumstances, begins to sense s/he is being used/exploited by the parent and starts to rebel. Controlling and sociopathic parents cannot tolerate any challenge to their power, control and authority).

Because controlling and sociopathic parents do not tend to feel remorse for their behaviour, this liberates (due to their lack of conscience) to punish their children extremely harshly and this may mean they become physically or emotionally abusive even when only mildly provoked.



A child brought up by a sociopathic parent is prevented from developing in a psychologically and emotionally normal manner.

Those brought up by controlling and sociopathic parents often report that they knew something was very wrong with how their parent related to them but they were unable to properly understand or articulate what this was. It is little wonder, then, that those brought up by a sociopath tend to grow up feeling deeply confused and full of self-doubt. Other effects may include :

  • becoming very withdrawn
  • becoming very aggressive
  • bullying others
  • emotional dysregulation
  • emotional numbness/deadness
  • poor concentration/attention which may negatively impact school performance

Whilst realizing one has been brought up by a sociopathic patent is clearly profoundly shocking and distressing it can, too, release one from guilt and lead one, finally, to the realization that rather than feel guilty, one needs to start protecting oneself.

NB, It is only possible to ascertain if a person is a sociopath by professional diagnosis.




David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE). is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission.