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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    I think my main issue is how little empathy she seems to have and how naturally cruel she is. She gets pleasure from seeing other kids upset. Is this behaviour reversible?
    Hopefully it is, but I think the parents need to try and get to the root cause of the behaviour whilst she's still young by seeking professional help (child psych).

    With the risk of sounding completely alarmist, this is how a lot of serial killers behave as children.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mod-Degrassi View Post
    Hopefully it is, but I think the parents need to try and get to the root cause of the behaviour whilst she's still young by seeking professional help (child psych).

    With the risk of sounding completely alarmist, this is how a lot of serial killers behave as children.

    No, I don't think you're being alarmist. She has some disturbing behaviour that, I guess, some people would describe as psychopathic. That sounds like a very harsh thing to say about an 8 year old..

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    No, I don't think you're being alarmist. She has some disturbing behaviour that, I guess, some people would describe as psychopathic. That sounds like a very harsh thing to say about an 8 year old..
    I'm not sure on any advice for the situation per se, but I do recall hearing that sociopathic personalities are far, far more common than we realise, it's the environmental factors that turn them into killers. The rest of the "sociopaths" just turn into not very nice people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahalfdozen View Post
    I'm not sure on any advice for the situation per se, but I do recall hearing that sociopathic personalities are far, far more common than we realise, it's the environmental factors that turn them into killers. The rest of the "sociopaths" just turn into not very nice people.
    I agree with this. I've worked with a lot of people over the years I would describe as having sociopathic tendencies.

    I think for kids though it can mean loneliness as other kids learn to avoid them. That's what I would want addressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    We have a group of friends that we have known 10 years, 4 couples, we now all have kids and socialise a lot together, including camping, holidays abroad etc. One couple has a daughter, 8, that generally causes a lot of strife with the other kids. A lot of it, is very trivial stuff, so when I describe it, it might sounds like typical behaviour from a child. I guess it’s now getting to the point we don’t really want to socialise with the couple as much because of their daughter. Some of her behaviour is quite cruel and odd. We were at a BBQ and I saw through the window as she took a toy off someone’s 2 year old and put it on a higher shelf and watched as the little girl cried as she attempted, and failed, to get the toy. Locking little kids in a room and watching through the glass door as they get hysterical, with a blank look on her face. “Accidentally” knocking kids food onto the floor, taking precious toys and hiding them, laughing when other kids hurt themselves.. She seems to completely lack in empathy. I love hanging out with the couple, we get on great with them, but it’s getting more and more unrelaxing socialising with them, because of their daughter. I guess this is part vent, but I’m also interested in other peoples thoughts on why she behaves like this and what we can do going forward.
    Her behaviour would bother me too. Not your typical child. I would avoid socialising and have a word with your friends/her parents. Serial killer material.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewS View Post
    No, I don't think you're being alarmist. She has some disturbing behaviour that, I guess, some people would describe as psychopathic. That sounds like a very harsh thing to say about an 8 year old..
    How does she treat animals? That is another sign of violence as adults.

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    she sounds like a little sociopath in the making. I didn't want to post that off the bat but it was the first thought that came to me after reading your post OP. now I see others think the same so I feel ok saying it.

    she definitely sounds as though she lacks empathy for others and gets off on torturing other kids.

    I'd be very concerned if this was my child!

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    During the years you have been socializing have any of the adults (yourself and DH included) said anything to the child? Or just watch while she bullies other children?

    If no-one says anything then it's a bit rude to suggest a psychologist off the bat. Maybe ask the mum how she is going, you've noticed some kids aren't comfortable around xyz and that must be stressful. Ask if the mum (or dad) needs anything. Maybe the child has a special need and is receiving treatment. Who knows.

    Try not to blow things out of proportion (mass murderer in the making etc) before you've had a chat with the parents especially if you've been letting behavior you've witnessed slide to date.

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    The social issues you describe could be a result of Aspergers/Autism Spectrum Disorder. Girls present very differently to boys and often they don't get diagnosed (if at all) till much later on as the signs are more subtle. They tend to struggle to make/keep friends for many of the reasons you describe.

    I would suggest an appointment with a Developmental Paediatrician as a first assessment (will need a GP referral to get to the Paed). If it is Autism then the Paed can help with referrals to an appropriate health provider.
    Last edited by Xanthic; 14-03-2016 at 16:19.

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  14. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    During the years you have been socializing have any of the adults (yourself and DH included) said anything to the child? Or just watch while she bullies other children?
    We will always do something. A lot of her bullying is subtle, surreptitious and done out of sight of the adults, so it becomes a he said she said. When I saw her take the toy of the 2 year old, I chastised her, told her mum, who sighed and yelled her name to admonish her, so no real consequence. But I couldn't really express that I felt her behaviour was a bit disturbing without sounding like I was completely over reacting, I mean all she really did was take a toy off a small child, pretty common behaviour, but the manner in which she did it, coupled with her interest in the toddlers distress equated, in my mind, to very odd behaviour. But that is definitely something I would not feel comfortable talking to the parents about, I don't think they would be particularly receptive, if I tried to suggest her behaviour was out of the ordinary. I'm sure they are aware she can be a naughty child, but they certainly wouldn't regard her as cruel and unempathetic.

    She can be quite sneaky and clever sometimes, hurting kids in a way which could easily be passed off as an accident. I watched as she deliberately changed the direction she was walking in and "accidentally" knocked into a baby playing on the floor making her cry. I know she did it deliberately, but I think if I tried to say that to her parents they would think I was a bit mad.


 

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