How to Avoid Raising a Narcissist or Sociopath

and hello everybody thank you for
joining me in 2019 a brand new year and
by the looks of our responses to the
meltdown videos we did here and on
Instagram y’all got something out of
that and hopefully had a nice smooth
sailing through your holiday time
congratulations for that.

Who I Am

so I’m dr. Laura Dabney I’m a
relationship psychiatrist and I
typically help executive men with their
relationship problems but as I’ve
explained here my passion has sort of
become helping those of you who are too
afraid to pick up the phone and call me
with any emotional problem so I’m coming
to you this is sort of I call it my
welcome mat to let you know what I think
and how I do things and what I tell my
patients every day so you can learn from
them and from me in this forum hopefully
that’s a little easier for you so today
I wanted to, actually this month I think
I’m gonna talk about parenting because
although I do see a lot of couples and I
could actually do a couples counseling
without the couple by the way this is my
public service announcement real quick
if you’re having relationship problems
you do not have to go together okay I
can I and i’m sure other therapists can
do couples counseling without that
couple but that is mostly what i do but
my subset my second largest group of
clients and patients are parents with
child problems it’s usually a teenager
or young adult parent problem so that’s
the other area i focus on so i thought
i’d share a little of that with you
and since there’s been so much in the
media these days and i’ve been talking
to a lot of writers about narcissism and
sociopaths I thought I’d combine the two
and help teach you how
not to raise a sociopath or narcissist.

Sociopaths and Narcissists

right you don’t want to deal with them
anywhere you certainly don’t want your
child to have that kind of problem
and let me just start by saying that
narcissism and sociopathy are sort of
descriptive titles of personality
disorders so the larger group is
personality disorders and personality
disorders are defined how we define them
is not monsters and horrible people that
you hear in the media but we define
personality problem as somebody who has
difficulty with intimate relationships
okay I know it makes no sense I didn’t
make up the term I promise so I don’t
really see it myself personality
disorder does not mean you have a bad
in fact sociopaths often have lovely
personalities part of that trick part
the manipulation right the definition
means you have not just the normal
trouble with intimate relationships that
we all have but the extreme problems you
can’t maintain long-standing intimate
relationships okay so what goes into
maintaining long-standing intimate
relationships so you can do them so
you’re not a don’t have a personality
disorder and therefore are not by
definition a narcissist or a sociopath
to get that right how not how to how to
raise a child who does not have a
personality disorder means you have to
understand what it goes behind that what
is the foundation of maintaining
intimate relationships and the key there
is to have a good sense in capabilities
to give and take you can give end
give and take and another pudding that
actually is to a good capacity to
control yourself and to put up
boundaries with the other person I stop
there because notice I didn’t say
control yourself and control others one
hint right there every big problem the
parents have its controlling yourself
and putting up boundaries which helps a
child control themselves okay and also
the capacity to change your parenting
style as the child grows up so many
parents are using the same techniques
for punishment and discipline when the
child’s a teenager as when the child was
three makes no sense right but it’s all
the time so we’re gonna talk about those
three areas controlling yourself can put
aside putting up a boundary with a child
and changing your parenting techniques
so let’s start a little bit with the the
giving or the controlling yourself okay
taking care of yourself what I mean by
that is there are lots of things that
children do that they need to do to have
a healthy self-esteem to feel autonomous
to feel grown-up to feel separate from
you okay these are all the these things
can drive us crazy I want to say I have
children by the way people always say
well really have children I know what
you talking about not only do I have
children they’re grown up and I’ve been
through a lot of this
I’m not giving advice and talking to you
because I’m coming from a place of
perfection okay and if I can give
examples it won’t totally embarrass my
children I will actually have one for
this but okay so
I mean lots of times when children do
these things they drive us a little
crazy because they’re not what we would
do all right and that’s where you have
to be really careful if they’re doing
something that’s not hurting them or
somebody else it’s best to let it go
it’s best to control the reaction you’re
having the feeling you’re having and let
them have it right if it just gives them
a quick example so you have an idea what
I’m talking about how the child dresses
how the child wears their hair what
hobbies or activities they like to do in
their spare time okay what name they
like to Beach called these are all their
choices that are not hurting them or
anybody else now the tricky thing is if
you have some sadness or irritation over
their choice you can so easily fool
yourself into thinking that it’s
dangerous for them and therefore I need
to step in and this is what the sort of
delusional part of being a parent comes
in and you end up having a problem okay
so a great example is a child who does
their homework how they do it when they
do it how many struggles do parents have
with this right because you you’ve
kidded yourself well they get a deed
that’s hurting them and we’ll get into
college and then they’ll fail out of
their lives they’ll be miserable so I
need to step in right as opposed to
controlling your anxiety about they’re
not doing their homework because it’s
really not hurting them it’s not you can
go through the catastrophe chain in your
head but that rarely if ever happens
okay you can fail out of a class or you
fail a couple class grades you can do
badly for several years and then turn it
around okay and do okay in lights
you can flunk out of college and do okay
in life you have to be able to really
discern what’s hurting a child and
what’s hurting you
I’ve got a great example of this from my
own life
hopefully my son will not freak out
about this but it’s been well known in
our neighborhood my son changed his name
at seven years old I gave him his first
name he Chuck chose at seven to go by
his middle name which I also gave him
but that was related to my grandfather
who was rather a stodgy person and I did
not think of myself as a stodgy person I
just couldn’t put that name with him so
I had a problem with it it was almost
like a little grieving like I no longer
had my Johnny and I now had an Arthur
that’s not the name but right so it was
like I can’t associate I don’t I no
longer have my this baby boy with this
name you know so I am I’m advising you
to do is I had to check in with a lot of
people including my psych mentor other
friends whose children and change their
names other friends who have changed had
changed their names this is way more
common than I ever imagined I know now
and they all told me it’s no big deal
it’s not a problem you know you’re it’s
your problem so I had to suck it up I
had to take care of my own grief my own
anxiety about it and let him have it he
still goes by that name today and it’s
been fine if it’s no big deal okay so
you can’t fool yourself you might have
to check with somebody else if you’re
having a strong reaction something your
child is doing right I see a lot of this
with the child is wearing and they make
hair in a funny way maybe they’ve dyed
it black or pierced something and
parents get all in a tizzy about it but
you have to hold it okay that’s where
you’re giving your child their own
their own space their own separation so
important okay let’s go to the opposite
of course there are times when children
do things that are dangerous really I
mean truly dangerous for them or going
to hurt them or somebody else they’re
breaking the law or mishandling
equipment like a car okay these are
dangerous things where you do have to
put up a boundary another dangerous
wanted people don’t really think about
is when they are depending on you too
much like the child who stays home
because they don’t go get a job and you
have to put a boundary I’m only willing
to support you financially until this
date okay a lot of parents have trouble
they feel guilty putting up a boundary
because they feel it’s being mean or the
child is truly enraged and maybe it said
something awful like you’re a terrible
parent if you do that and I can’t stand
you and but you have to understand and
if you need help figuring that out
that’s fine too so what is dangerous for
the child that you need to put that
boundary up and won’t tolerate so they
can change that that’s the putting up
boundaries that’s the taking so to speak
you’re taking control back letting them
run you over right so there’s some
give-and-take the third area I want to
talk about is the changing the parenting
technique as the child ages I see this
so much we’re in it’s interesting
because we grew up in one type of
parenting style and now Society has
changed all that
so I empathize with all you parents out
there who you know hey can’t can’t do
the stuff that our parents did to me and
probably did to you we just can’t do
that anymore and for good reason okay
hitting a child
it’s always a bad idea the reason is
because it’s over stimulating and
somebody hits you they’ve entered your
private space it’s an assault and it’s
illegal if a child it’s somebody they
grow up it gonna be sued so you’re
getting this quandary oh I can hit you
but you can’t hit anybody I’ve had
children who have hit kids for hitting
getting in trouble for hitting kids in
class it stirs them up more than you
realize and it’s hard for a child to
hold on to that being over stimulated
like that it’s hard for an adult to
handle that over stimulation but it’s
terribly disruptive to a child’s
development so please don’t hit I know
lots of us grew up that way and lots of
people kid themselves well that made me
a better person
probably not but even if it did not a
good idea so we come into the age of
timeouts and restrictions and and that’s
all fine but here’s the key when a child
is small they cannot speak or they can’t
get their ideas in their head out so you
can’t they also can’t to take your ideas
they can’t take abstract ideas like safe
general safety and all that they just
can’t understand it so you’re limited
you’re limited to things like taking
away privileges you’re restricting their
activities you know taking things away
narrowing that their focus down right so
they get it they can see um if I do this
I lose that they can put those two
simple thing ideas together but as a
child ages they start getting into
middle school certainly by high school
they have the ability to reason and you
want them to reason you want them to
learn how to do that and you have to
give that to them okay you your child
intimacy your first child’s first
long-term intimate relationship is with
you so you have to
be doing this well so they learn how to
do it well they’re going to take what
they learn from you and apply it to the
other relationships in their life when
they get older
okay so when the child is a reasoning
age you have to start talking to them
taking things away all that stuff is is
pointless it’s totally useless for them
okay you want natural consequences take
their toll as much as possible so if
they don’t save their tests they get to
go to school and fail there’s the
consequence you don’t have to add
anything to that
okay you don’t have to do anything with
that except talk to them what what is
going on that you’re not studying for
your test what what what’s happening
there they may not be able to talk back
but you start getting the wheels ring
and you ask more questions they’re just
I think they’re gonna internalize that
but why am i I don’t know they’ll start
they’ll keep thinking about it you don’t
have to you know pummel them with the
question is this the type of students
you want to be do you think this is
going to impact your future what what
good or bad can come out of this how did
your teacher react what are some other
options I mean all these questions to
get them to think right that is how they
learned and then okay so maybe they’ll
sit in long lines of well I’m perfectly
fine getting B’s I can get into college
with with beats I don’t need to get
straight A’s that’s that’s your problem
mom dad I’m gonna get B’s okay maybe
you’re fine with them getting B’s but
maybe they’re smart maybe they can get
B’s pretty easily and then you’re not
happy with them sitting around the house
doing nothing well then you start
talking about that well okay you’re not
gonna do your homework you’re not gonna
sit around here what else can we have
you do that might help your resume and
getting into college maybe that you want
to start a new sport or maybe I’ll give
you extra lessons and such as such you
get better at that sports volunteer
works and whatever that’s called
so you want to start compromising with
the child okay not with the things that
are dangerous
if they’re drinking and driving you just
simply take the car away for a little
while and talk taking the car away is
this how you plan to act when you have a
car going to drink and drive that’s
that’s not really a compromise you want
to get what they’re thinking you know
what how can they handle things
different next time you want to get to
that but maybe the curfew it’s a big one
I know the city curfews in some areas
you can’t really compromise on that
except maybe they spend the night
somewhere else they can’t get home but
if there’s some wiggle room on a time
you know you might have to have a talk
with them about that think about it when
they’re married the spouse isn’t going
to take their phone away if they lose
their job or if they stop showing up
late to work that’s about you want your
child to talk and work it out you know
what’s going on you want your child all
to ask that and be able to answer that
that’s that’s an adult to adult
relationship and you got to start having
it before the child is an adult so when
they’re an adult they can do it right
that’s the different narcissists have to
they can’t do that give-and-take the
narcissus has to be here in order to
feel sufficient not only do they have to
hear they have to very balanced down
here healthy people can have all kinds
of competent people around them and
people with their own ideas and known
values and you know they’re comfortable
that but an arsonist has to have
everybody down here in order to feel
whole they can’t do the give-and-take so
you have to start doing that when your
kid can reason parents are going to took
this phone away for two months there’s
nothing to do with them being late for
their curfew two weeks in a row but that
they know that’s not going to translate
to the adult world right the boss is
gonna come and say what the hell why are
you late all the time
what is going on with you I can take
that it may take their pay away but
again it’s just too concrete you want
them to be able to do that give and take
and it starts with you this is not a
blame the parents story okay I know a
people hey I don’t want to blame my
parents in it’s not about that
but the fact remains that you are an
integral part of your child’s life
you’re the only part of a child’s life
for a long time and then you’re an
integral part of that life as they grow
up so you have a huge influence on that
it’s also not to scare you it’s to give
you hope you can see and go through
these changes or ask for help to do so
okay so give and take control yourself
put up boundaries against them and
change your approach as they change as
they grow right we’ll be coming back
next week with some more talk on
parenting and I also see you on
thanks so much