A Generation of Sociopaths?

Austin Reed Sigg, a 17 year old, of Westminster, Colorado allegedly murders and dismembers a little girl. Jake Evans, another 17 year old, of Aledo TX, allegedly shoots and kills his mother and little sister in their home and then calmly phones 911 to report his deeds. These two instances have just happened in the last month. It seems that the news is reporting more and more on seemingly cold-hearted teenage killers and I am afraid that the “trophy for everyone generation” is growing up to be a group of bored, uncaring, self-gratifying, self-important underachievers. I’m certainly not saying that everyone now embarking on adulthood is a sociopath but I do believe the environment that many of these kids have grown up in is conducive to producing a sociopathic personality.
With two children of my own, I have plenty of experience watching peer parents run circles around their kids trying to set up the perfect life for them. Don’t get me wrong, we all want the best for our children. What I am pointing to are the parents that attempt to set up their kid’s lives like a chess board, thinking ten moves ahead for them so that they never experience any negative consequences to their behavior. For example, my “trophy for everyone” reference above. It seems harmless enough, right? Who wants to hurt a little child’s feelings? But the problem emerges when over time the child learns that their behavior and the consequence don’t connect. I was the worst player on the soccer team but I still got a trophy. So whatever I did, or didn’t do was good, right? I did something wrong at school but my parents supported me in a lie to get out of it. So whatever I did, or didn’t do was good, right? After years of running this pattern, the child has no real idea of actions and consequences and they are sent out into the world to make it on their own. They continue to believe that they can do whatever they feel like doing and it will all work out in their favor. Unfortunately for some, this even includes murder. I can’t speak to the upbringing of these two young men referenced above but I do feel like we are seeing a disturbing trend of cold, emotionless violence with no concern for or maybe even no understanding of the consequences. Is it because they were never allowed to experience behavior and true consequence? Are we doing a huge injustice to our children when we try to protect them from every little hurt or disappointment?

-Food for thought

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