01 September 2009

Sociopaths

I'm always mad at the kids for failing to care that they've done something really rotten and generated all kinds of unnecessary work and/or sadness. I tell them why whatever they did was rotten, I tell them how unhappy it made the victim, I administer their punishment, they cry and then ask what's for supper and does Dad get to stay home tonight and how do I like this picture? They're sociopaths. I want to shake them and do it all over again until they seem appropriately penitent.

But if they felt as remorseful as I think they should feel over all the crimes they commit in a day, they'd be depressed all the time. Perhaps this is some kind of built-in coping mechanism so that humans can remember their childhoods fondly. And really, it isn't just a feature of childhood. Although we occasionally feel genuine sorrow over pain we've caused, it's pretty common for our primary cause for remorse to be getting caught or having lowered others' opinion of us, no matter how old we are.

5 comments:

lisa said...

how ridiculously timely. argh.
I'm glad they have an inner mind-wipe apparatus. It probably enables my daughter to love me the way she does. How is it that I can put her in her crib four times in one day and before bed she kisses my knee and begs to cuddle me?

Melrose said...

oh man, you scare me with your ability to hit the nail on the head nearly every single post. How is it that we moms can all being going through or thinking the exact same things? I suppose it's because children are children are children...

I need to thank you for this reminder...you know...I've realized I see my eldest show true remorse most often when I am not even in the room! I'll hear, "oh brother, I am soooo sorry, are you OK?! Here, let me help you up! There there now! I love you brother!" And then 15 min later he'll walk by his little brother in front of me and flatten him to the floor then walk off with a grunt. A correction brings tears and then a "Can I have a snack?" ARRRGGHH!!!

Your analysis and comparison was brilliant.

Reb. Mary said...

....sigh....

Theophil Jones said...

On the other hand, having the attention span of a goldfish has it's benefits...

Gauntlets said...

Look! A squirrel!