So, this was the question my 13 year-old asked me yetserday.
Needless to say, I was totally taken aback at first. Then, instead of reassuring him he was not (hey, I never said I was a perfect mom), I decided to find out why he was thinking that.
He said that he felt no emotion, nothing when he lied to me about finishing his homework. He said he felt no remorse or guilt for lying to me and abusing the trust I had placed in him. Now he was worried he had no conscience and that he was becoming a psychopath.
I explained to my son that a psychopath was cold-hearted, had no empathy for others, and could not love or establish meaningful relationships with others.
I asked him to think about himself – his relationship with his friends, with me, with his pet. I told him that just because he did not feel guilt or remorse at that particular time did not make him a bad person or a psychopath.
I told him that as humans we constantly calibrate ourselves. We learn, we experience new things, discover new knowledge, and apply it to ourselves. If we didn’t, then obviously we would be zombies or better yet, we would be dead.
Yes, he did not feel bad when lying to me, but it was one situation. And that was okay. He was not perfect. That’s how he would learn to be a better human being. I told him, “We all make mistakes, all the time. We learn from them. The learning may expand our knowledge and help us evolve into a better person or make us negative and become close-minded. Either way, we have calibrated ourselves. ”
And that is what he would do. He would learn and not lie again. Or he would continue to lie. I told him that there was one other thing , we as humans possessed. HOPE. Hope that things will always improve. Without hope, there would be no life.
I finally reassured my son that he was not a psychopath. This was a learning experience for him. And I had hope that he would calibrate himself to be a better human being.
Was I wrong?