How to Prevent your Child From Becoming a People Pleaser
Inside: Everyday parenting techniques for dealing with parent pleasing child. Encourage standing out, and normalize ‘not everyone will like you and that’s Okay!’ How to Prevent your Child From Becoming a People Pleaser.
Are you aware that your children may be losing their uniqueness and identity in the game of pleasing others. Wondering ‘why my child wants to please everyone?’. Here are the answers. Read on to know who are people pleasers and how to avoid our kids from becoming one.
How would you feel when your kids do whatever you ask them to without even a second thought?
Seems wonderful, isn’t it?
But what if they do that day after day, even after becoming a teenager or even an adult – they do everything to please others, not just you, but everyone they encounter.
A bit alarming, right?
That is exactly what a people pleaser would do. They never say ‘NO’ because they want to be in everyone’s good books and ignore standing out.
Eventually, they become proficient in pleasing everyone but themselves and stop acknowledging their own opinions.
Unfortunately what happens is at some point kids will precisely lose sight of their own interests and will start to struggle to be independent; because of their people-pleasing behavior.
As a parent, it is our primary duty to ensure that the kids are independent, assertive and self-assuring in their daily life, regardless of the parenting style we follow.
It’s not that being people-pleasers/codependents are bad, but the key is to find the right balance between the aggressiveness and passiveness. So you don’t end up losing your own independence!
People Pleasers / Codependents
Before getting into the dangers of being a people pleaser, let us acknowledge the fact that people-pleasing behavior is not that bad.
In fact, people pleasers have one or all of the below gratifying skills making them the perfectionists at times, so curing people-pleasing syndrome out of your child is really important.
And here are few of their good skills:
- People pleasers easily blend in their environment without much struggle. Don’t they say – When in Rome, do as Romans do!
- They put themselves in other person’s shoes by being intuitive about what others think and feel.
- They care for others by putting other’s needs before their own
But wait, with all these comes the grim part of being codependent almost all the time like kids are. Neglecting one’s own needs may seem a perfect trait of any person.
In reality, this pleasing behavior would be associated with their deeper fear of being rejected.
They shall eventually be stuck in relationships where they give more than they get in the desire to be liked. This can burn out their inner self leaving them mentally dissatisfied with everything in their life.
People Pleasing Behavior in Children
While there may be plenty of reasons for being a people-pleaser, the foremost one is the lack of parental attunement during their childhood.
You see, when parents are in-consistently available to their children, the child tends to be a parent pleasing child as a tool to maintaining a connection with parents.
This usually happens for middle aged kids, since they’ve already passed the age of throwing tantrums when missing parents. Now they try to please parents to keep them close.
Next time you think, ‘My child wants to please everyone’ or “is he/she a parent pleasing child”, think about how they behaved when you ignored paying attention to him.
Curing the people-pleasing syndrome in the early years of childhood is the best thing that any parent could do for their little people-pleasing rebel.
How discourage your child from being a people pleaser
If you ever think your child is falling into the trap of people-pleasing, here are few things you could do as a part of your everyday parenting for dealing with this behavior.
Fitting in is overrated
We live in a society where everyday we are pushed towards being the same as others. The need to be liked and wanting to be accepted defines our behavior. But clearly, this behavior of people pleasing has more adverse long term psychological effects for us.
A child finds the urge to please others very early in his lifetime. From seeking the attention of his parents to finding friendships at school, everywhere the need to please others to fit in the group arises.
As a parent, we must first accept the fact that, fitting in overrated these days.
It’s perfectly ok for your child to be standing out from others. Let them learn to embrace their individuality without any hesitation.
By embracing their individuality you will encourage them to be themselves, thus keeping them away from becoming a people pleaser.
No matter how silly the conversation can be, your child needs to be heard.
Only when they feel heard and included, they will never have to start pleasing you or codependents to feel better.
By being conscious in the way of parenting, your child will have the freedom to communicate about everything and anything. Thus, we, as parents, erase the need for being a pleaser with us.
It’s not that people-pleasers lack decision-making skills, but the fear of being rejected makes them push their decisions to the back row. As a parent, it is up to us to sow the seeds of deciding based on logic and experience and not based on how others would like.
By trusting them to make small decisions like choosing a dress to wear or what to eat, we let them know that it is fine to make a decision on their own.
Stand beside and let them explore while you are still being available for them when they need.
Finding the Right Words to Praise
Kids love being appreciated.
But it is always wise to save the best words for the best occasions. Pouring out praise for every single thing will just make the words lose its worth or your kids getting accustomed to those words.
When a kid grows habituated to praising words, they imbibe it as a tool to measure their self-worthiness.
At one point, when they don’t receive those praise, they may feel dejected and start doing things in the way that pleases others just to receive the praise.
Try saying, ‘Thanks for helping me with arranging these vessels. I really appreciate this help as it reduced my work’ instead of — ‘You are such a good boy’.
Use the words in the right way, to let the kids understand that anything they do is for the value it gives to self or others and not for the praise they get.
Set the Right Example
Children learn a lot from seeing what we do. Most of their behavior are the imitation of ours. Hence, it is important for us to be independent and assertive of our choices and intentions and being unique, so your child understands the importance of independence.
And when you make independence in opinion as “the normal”, they learn that to be the normal and not people-pleasing!
First, ask yourself, ‘Am I independent and assertive in my opinion?’.
If not, unfortunately, you do have a people-pleasing trait, whether you realize it or not — then self analyze on how to stop being a people pleaser.
Learn to embrace your individuality and stand up for yourself in demanding situations instead of following what others want you to.
Precisely, be the role model and walk the walk.
Encourage standing out, and normalize not everyone will like you and that’s Okay!
We all have had or will have the dreaded complain from kids that so and so does not want to play or with me or their friend said they don’t like me.
This my friends is the moment when you tell your child – not everyone will like you and that’s okay!
Don’t let your emotions come in between and try to convenience your child -“their friend did’nt mean it and all”.
Yes, your child’s feelings are hurt, so acknowledge their desire to be liked but also redirect them to a long term lesson of standing out.
We all have been through these moments and eventually, we realize not everyone will like you, and it’s okay!
We need to assure our kids of just this fact… it’s difficult but the sooner “not everyone will like you” becomes normal the better it is!
Summary of How to prevent your child from becoming a people pleaser —
Everyone tends to exhibit the people pleasing behavior at some phase of life. But the point is not to be driven too much into this behavior.
As a responsible adult of the family, embrace your individuality, and celebrate your uniqueness. Eventually, your kids will learn from you.
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