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Ask earthsister Your Own Question

earthsister
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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My 7-year-old daughter is a people pleaser. She wont tell

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My 7-year-old daughter is a people pleaser. She won't tell people 'no' because she doesn't want anyone angry with her. She avoids confrontation. She is affectionate toward her family, lots of hugs and kissses and "I love you"s. Sometimes I wonder if her affection is because she wants her family to be happy with her rather than a genuine expression of love. How can I help her become more assertive, stand up for herself, and care less about what others think of her?

earthsister :

Good morning, I would like to assist you today.

earthsister :

It sounds as though your seven year old can use a self-esteem booster. Has she always been this way?

Customer:

Good morning. I think she's always been this way. I've noticed it more during the past few years since she started school.


 

earthsister :

I would first start by having a conversation with your daughter about how pleasing everyone is impossible. Let her know that you understand that she wants to make everyone happy, however everyone finds happiness in different things, there own way. All that she can do is what she feels is the right thing, and what is comfortable for herself.

earthsister :

I would secondly encourage your daughter to become involved in competition of some kind, of course just as suggestions based off of her talents, to see if she is interested.

earthsister :

When I say competiton, this could be sport, such as softball, volleyball, chess club, anything that she enjoys, yet can be involved in with other children her age in a competitive way.

earthsister :

This can be a good way to encourage her to be assertive and learn to stand up for herself, in a fun and recreational way.

Customer:

Do you have any suggestions on what I can say to her when I observe her "people pleasing"? When I see her do this I always feel the need to correct her or point out what she's doing, and I'm pretty sure I'm not using the best words.

earthsister :

Give me an idea, what kind of things do you say to her?

Customer:

As an example, she started the 2nd grade about three weeks ago. At curriculum night last week I met her teacher and found out the teacher was mispronouncing her name. My daughter didn't try to correct her teacher, not once during the entire three weeks. When I spoke to my daughter I said something along the lines of, "Why didn't you tell Ms. Alvarez she was saying your name wrong?" My daughter said because it didn't matter and that her teacher seemed to like the name she was using. I told my daughter she needed to speak up and correct people when they mispronounce her name. Then the conversation evolved into "standing her ground" and not letting people walk all over her.

earthsister :

I think that is good, and keep having those conversations with her. Try not to be upset when she doesn't stand up for herself, simply encourage her to do it next time, in a similar situation.

earthsister :

If you witness your daughter not speaking up for herself, in a harmless situation, especially with children her age, I suggest that you step back before saying anything and see how everything plays out.

earthsister :

After the fact, speak to her about what just happened, and show her where she could have stood up for herself, and encourage her to do so next time.

earthsister :

Of course if it involves an adult or older child, you may have to speak up then and there.

earthsister :

Here is a nice book about standing up for yourself that is about at your daughter's age level: http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Up-Yourself-Personal-Self-Esteem/dp/1575420686/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345704097&sr=1-8&keywords=Self-confidence+in+children

Customer:

Thank you so much for your insight and advice. I'll definitely look into the book, and I'll try to refrain myself from trying to correct her every time I see her not standing up for herself.

earthsister :

You are most welcome. And also, be sure to inspire your daughter to be assertive through your own actions. Show her through how you do things and interact with people the proper way to assert and stand up for herself when needed.

earthsister :

I do have to step away briefly; If you do need any further insight or advice, please message for me, and I will be sure to respond at my earliest convenience. Thank you.

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