young girl alone

We can’t make everyone happy all the time. In fact we cannot make everyone happy some of the time. Life is just not like that. So why is it that some children want to be people pleasing all the time? Well, it is down to self-esteem and also friendships. They want to be accepted in their friendship group and they also want to be liked by everyone in that group, so they will constantly put other friend’s needs before their own. They will give away their possessions including their snack at break time and they may even do things that they do not want to do because they know it will make their friends happy. For example, play a game they hate all the time. They will play it because it makes their friends happy so they are quite happy to ignore their own needs and wants and happiness.

Children People Pleasing And Self-esteem

There is a fine line between people pleasing and compromising their own needs. I think it is important that a child who feels the need to behave like this needs a boost of self-esteem but also needs to realise that friendships do not work this way. People like us because of who we are and not because we are a doormat or shower them with gifts constantly.

In terms of self-esteem you can talk to your child about the kind of person they are – what positive traits do they have, what do they think they can offer others?  Get them to see the great things they are made up of. You can discuss that friendships should involve give and take. Also, that there are better ways to interact with other children and get involved more in their friendship group where they are accepted for being them ‘flaws and all’.

For more help with people pleasing and raising your child’s self-esteem take a look at the ‘WOW’ Board – a useful tool for children to help children see the positive in life.