Seeds of people pleasing – Aajol

Seeds of people pleasing

“Don’t touch that, the shopkeeper will scold you.”

“Don’t do that, that aunty will get mad.”

“You drew on the wall, now I am going to tell the watchman uncle that you did this. He will scold you then.”

Such dialogues are common at a toy shop or a restaurant or anywhere for that matter, where a child tries to naturally explore the space and an adult resorts to this narrative, mostly out of helplessness.

In some cases, the stranger adult also takes part in this narrative actively and acts intimidating or tries to scold the child.

Let’s pause here for a moment. When we do this, we are trying to teach a lesson using fear. This might ‘look’ effective in the short run but it causes more harm than we know in the long run.

In addition to that, here are a few lessons that the child MAY learn through this seemingly acceptable exchange.

(yes the highly impressionable sharp minds of children coupled with their inherent skills to learn implied meanings from actions, words and interactions are equipped to pick up deeper lessons.)

  • I shouldn’t do what I feel for the fear that someone w=might scold me.
  • Someone can- and holds the right to- scold me when I am being myself.
  • Scolding as the first response (instead of politely communicating) is permissible for strangers. This means I can also scold anyone as my first response.
  • My caregiver (my supposedly safe space) will allow, or even welcome, a stranger scolding me.
  • I MUST not act in a way which upsets another person or give them a reason to scold me.
  • I MUST fight the urge to follow my instincts/heart/desires because someone might get upset.
  • I MUST avoid upsetting others. Which could further mean that when someone is upset, I must inhibit myself and possibly adjust my behaviour to pleasing the other person and remedying the situation, because the other person being upset is supposedly a ‘problem’.

Let’s create space for our children to be connected to their authenticity and to express it freely.

Note: this doesn’t mean that we are to be permissive with our children.

Activity:

Identify any fear based techniques or dialogues you use with your child.

How can you replace them with techniques and dialogues that are not based in fear? How can you protect your child when other people try to terrorise them (at the same time being gentle with the people involved)?

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