I have always been a people pleaser. I have always wanted people to like me. I have this deep unhealthy need to be liked by all. I’ve always admired the people that don’t care what other people think and let them know just that. My daughter is really giving me a run for my money with this issue. It kills me when she doesn’t respond to someone when they say hello. Or what about when she doesn’t like a certain kid?!? She must like everyone, right??? This might be the American in me (and I think it is a bit), but I feel like she must be kind to all, friends with all, and do her best not leave anyone out.
Yesterday her school had a little festival and a friend from her class last year showed up. Maisie instantly ignored her current friends to play with this little girl. I was horrified! I thought she MUST continue to play with the kids from her class now as well or they will all shun her! (Where did I get this idea anyway??) I MADE her (as much as a mom can make their almost 4 year old do anything) play with her current school friends as well. Let’s just say it ended with a couple shoves back and forth (with Maisie and her current best bud at school) and the friend went flying. I was not so pleased. I was embarrassed and felt awful that my daughter had been so naughty. Of course all of this probably would have been avoided if I had just kept my mouth shut and let her be a kid.
The parents of the little girl were not upset and said something about how they will be best friends again tomorrow. Still, something in me was really upset about the way Maisie had acted. I talked to three different friends here about it and they all said basically the same thing. It was all along the lines of, “It’s no big deal. She is finding her own. She is learning to stand up for herself. It’s okay if she just wants to play with one friend and not the others.”
Although I don’t think it is okay for Maisie to push, I think I am learning that she doesn’t have to do things exactly how I do as an adult. In fact, the way I am a people pleaser isn’t necessarily so healthy anyways and perhaps I can learn a few things from my little girl. Next time I am annoyed at someone, instead of just smiling and saying, “that’s okay,” I am going to push them across the room.