Mom shares list of phrases parents should avoid if they don’t want children to become ‘people-pleasers’

This mom on TikTok posted a video sharing a hack for what parents shouldn’t say if they don’t want their kids to become people-pleasers, and it sparked a debate amongst viewers. 

TikToker Lauren Mejia (@motherhoodandmontessori) is a busy parent and Montessori teacher who often shares videos illustrating the benefits of Montessori principles and activities that highlight creative problem-solving and learning by doing. Recently, Mejia posted a video where she shares phrases parents should avoid using to prevent children from developing people-pleasing habits, and while many viewers agree, some say there’s a fine line between being considerate and being a people-pleaser. 

The clip begins with the text “Raising a people-pleaser sounds like…” typed over footage of her adorable toddler, Braxton, rubbing his hands against a wall covered in colorful sequins.

Mejia goes on to list a few people-pleasing phrases in the following footage. “If you help me clean up, I’ll give you a cookie,” the text says over a shot of Mejia pointing her finger at Braxton, who is wearing a bike helmet inside. 

“Aw, c’mon, I’m just playing with you,” is typed over the next shot of Mejia on the couch trying to tickle Braxton, who doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it and tries to recoil.  

The phrase “Your friend will be sad if you don’t play with him” appears over footage of Braxton standing in a sandbox next to another child. 

After finishing off the list with “Go give grandma a hug and kiss, or she’ll be sad,” Mejia closes the video with the words “Normalize and allow your child to say ‘NO’” typed on screen. 

Many viewers commented to share their praise for Mejia’s people-pleasing prevention tips.

“Never considered this as another contributor or layer to people-pleasing,” one user remarked. 

“Yeah, no, if my kid doesn’t wanna give a hug or a kiss, she’s not going to. I HATE that my [mother-in-law] does it,” shared one parent. 

Other viewers were a little more skeptical. 

“Fine line here, because you also want to raise them to be considerate of others and not just think about themselves,” one TikToker mentioned. 

Teaching kids about having boundaries for themselves while having compassion for others can feel like a tricky balancing act. However, as Mejia shows, being mindful of language is definitely a good start.

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