There are some traits you may hope to pass along to your daughters. Your long, feminine fingers. Your curly hair. Your musical talent. Your great memory. However, in all the years I’ve worked with Pleaseaholics, I’ve never heard a woman hope to pass along her People Pleasing tendencies to her litter girl.

If you’ve struggled to carry the burden of people pleasing, you know the toll it takes on happiness, balance and confidence. As much as you’d love to save your daughter from the same fate, you may feel helpless to change the trajectory of her path. After all, if you knew the how to avoid the pit falls of people pleasing, you’d be doing it yourself! It can be equally frustrating if people pleasing is NOT difficult for you, but are baffled when you see your daughter constantly attracting needy people and imbalanced relationships.

As girls grow into women, messages from every direction threaten to compromise a teen’s sense of worthiness and value. People pleasing teens and tweens see their value held in what they DO for others versus who they ARE. They are more susceptible to peer pressure, unhealthy relationships and low self-esteem. Despite the rough road many mother-daughter relationships take, Moms love their daughters. You want only what’s best for her. Moms want to their daughters to go out into the world equipped with confidence, great self-esteem and the ability to make safe choices, even in the face of peer pressure.

When coaching adult Pleaseaholics, we use The 4 No’s and other tools to begin setting boundaries. While effective, they’re not the best fit for teens and tweens. These 4 simple strategies are ideally suited to give any mom the tools to reinforce her daughter’s immunity from people pleasing and build the next generation of women strong from the inside out.

1. Accept a Compliment Well – How do you accept a compliment? What does your daughter say when someone praises her? People pleasers tend to downplay or minimize the positive that’s given to them. Build confidence by encouraging a different response from your daughter when she’s offered a compliment. Teach her to simply say “Thank You.” Set the example for your daughter by responding to a compliment by making eye contact with chin up and shoulders back and offering a sincere “Thank You.” Nudge your daughter to do the same.

2. Crack the Sneeze Code – There are several different sneeze styles that reveal aspects of your personality. Assertive (not aggressive) people sneeze boldly. Insecure, shy people tend to hide their sneezes. To promote your daughters positive self-image, encourage her to really let her sneezes go!

3. Compliment HERSELF – When you want to want to encourage your daughter to feel good about herself you tell her what YOU think about her. The most positive, supporting words roll right off like Teflon if she sees herself differently. She may read this as “Mom doesn’t get me.” Or “All I ever do is disappoint her.” This is the exact OPPOSITE of your intended message.

Rather than try to staple strength, confidence and self-esteem to her (which is temporary if it sticks at all), help her build these essential building blocks from the inside out. There’s infinitely more power in the words she speaks to herself and speaks aloud than any positive strokes that come from outside. To record a positive, resilient inner tape, ask your daughter to tell you what’s great about her. She might be shy about this at first. To get the wheels turning, smile lovingly and ask her questions like “Tell me what’s so special about you?” or “What do like/love most about yourself?” or “Do you know what I appreciate about who you are?” Make it a daily practice. Gently insisting she speak her strengths out loud and verbally list positive her positive attributes one of the best ways to inoculate her from the negative self-talk that leads to rampant people pleasing.

4. A Rule to Live By – “Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.” These wise words from Lysate Corona serve as a guide to discern who has earned a spot in your inner circle. Abiding by this rule yourself provides an example for your daughter. Setting this as a standard in your own life reinforces your daughter’s ability to set this boundary in her own relationships.

These 4 simple tools build unbreakable self-worth. When a girl knows she’s amazing, worthy and lovable, she’ll remember her value is intrinsic, not based on the approval of others. Armed with this knowledge she’ll feel strong from the inside out and be inoculated from contracting the disease to please.

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie Owens is a coach, speaker and author. She teaches her clients how to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be to create a life they fall in love with. She coaches purpose-driven, high-performance people to achieve not only success but deep personal satisfaction. A small business owner for over a decade, Stephanie blends her experience in the business world with a Masters in Counseling.

Whether coaching privately with clients or speaking to groups, Stephanie teaches participants how to stop fear from sabotaging success and unlock their full potential.

Stephanie is a recurring guest host on the radio show Chat With Women. and author of a book entitled No Is The New YES!: How to Say No, Set Better Boundaries and Reclaim Your Joy.

Stephanie lives a peaceful happy life with her husband and two wonderful children.