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MissericalynnJ
Missericaly... asks:
Q:

My seven year old son really wants everyone to like him. So much in fact that he almost tries "too hard" to accomplish this making him look "foolish"

In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school, Self esteem and identity
> 60 days ago

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Expert

AnnieFox
Dec 22, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

We're all programmed to want to be liked. That's because humans are social creatures, we live in groups, and waaaaaaay back, when we lived in hostile environments, our very survival depended on our acceptance by the tribe. If the group was "displeased" with us, they could boot us out of the cave, in which case, we'd probably die. So... we're all people pleasers to one degree or another. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

It sounds like you may be feeling a bit embarrassed by the lengths to which your son has gone at times to win peer approval. Part of his trying "too hard" may be a lack of confidence in himself. It might be helpful for you to pay special attention to the meta-messages you send to him as you interact with him day to day. Are you more likely to encourage him, praise him, and catch him in the act of doing something right? OR are you more likely to be correcting him, admonishing him, or pointing out how he has messed up?

While you watch the way you relate to him, I'd also suggest that you talk with his teacher and see, from her perspective, how he functions, socially in class.
Allowing his interests to lead him to activities in which he'll "shine" is another excellent way to help a child build self-esteem and self-confidence.

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Additional Answers (2)

salfam
salfam writes:
I have a son who is similar at 12. I recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Different-Children-Needs-Understanding-Personality/dp/1590523121/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292842648&sr=8-1

Different Children Different Needs by Boyd and Rohm

Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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kaicee
kaicee writes:
My son has done the same, and got his feeling hurt at the effort. I was informed by a psychiatrist that most children in that age group have feelings of "not fitting in." Children are growing and learning different ways to act and communicate. As long as you support him and his efforts, one day this should work its way out. If you feel it is a serious problem you should try counseling / counseling groups for him.
> 60 days ago

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