Mom Talks To Daughter About Not Becoming A 'People Pleaser' After Orthodontist Praises Her For Being Cute & Well Behaved

She doesn't want her daughter to always be "cooperative."

Christy-Faith talks to her daughter in a car. TikTok

A young girl’s trip to the orthodontist turned into an important life lesson.

When taking a child to a place like an orthodontist’s office, good behavior is something most parents value. Many don’t want their child to make too much of a fuss, even though it can be an uncomfortable experience. But after one mother noticed her daughter’s “obedience” during the exam, instead of complimenting her, she gave her valuable insight. 


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She talked to her daughter about not growing up to become a ‘people pleaser.’

Christy-Faith posts homeschooling-related content to the video-sharing app TikTok. Though in a recent post, she made a video about teaching her daughter about boundaries outside of the home.

The mother-daughter duo were sitting in the car after the orthodontist appointment. Christy pulled from her experience of teaching abuse prevention classes to children to convey a message to her daughter. Christy started the video by complimenting her for her good behavior.




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“You were an absolute...delight today at the orthodontist,” she said. In text that appears onscreen, Christy explains that her daughter was "getting a lot of praise for her cooperative disposition (obedience) and 'cuteness' (looks.)"

She remarked that she was reminded of a lesson she learned too late. So, Christy thought it’d be great to share it with her daughter early! She continued complimenting her good behavior but clarified that it’s not always a good thing to have what she labeled a “cooperative disposition.”


“I want to make sure that when you are around authority figures that if anyone ever makes you feel uncomfortable in any way or if you’re unclear on what exactly they’re doing that you know it is okay to stop them,” she said.

Parents aren’t by their side as much as a child gets older. So, it’s important to teach them lessons like these because sometimes authority figures can be harmful—whether it be an orthodontist or a police officer.

“If I’m not there to protect you, I want to make sure that you know how to protect yourself,” she said.

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Christy asked her daughter what situations she would find to be uncomfortable. She responded that she’d feel uneasy if an authority figure asked where she lived. So, she asked her daughter how she would respond to that invasive question. At first, she said she’d “change the subject” or just lie. But Christy led her to a more suitable answer.

“If mommy’s not there, what could you say?” she asked. “I’m not comfortable with that,” her daughter responded.

And if the authority figure tries to question her uncomfortableness: she has the answer to that too! “I’m not comfortable with you either,” she continued.

Christy wrapped up the life lesson with a poignant idea. She explained that just because someone is in a uniform doesn’t mean they’re always a trustworthy person. But she emphasized that her daughter should continue to approach people with kindness as she always had. Still, if she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation, she should vocalize it.


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Many commented on the importance of Christy’s message.

“I wish my mom had talked to me like that,” one person wrote. Some shared that they still fail to set appropriate boundaries. “I’m still struggling with this as an adult. Currently pregnant and feels like my OB walks all over me because I can’t ask the right questions,” one person commented.

Nancy Kay, a licensed professional counselor, told YourTango in March 2019 how someone can overcome being a “people pleaser.” Part of why people act in this way is because they’re scared of being disliked. So, she recommended to “accept the fact that not everyone will like you.” And she harped on Christy’s similar point when she wanted her daughter not to lie to escape an uncomfortable situation but to be upfront with the truth.


“This will require you to learn to love yourself and increase your self-esteem. Learn to say no in a way that feels comfortable — but without excuses,” Kay wrote.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.