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Teaching Foster Daughter What Is Unhealthy Contracts Obligation

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Looking for information or help with something I am teaching my foster daughter. Not sure how to describe it, but when you have a toxic member of your family and they want to give you something or buy you something. If you allow it and take it, then you feel bad like you owe them or they start calling and coming around with weird requests they feel you have to do because you took the gift. How can I explain this better to her or find information on this?

Teaching Foster Daughter What Is Unhealthy Contracts Obligation

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You might be wanting to teach her about having strong boundaries and counteracting manipulative people. In the situation you described, you suggested that when you accept a gift from someone, you are obligated to do something in return for the gift. That is only true, if you let it be true. Gifts are supposed to be given with no expectations in return. People have expectations about many things, but that doesn’t mean you have to accommodate their expectations.

Generally speaking, you’re not obligated to do anything you don’t want to do or to accommodate the desires of others. People who feel the need to be agreeable are referred to as people pleasers. People pleasers go out of their way to ensure that no one is upset with them and that other people’s needs are met, often at the expense of their own needs. They actively avoid confrontation because they don’t like it when people are angry at them. They want to be liked and are worried about what other people think of them. The problem is that people pleasers are often surrounded by people who don’t respect them and who take advantage of them. This leaves them feeling frustrated, angry and resentful. Socially, people pleasing is a losing strategy.

There are many books about social interaction and maintaining strong boundaries. You might try reading these books to help you with your foster daughter. You might also discuss this issue with a therapist. Therapists study human behavior and social interactions and can advise you accordingly. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Teaching Foster Daughter What Is Unhealthy Contracts Obligation

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Teaching Foster Daughter What Is Unhealthy Contracts Obligation. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 5 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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