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