Bism Illah wa assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
Ever try to please someone, seeking their smile? You do something you think they will like so they will be pleased with you and you can enjoy seeing their pleasure. Well, just have a quick look at the map and make sure you are taking the right route to their pleasure. You see, sometimes when you want to see appreciation in the form of thanks, smiles, or even gifts, you might compliment, joke, play a trick, or do an act of compliance for the sole purpose of pleasing specific people.
"Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah, with Him is a great reward." At-Taghaabun 15
This is a subject that needs to be clarified to children, as they might mistakenly try different things to please parents, but remain disobedient to them, and consequently Allah. I was once told that someone wanted to please me and was doing a certain
action to gain my approval. I had to say that what will please me and
gain my approval was them pleasing Allah. Pleasing Allah entails obedience to parents, and obedience to parents is obedience to Allah, so whichever way they approach it they will succeed. However, they said that they can't see Allah's pleasure.
I realized, then, that not just children, but many adults just don't feel motivated or satisfied with the concept of obeying and pleasing Allah. They are seeking instant, visible or tactile gratification. They cannot make the connection that all the goodness and blessing that comes to them is from Allah; that it comes from obedience to their Creator.
However, Who gives His Creation the ability and inspiration to smile and give instant, visible, or tactile gratification to others? Who puts in the nature of His believers love and appreciation for the good? Who decrees whether and what you will receive? Know that there is no goodness that comes to you, except by Allah's Will. If you want goodness, smiles, beautiful relationships, love, then go to the One Who can make that happen and give them to you - check your map and set your route to Allah.
"Is there any reward for good other than good?" Ar-Rahman 60
Seek Allah's pleasure through obedience to Him and acts loved by Him; Allah will send you rewards far beyond thanks and a smile. He will send you thanks and smiles from His creation far more heartfelt and plentiful than those you seek, and you will have other blessings in this life, as well as a reward set aside for your aakhirah.
"For those who have done good is the best (reward) and even more..." Yunus 10
So rather than focusing on pleasing your parents, children, husband, wife, relatives, and friends, focus on obeying and pleasing Allah and see what Allah sends you through it. There is no shaky ground in this, it is a guarantee from your Creator that He will reward your obedience with good.
"If you lend to Allah a goodly loan He will double it for you, and Allah is most ready to appreciate and to reward, Most Forebearing" At Taghaabun 17