Maybe it’s just me, but I find it a little weird that you can’t think of something nice to say on your own. Like maybe you really don’t think the kids in question are all that lovely, but you need to have something in your back pocket because their dad is your best friend from college and he can’t see anything wrong with his ‘perfect’ offspring. Perhaps you’re no good at thinking up lies on the spot and you need some talking points ready to go at a moment’s notice when your sorority-sister turned soccer-mom wants to meet up for lunch with her little angels in tow.
I could be all wrong. That’s just what it seems like to me.
I’m here to help.
The following phrases are bland yet powerful and can be used to pacify parents the world over. I should know. I have both used and been the recipient of them all. Some of them have double meanings, which adds a touch of enjoyment to giving them when the child in question is particularly beastly.
(1) “What a doll!” We’ve all seen the Chucky movies, right? And this one is so bland and benign you can use it almost anywhere.
(2) “He/She looks just like you!” This may or may not be true, but there isn’t a parent on the planet (with the possible exception of adoptive parents, who by the way, are all rockstars in my book) who doesn’t love to hear that their offspring looks just like them. I personally LOVE to hear it, even when it’s said about one of my kids who clearly resembles their dad more than they do me. And it’s the kind of compliment no parent will ever call into question. We love hearing it so much that we’ll never, ever stop to wonder if it’s given with the spirit of something other than genuine honesty.
(3) “I hope I have kids just like yours someday.” This one is for you folks who have yet to fill your nest with offspring. While there may be instances when this is a genuine statement, there will be plenty of times where this really means “Hanging out with you and your kids is the best birth control on the planet”.
(4) “He/She is such a free spirit!” This is another wide-use compliment, applicable in many situations, but especially good when what’s playing through your mind is something like, “If you can’t keep your kid from stripping down naked and dancing on the table, we’re going to be thrown out of the restaurant,” or “Is there any possible way you could get your kid to stop finger-painting me with his/her yogurt?”
(5) “I’m sure it’s a phase.” This one isn’t really a compliment, and to be honest, lots of times it’s a very true statement. But it also comes in handy when you just don’t know what else to say, like when little Johnny insits on eating lunch with one hand down his pants, or when Susie has an affinity for licking windows.
I hope you find this little tutorial helpful. May your compliments be delivered with a straight face and an air of genuine reverence.