We've all done it. You meet a colleague's daughter or a friend's niece. She's adorable, and you feel the need to express it. Fear not! There will be ample time to compliment her on her taste in oversized head bows. BUT...We need to impart confidence in our young ones by attaching self worth to attributes that aren't physical. Here are some ideas..
  1. Hi! My name is Archie!
    Or whatever your name happens to be.
  2. Weird...you remind me of my favorite superhero. You don't have any superpowers, do you?
  3. I bet you can run really fast. Wanna race?
  4. Wow! I love your confidence!
  5. Have you ever heard the story about...
    Insert "the little girl who climbed Everest in her pajamas" or "the girl who tamed 17 lions before breakfast" and then elaborate if she's interested. Or try something true to life by inserting "Amelia Earhart" or "Queen Elizabeth I."
  6. Your dad told me you love books about spies. What's your favorite one?
    If you don't know what the kid is into, just ask about favorite books in general! Then praise praise praise the reading.
  7. Is that your motorcycle parked out front?
  8. Do you know where I can get a good sandwich around here? I bet you know all the best places.
  9. My name is Rin, but I'm thinking of changing it- what do you think it should be?
    If I the response is that you should keep your name- compliment kindness. If the response is a new name- compliment creativity. If the response is mean, compliment the fire and laugh it off, Mrs. StupidBottomDummyFace.
  10. Hey, you look brave!
    I've been looking for a partner to take on an adventure. Do you think you could keep me safe?
  11. Did you know we're electing a new president soon? Are you going to run? You'd make a GREAT president.
    Followed by all kinds of questions regarding how she would run the country.
  12. For shy-hide-behind-leg folks: I'm so happy you love your Mama/Daddy so much. When you wanna chat, I'll be over here with this Panda...awesome hiding spot by the way.
  13. I love your house! Did you build it yourself?
  14. If you're drawing a blank and find yourself complimenting the wardrobe, just tie it to something other than face value.
    Ex: I'm inspired by this color palette, Josie! I'm going to wear orange tomorrow in honor of you and pumpkins everywhere.