I guess I have a different perspective about saying thank you. Maybe I'm just rude. I feel like I don't own my child in the same way that I own my body and my clothes, so I don't feel right If I were to thank someone for complimenting my child, it would have to be something to the effect of "Thanks for the compliment," or "It is sweet of you to say so."
I am also of the opinion that telling a child to do something that they are unable to do is pointless, and telling a child to say something that they don't mean is teaching them to be dishonest. When my child is old enough to understand, I intend to teach her that if someone says something nice to you that makes you feel good, a nice thing that you can say back to them is "thank you" and then let my child make her own decision what to say.
No offense to others who choose differently. I know, it's really a trivial thing, and I don't think that any of you are wrong for saying "thank you" or rhetorically telling your children to do so. I just overanalyze things. I have the same issues when people tell me how "good" she was during something. She is always good (by nature), and I don't control her behavior. She does!
Exactly! But it doesn't solve the strange silence lol.
I hate saying thank you to a baby compliment. She is her own self! And although we are working on promoting manners at home, I'm not going to force it in a public setting with a complete stranger.
I've found myself just trying to turn it into a random tangent. "Oh, she has adorable red hair!"
"Yeah, I wonder if she will have that temperament to go with it when she gets older?"
"Yeah, it comes from DH's family. Do you have any redheads in your extended family?"