If you can see the difference, then why did you change what I said to argue the point- it totally changes the meaning of what I posted, making my arguement weaker and yours stronger.
I think pretty much everyone is this thread is saying that, Kareng57. I know have repeatedly, and I just read the entire thread and found most people saying the same thing- it's okay on the most part to make a general comment about good behaviour, but it's not okay to attach a judgement on other people or a value judgement to it. I don't think most people are asking that no one compliments them at all- just that they don't appreciate back-handed, passive-aggressive, or condecending statements masked as one. If someone can't appreciate the difference between the statements:
"Your children are well behaved" and "Your children are well behaved, thank goodness you aren't one of *those* parents"
then perhaps it is in fact best they refrain from talking to strangers.
It is, to use a non-child analogy since some people on this board (and elsewhere) get very hung-up on that, the difference between saying
"I like your shirt, it's pretty" and "I like your shirt, thank goodness you don't wear low cut shirts like *those* girls", or
"I love your new bike, it's very eco-friendly" and "I love your new bike, thank goodness you don't drive to work like *some* people".
See the difference? If you do- why is it okay to talk like that about parenting? If I started saying I wouldn't talk to any women because I refused to learn the difference between complimenting a shirt and insulting other peoples morals, I'm fairly certain I'd be called ridiculous. What if the person I talked to sometimes *does* like to show off a little cleavage? Pretty easy to tell I've probably offended her now, right? Well what if sometimes, when they're tired, that parent's kids don't behave as well... is she now one of "those" parents? What if her sister is one of "those" parents.
It's better to avoid value-judgement statements around people you don't know well, and if you use them, I don't think getting huffy about people taking even mild offense to it is very fair.