The Situation: Your daughter just stole a shovel from another kid’s hand.
The Pickup Line: “Would you like to press charges? We wouldn't blame you.” (said with a smile)
Why it Works: Every mom gets red-faced over her kid’s perfectly normal behavior once in a while. This line “injects humor into an embarrassing situation,” says Deborah Roth Ledley, PhD, founder of thecalmmom.com and author of Becoming a Calm Mom: How to Manage Stress and Enjoy the First Year of Motherhood. “Children are not born having manners or social graces, and if we feel embarrassed every time our kids nab another kid’s toy or burp during a play date or throw a fit when swing time is over, life is going to be pretty miserable. This response communicates to the other mom the perfect blend of effective teaching (i.e., we should ask before playing with another child's toy) and a good attitude. No one wants to hang out with a fellow mom who either ignores naughty behavior or, worse, constantly scolds or criticizes their child for pretty average kid conduct.”