Smart ways to help your tweens & teens navigate the real world by Rosalind Wiseman
Q: Can a 15-year-old girl have a boy—as a friend—over to the house to play video games and just hang out, or does that lead to trouble even if the parents are home? My daughter seems to get along better with guys. I think she may be turned off by the cattiness of girls.
A: I’m guessing that “lead to trouble” refers to the possibility of your daughter engaging in sexual activity with one of her guy friends? Let’s dial it back a little. If you start by saying something like, “Honey, you don’t realize how cute you are, and boys have crazy hormones...,” she’ll refuse to admit you have a point, run to her room and slam the door. And it’s true that some girls hang out with guys for the reason you say and develop strong friendships with them. Those relationships may stay platonic. But most girls are naturally curious about sex and it makes sense for them to explore their sexuality with people who make them comfortable. Accept that your daughter may begin having sexual experiences and that’s ok—as long as you help her create personal boundaries based on self-respect and your family’s values. In any case, make it harder for her and restrict the video game playing to the family room.
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-- ROSALIND WISEMAN
Rosalind Wiseman helps families and schools with bullying prevention and media literacy. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes inspired the hit movie Mean Girls. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com.