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Q&A: Should I Make My Body-Conscious Daughter Attend a Pool Party?

Q. How can I talk my 12-year-old daughter into attending a neighborhood pool party? She's refusing to go because her friends are more developed than she is.

A. Can we give her a break just this once and let her skip the party? It's not like there won't be a slew of other situations like it in her future. I think 12 is such a tender time, when girls are constantly comparing themselves with one another. When you add bathing suits, boys, and a pool party to the mix, it's that much worse. Instead of forcing her to go, give her credit for talking to you about her feelings and let her stay home.