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Ask Rosalind: 9 Parenting Questions on Tween Dating

Q. My daughter says she has a boyfriend. How should I respond? She's only 12!

A. Without freaking out, ask your daughter what having a boyfriend means to her, keeping your questions positive so she'll feel more comfortable sharing with you. Did they meet at school? How did she know she liked him? When did she find out he liked her? While you have the right to tell her she can't have a boyfriend at 12, remember that "couples" this age are mostly too scared to talk to each other without their friends around. Regardless, tell her your expectations for how a boy should treat her, and that you are always there to talk. Also, encourage her to confide in her dad or another trusted male. Start teaching her that she deserves to be treated with respect, always.

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