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Ask Rosalind: 9 Parenting Questions on Tween Dating

Q. I'm scared my 13-year-old is too advanced. She told her stepmom that she let her boyfriend touch her and she touched him. They broke up, then a few days later I heard her on the phone saying "I love you" to another boy. Can you suggest books for her about self-esteem and relationships?

A. Absolutely! Right now, my favorites are The Girls' Guide to Guys (Three Rivers Press) and The Blueprint for My Girls in Love (Fireside) . Ideally, they'll be conversation starters. For example, you each read a chapter and then talk about it. Don't ask personal questions, which may make her freeze up. Instead try, "How realistic do you think the author is?" or "Do you see kids acting like the ones in the book?" Also remember that your goal isn't to make your daughter feel ashamed for wanting a boyfriend. What she needs is to understand why she's so pulled to have a relationship and how to maintain her boundaries while she's in one.

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