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Age difference:
“Should I let a 17 year old boy date my 13 year old?”

Dear Annie,

I really need some advice before I make a decision regarding my 13 year old daughter and the 17 year old boy whom she likes. He calls many times during the day — including always at 7 am and 11 pm — every day, brings her gifts and flowers. I don't think it is appropriate for a boy that age to be interested in someone 13. My daughter says they are "just friends, not dating" and that he is her best friend. She refuses to end the relationship. I know I cannot watch her 24/7. Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Worried Mom

Dear Worried Mom,

You're right to be concerned. It's your responsibility to keep your daughter safe. It feels questionable for a 17 year old boy to be "just friends" with a 13 year old girl, but the "many calls during the day" the gifts, flowers, etc., are clear signs that this boy is romantically attached to your daughter. You need to tell your daughter how you feel and let her know that this is going to end. Don't be afraid to set limits and stick to them. You are the adult here! If she continues to "refuse" to end the relationship, then you talk with the boy and tell him that it's over. You do not want him calling emailing, or visiting your daughter any more. And you can tell him why. This is your child and you don't need anyone's permission to do what you believe is in her best interests. I hope this helps.

In friendship,

Annie

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