I think that whatever way she chooses to say no, that she is comfortable saying no, is fine, assuming she's not being cruel (as in, not saying something like "Are you kidding me? You are so gross! I would never go out with a stupid, ugly boy like you!"). I would just have a conversation with her to let her know that if the attention makes her uncomfortable, that she really should give a direct, polite (assuming the boy was polite in the first place) "No, thank you." Otherwise, as you said, the boy could decide to ask again and again, thinking she's really just making up her mind. However, I think even at 11-13, most boys would be able to understand a subtle deflection. In any case, I don't think there's a way to not hurt someone's feelings if they are expressing romantic interest and you don't share those feelings. There's going to be some let down on the other person's part. A "no thank you" could be just as crushing as an "I don't know." I think you need to encourage your daughter to answer in a way that she feels comfortable with - ideally, that's directly. But if she's not comfortable being direct at this point, I don't think there's any harm in letting her rely on you as the "bad guy." She can just say "My mom won't let me have a boyfriend yet." I also think you're overthinking it when you say you are worried people will think she's a liar if she says something like that and then later has a boyfriend - parents change their minds and it could be as simple as that.
post #21 of 66
6/11/10 at 12:01am