My 12 year old daughter has always been something of a tomboy. She is very athletic, and most of her friends are boys. But she's getting to an age where she is becoming aware that the boys are starting to "notice" her, and not just as a "friend".
In her current group of friends, she has noticed that the boys sometimes seem to "fight" for her attention, arguing among themselves about who they believe she likes more. One of them once asked her to go to a movie with him. She said no because she interpreted that as a "date". To a point, she seems flattered by the attention and sometimes talks about crushes. But sometimes she feels very uncomfortable with this.
Now she wants to invite one of these boys over to hang out with at home, but she wants to make it clear she does not see it as a "date". When she was younger, she had playdates with boys all the time, but now it is tricky and neither of us really knows how to handle this.
I don't want to tell her not to be friends with these boys, because she seems to have trouble with other girls now more than ever. She isn't yet into make-up and hair, but some of her female peers tease her over this and over her lack of fashion sense. So it seems that trying to encourage her to be friends with girls may not really work for her. She's already got friends who like her and don't pick on her appearance. But where do we draw the line and how do we handle her relationships with her male friends?