My Parents Don’t Know About This

Question:
So, our grade went to an environmental camp for a week last week. It was great fun!! And the boy, the one that sent me the e-mail, was of course there, and at some point he ended up asking me to go with him. I said sure. Later I found out my friend told him to ask me to the movies. He did, right in front of everyone, and I said sure again. Then my friends ran off giggling. It was sort of awkward and we just said good-bye and walked away from each other.
Then, later, while the whole camp was playing an epic game that happened all across the campus, we randomly ran into each other and teamed up. He then, out of nowhere, asked what movie I wanted to see, and I said, “I don’t know.”
I really, really like this guy. He’s basically my best guy friend and we’ve known each other for a while. My parents have heard of him (they only know we’re friends, except for when I once told my mom I liked him — but later, out of fear I’d said too much, told her I’d changed my mind) and my dad has met him once before, at open house night at school. That’s the problem: my parents don’t know anything about this. I’m not sure about his parents, but his mom is a substitute teacher at our school and I know her pretty well, and I’ve met his dad too. I’m eleven years old and earlier this year my dad told me I could start dating when I’m 12. I’ll turn twelve in a few months. Anyway, I don’t want to wait that long! I don’t think I should tell my parents, but still, how would I go to the movies? I really wouldn’t like lying to them — I love them and have never taken them for granted. So what should I do?
Phyllis replied:
 
So far so good.  Even though your friends set him up to ask you out, he obviously showed signs of liking you which prompted them to do it.  You sound as though you have a good relationship with your parents, but now you want to go out with this boy.  Here’s the way to score points all around:  Tell your parents this boy whom you like, and think they would like, has asked you to go to the movies, that they’ve said you can’t go out until you’re twelve, so you would like to invite him and a few of your friends over for a pizza party, to watch a new DVD, to play a game….whatever you want.  They should be impressed that you are letting them in on your life, not keeping secrets, and hopefully, they’ll say yes.  (They certainly should!  This gives them a chance to see what kind of boy likes their daughter, and what kind of boy their daughter is attracted to!)  Then tell the boy that your parents are a little old-fashioned, you can’t go out with him till you’re twelve, but you’re having some friends over for pizza, and could he come?  If you start off on the wrong foot and go to the movies with him without your parents knowing, they might eventually find out and this will start you off on a very mistrustful relationship for your teen years.

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