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Little Girl's Many Boyfriends Raise a Red Flag for Mom

DEAR ABBY: I am single and the mother of a 7-year-old girl. When she was 4, I decided there would be no parade of guys coming in and out of my life, or any at all. I have barely dated, and the few times I have gone out, I never talked about it around her.

Over the last two or three years, she has come home every few weeks or months with a new boy she likes. I never say much except that she's not allowed to have a boyfriend. She recently swore her grandfather to secrecy and told him she had a boyfriend.

Is this normal? Should I be concerned that she likes a new boy every few weeks, or that she didn't tell me she had a boyfriend even though I don't punish her for being honest? I'm concerned about her being interested in boys at too young an age. -- POSSIBLY PRUDE MOTHER

DEAR MOTHER: Having a "boyfriend" at the age of 7 means something different than it does to a teenager or an adult. When your daughter tried to confide in you that she liked someone, you cut her off by telling her it "wasn't allowed." If you had let her confide in you, she wouldn't have found the need to do it with her grandfather. I suggest you open up the lines of communication now, before it's too late.

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