DEAR ABBY: My daughter, "Chris," is 14. She'll be graduating from eighth grade in a couple of weeks. Over the last few months, I have been driving her and a group of boys and girls to the movies on Friday nights. This has evolved into a romantic relationship with a 15-year-old boy, "Bob," who lives close by and is in her class. In her junior high school, this is described as "going out."
I know they kiss. They also dance together at a local hangout on Saturday nights. I could refuse to drive them to the movies together, but they would probably meet there anyway.
Chris has a level head on her shoulders. She's a good girl and active in our church. We talk openly together.
Abby, can you guide me in this? I trust my daughter, but I am also aware that 14- and 15-year-olds have a lot of raging hormones. Please advise. -- WISHES KIDS CAME WITH HANDBOOKS
DEAR WISHES: I agree that teenagers have raging hormones, and the most intelligent way to deal with it is to keep the teens occupied. You are already on the right track, keeping the lines of communication open, for which I applaud you.
I see no harm in your daughter being at the movies with this boy and a group of friends on weekends in light of the fact that you are providing the transportation and they are in a group. But much of her free time should be occupied with constructive pursuits such as sports, volunteer work, music and activities that will give her "service credits" toward college. Develop her interests. Keep her goal-oriented. Encourage her to develop platonic friendships. You can't prevent your daughter from growing up, but you can give her guidelines and make sure her time is well spent.