DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl and my parents won't let me date. I believe I am mature for my age and won't do anything foolish. I don't know why my parents are being like this. Please give me some advice on how to persuade them. -- REALLY READY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR REALLY READY: Although you think you are ready to start dating, your parents will have to make the ultimate decision on when you enter the "dating game." Their decision will most likely be based on whether you have demonstrated the beginnings of emotional maturity.
Here's how: You need to have proven to them you can handle responsibility, carry out school assignments and chores, be honest with them and keep your word. It will also depend upon whether they know the boy in question, and whether he is responsible enough to be trusted with their most precious possession, which is you.