DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Aidan," and I have been dating for three months. I want to tell my parents, but I don't know how. They say I'm too young and immature to date. I'll be 16 in five months. They say Aidan is obsessed with me and they don't want me staying in an unhealthy relationship.
My parents think I'm not talking to Aidan, but I really am. I want to show them I'm mature enough for a relationship. All they keep saying is I need to be "realistic" and "respectful." I'm more respectful than half the people I know.
I don't want to keep this from my parents anymore. What should I do? -- TEEN GIRL IN ILLINOIS
DEAR TEEN GIRL: When parents say a teen is too young to date, they aren't talking about the number of candles on her birthday cake. If your parents are worried that Aidan is "obsessed," they must have a reason.
Sneaking around isn't a way to gain anyone's confidence. Teens show they are mature and responsible enough to handle the privilege of dating by being open, honest, communicating their feelings, listening respectfully to the opinions of others, and shouldering responsibility. If you start now, you may be able to convince your parents that you're ready.