Dating in 8th grade

'" * The person himself, and he alone, should do the actual asking out.

At this age, Brown says, "romance is a very public institution played out in front of a peanut gallery of peers." While this may seem unusual to a 40-year-old, it makes all the sense in the world to a kid.

So she’s not going to date anyone else for a while.” The kicker? It’s not like we, as parents, can prevent their sudden interest in the opposite sex because, well–But allowing that new interest to move quickly into a serious romantic attachment with a peer has its pitfalls.

At this tender age, your child barely knows who she is and lacks the judgment to make good decisions about such a relationship.

"You can't really tell if a guy likes you, so you don't want to get your feelings hurt" by asking him out, or even letting him know you want to be asked out, explains sixth-grader Bridgette Snyder, who hasn't acted on any of her crushes at Hammond Middle, but has found time, in between soccer games and horse-riding, to become thoroughly versed in the rules.

This saves face for the askees, too, many of whom say "yes" when directly asked by a boy simply because it's too uncomfortable to say no."So spur-of-the-moment things are bad," explains eighth- grader Rachel Collins, a lacrosse player with wrists covered with cause bracelets and three relationships behind her at Lime Kiln Middle School in Fulton, not far from Laurel.

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