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Promposals are cute. 

But, even for the sweetest questions, it’s okay if the answer is not yes.

I have more boys than girls at my house so the whole meet the boy asking your girl out with a gun posts don’t sit well with me. Boys and girls have an equally hard time negotiating friendships and relationships in high school, and I care equally for both.

A young man spent some time, told his friends, made a cute sign, and planned to ask my daughter to a dance.

A friend of my daughters mentioned he might ask (and even made a sign!) and anxiety struck my confident child.

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“I don’t want to go,” she texted me 49 times the next morningI counted. It’s more than she texts me in a month.

She meant she didn’t want to go to school.

She didn’t want to have to say no thanks to a kid she had nothing against but “I’ve never even talked to him before at school, and I just don’t know if I want to go to the dance with him.”

I’m probably a terrible mom because I made her go to school that day. I told her to say no if someone asks and she doesn’t want to go. Blame it on meI offered as an alternative before answering anyone who asks you to the dance. Ask someone else before he asks you so you can say you already have a date. I, a grown adult, was grasping at straws for the proper response. 

She huffed but went to school. 

He asked.

She said maybe. 

She texted me, “I hated it.”

It’s hard to hurt someone’s feelings. 

I texted her right back trying to find the right words: I’m proud of you for doing what makes you comfortable and not agreeing to do something someone wants to do that you don’t want to. It’s brave and important to be able to do that

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She texted him later and told him she was going to go to the dance with a friend but mentioned some classmates who might be looking for a date for the dance. 

On the way home from school that day, I told her I was so proud of her for being thoughtful in her response but that no is a complete sentence. 

I’m all for honest questions and honest answers and parenting is hard. I just hope and pray that someday when someone asks her a question that is harder to say no to that she can find the strength to declineeven if they have a sign. 

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