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Ask Denene: Boy-Crazy in Kindergarten

Be easy. Playing chase with the fellas doesn't mean she's going to be married with children by middle school. She's only 5, and that means that kids of the opposite sex are different and intriguing - nothing more, nothing less. My friend Gretchen schooled me on this point recently when she found a note in which my Lila, 7, was encouraging her Maggie, also 7, to look fancy and talk sweet if she wanted one of their male classmates to notice her. I was alarmed at first; what mom would be okay with her second-grader giving man-catching lessons to her best friend? But Gretchen wasn't fazed; she told me to calm down - that, really, the only thing that would ever happen between Maggie and some little boy was that maybe they'd share the swing at recess and pass a note or two.

So just explain to your daughter that it's okay to be friends with all people - whether they are a boy or a girl, black or white, tall or short, or whatever - but that kids don't have boyfriends or girlfriends until they reach an appropriate age. And then let your girl have her fun being the outgoing, friendly little person she's learning to be.

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