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Bad Company: Discussing Your Kid's Friends

Go with the Flow, Mom

Thanks to the Internet, music, movies, cell phones, and even video games, our kids are exposed to all different kinds of social scenes. Sharing is the way they like to operate, which means there's an open, easy flow to their friendships. I find this more than a little unnerving. When I was a teenager, I hung exclusively with kids who were just like me: hippies. "Today kids can weave through all different crowds, be it the jocks, emos, nerds, or Goths," explains Jim Taylor, PhD, coauthor of the Teen Trend Report, a study that interviewed more than 1,000 kids nationwide about their social lives. Kids now have dozens of friendships of all kinds and levels of intensity -- no need for parents to take all of them quite so seriously.