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How can I expect my child to react to my rules about Internet use?

Shawn Edgington
Pediatrics
I'm sure you remember the old saying "rules were meant to be broken," and I'm also sure you broke rules when you were a teenager. When it comes to learning the rules of online behavior, you can count on the fact that our teens will learn the same way we did, by making mistakes with what they post online -- a difficult way to learn.

Expect your rules to be broken -- just hope that the breach is minor and repairable, which in most cases it will be. Expect someone's feelings to be hurt, drama to swirl around the situation, and friendships to be broken. Learning a lesson by making a mistake can be a painful one, but it's still a good way to learn. Unfortunately, because of the permanent nature of the Internet, it's usually much more painful to make mistakes online.

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