Stealing is the highest form of flattery, and Snapchat must feel incredibly flattered lately, because Facebook has just announced Threads, an app for Instagram that sounds, looks, and feels suspiciously like Snapchat. But there are a few important differences between it and Snapchat (the “self-destructing” image app) that parents should know about.

Father speaking with his son.

There are many moments that mark kids growing up, in big ways and in small ways. Increasingly one of these turning points is a child’s first cell phone. Parents may understandably be hesitant to hand over an expensive and powerful device without setting some ground rules, and in some cases, a “family contract” covering phone use can make a lot of sense.

A group of teens all playing on their smartphones

Pew Internet Research reports that nearly all teens today use a smartphone (95 percent of teens, in fact!). Unfortunately, the prevalence of smartphones has led to the constant need for them and many teens admit to being cell phone addicts. What might have started as a seemingly innocent communications device

Young girl on a phone.

The debate over smartphones and kids has been raging since the first iPhone debuted. And one startup, Gabb Wireless, argues that it has the answer: Make smartphones as dumb as possible. But is that a winning strategy?

Father teaching his teenage daughter how to drive a car.

When your kids are in elementary and middle school, you’re probably not thinking about the day they’ll get behind the wheel. But that day is coming sooner than you might expect, and there’s one important way you can start preparing them now: Teach them to use their phones and tablets responsibly.

The game Fortnite appears on a smartphone with the Fortnite graphics in the background

Have your kids jumped on the Battle Bus? Fortnite is one of the most popular games among middle-schoolers and tweens. Ranker lists it as the third most popular video game—behind Minecraft (#1) and Grand Theft Auto V (#2). Kids’ online safety advocate site, Common Sense Media, notes a few problems

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