Now your kid can order her own sneakers or lunchbox snacks—but not without a parental stamp of approval.
The almost unimaginable ease of ordering from Amazon Prime can be both a blessing and a curse when you have teenagers in the house. Instead of nagging you for every little item they need for school, they can just click on that new French textbook, six-pack of gym socks, volleyball knee pads, or protractor, and—presto!—there it is at your door in two days, no time-consuming trip to the mall necessary.
But once you’ve given your kids your Amazon password, it can open a Pandora’s Box of profligate spending. It’s way too easy to navigate over from the school supplies section to the clothing or electronics, and you never know if an inappropriate videogame or ridiculously expensive pair of sneakers will make its way into the house inside that box of SAT study guides.
The folks at Amazon understand this dilemma, and that’s why they’ve introduced Amazon Teen. Designed for kids ages 13 to 17, this shopping service allows teens to have some control over their own spending habits, but without sneaking anything past Mom and Dad.
Here’s how it works: Go to the Amazon Teen homepage, and click on the link for Parents. Then enter your teen’s contact number (you can add up to four kids in your family), and choose a credit card and address to link to his or her account. Then choose whether you want to get notified by email or text any time your child submits an order—the order will not go through until you approve it. Your teen will then get an invitation to create his or her own username and password, and will share your Prime perks if you’re a member.
One great feature is that if you don’t want to get pinged every time your kid orders a $5 box of pencils or bottle of shampoo, you can turn off the notifications and simply set a monthly spending limit—think of it as a high-tech, cashless version of giving your kid an allowance.