If you've got teenage children I can imagine its difficult to get the right balance between allowing them the freedom to develop into responsible adults and watching their every move so they don't mess up. I don't have children myself but I was one once, so I guess I have some idea what it's like. Amazon knows this, too, and so it's launching a new feature that gives teenagers a bit more freedom when it comes to shopping. But not too much.

Amazon's new accounts for teens, specifically those between 13 and 17, give them independence to shop on their own, but with certain controls in place. Parents can add their kids, and they'll get their own login to be used for buying goods or streaming media. Mums and dads will get visibility of everything and even have the power of approval over purchases they disagree with.

If you're considering it for your own kids already, this is how it works. When your child places an order you will receive an SMS or email with the details. You can then approve or deny it by text or by visiting your account. Your child can even attach a note to the order for your consideration, to explain the reason for the purchase or to beg you to let them have that unnecessary luxury you already told them they couldn't have.

The default behavior is to approve every order, so you have to be careful not to let any slip past. Another method of control that can be set up is a spending limit. Even then, it's still possible to cancel orders after the fact, so this should protect against mischievous youngsters.

Parents can get started by visiting amazon.com/forteens. An invitation will be sent to your son or daughter which will allow them to sign up, but you will get to choose the payment method and shipping address for them first. A Prime account isn't necessary, but if you have one, your kids will get to share some of the benefits, including Prime Shipping, Prime Video, and Twitch Prime.