SmartThings account for child?

I’m just getting started in the SmartThings and smarthome world in general. I’ve got a few devices in place now hubbed out of SmartThings primarily and integrated with Google Assistant. But I just learned while trying to setup some geofenced security rules that I can’t create an account for my son in order to geofence his arrival home from school to disarm Away mode, as he’s 9 years old and a SmartThings account works for only 13 and up.

How do I go about giving him access to this system, to disarm it so it doesn’t alert me to door and motion sensors being tripped constantly, not to mention to manage lights and other automation, if I can’t give him an account (outside of lying about his age, obviously)? What am I missing? Are there other official options in place for this, or is SmartThings really designed to not account for younger children at all?

1 Like

Will Life360 do the trick?

I don’t know. While I’ve heard of it, I’ve never used it or looked into its integration. I suppose I can try it, although it sounds like it would only resolve my geofencing need, and not my general home control need.

Agreed. Check life360’s policies re: children under 13. It can be easily integrated with ST to use for presence sensing.

I’d advise against installing the ST app on your child’s phone regardless of his age. Since ST doesn’t allow you to restrict permissions by user, your kid could wreak all manner of havoc with your account, including even deleting everything.

Have you considered the presence sensor key fob?

1 Like

This is an issue of federal law, it’s not something to do with smartthings. That said, I am almost certain that your son didn’t get his own cell phone, either, But that you as the adult had to contract for it instead, and then you give your son the use of it.

You don’t have to lie about your son’s age. You just have to set up a second account under your own name and sign in using that account on the cell phone that you contracted for but that you allow your son the use of.

Then he can use the smart things mobile app on that phone As he has your permission to do both.

All of that said, most people don’t set up their kids with smartthings accounts because then the kids Can accidentally change rules or remove devices when you might not want those changes.

Instead, as was mentioned, life 360 is very popular for Geo fencing, and does have an official smartthings integration. Or for children who don’t have a phone at all, you can use the smartthings presence sensor key Fob.

So it all depends on what you want to do, but given that you almost certainly signed the contract for his phone, you can install the smartthings mobile app on it using a second email address. :sunglasses:


I’m not terribly concerned with him messing with the app. While we have some issues with responsibility, something like that he’s more likely to take seriously.

The presence sensor’s not a bad idea, but I’m trying to reduce reliance on things he has to carry. I’m considering putting in a Kwikset SmartCode lock as well, so he’s got options in case his keys are misplaced. His phone’s just about the only thing he always knows the location of. Like father, like son.


By the way, probably the most popular solution in this community for giving device control to someone without giving them access to the entire account is to use action tiles. This is a third-party app that can run in any web browser, so can run on the phone. It gives you a lot of customization options. It does have a pretty high cost, so that something that you have to take into account. (14 day free trial, then a $24 license fee) But you will find many people who really like it. This is the choice that most people will make for teenagers, for Airbnb guests, even just for a dashboard on a tablet at home. The developers are very active in this community and can answer any questions you have, and you can also read a lot of other community comments about it.

There are also some other somewhat similar products that are free but don’t have as many features.

So I think there are many people with kids who use either the keyfob or life 360 for Geo presence, and then use action tiles both for control on a smart phone and for tablets around the home. So just another option to consider.


JD makes a good point. The 13 year age restriction is probably related to COPPA.

I didn’t necessarily mean a kid would deliberately mess things up (although that’s of course possible), but that he could inadvertently do major damage to your setup too.


Certainly. Luckily my son’s deeply tech-savvy already, so that’s not a heavy concern of mine. I’d be more worried about my 15-year-old, who’s a bit less so.


When you have one 15-year-old in the house, you inevitably have a bunch because of their friends. I think that’s one reason action tiles is so popular if you get into putting up tablets as control centers. Not that people would intentionally mess things up, but you know they just accidentally delete half of your sensors. :roll_eyes:

We had issues with the girlfriend of one of my 28-year-old housemates Continually messing up the automation rules until we went to an actiontiles system. :rage:


Yeah, I’m liking that system. It had crossed my mind some time ago that I’d really like to have a tablet setup that would provide easy control of everything from a central location, but figured I’d have to do a lot of my own coding to pull that off. This sounds like a great solution if I can come up with an appropriate device to dedicate to it from my backlog of junk.

Does it have any sort of system for authenticating certain commands? PINs that can be required for some actions?


+1 for ActionTiles.

I started using it only recently even though I’ve had a ST hub for 2+ years at this point.

But I quickly started to favor it over interacting with the clunky ST app.

You can set very granular level PIN code protected tiles.

Runs fine on a couple Fire 5th gen tabs I got just for this purpose.


action tiles is Intended as a dashboard for your system. You can turn devices on and off from it, but you can’t create new rules there or delete devices from your smartthings account. And you can select only the devices that you want to appear, so you can keep the dashboard in the kitchen, for example, from being able to turn off the lights in the bedroom. Or unlock the medicine cabinet.

But I believe they have added more granular controls, @tgauchat Is one of the developers and can say more.

(one of the biggest problems we had with my housemate’s friend, she would just go through and turn off every tile on the device list even though we are three housemates. So they would be going to bed in his room and she would be turning off lights all over the house from the app on his phone. :tired_face: ActionTiles solved that. :sunglasses: )

There’s even a thread just for discussion of hardware and screen customization options: ( Smarttiles was the original version of actiontiles, and was free, but had many fewer features and is no longer available. But the same hardware options apply. )


Hi Jarrett… ActionTiles co-founder here to help answer questions, though we usually say its worth the time to “dive in & explore” for for 14 days (extendable by contacting

  • PIN Protected Tiles are great for sensitive functions on any dashboard Panel that is not otherwise secured (or left logged in). Selectable per Tile (SHM, Lock, etc.), but currently same PIN for entire Panel.

  • More powerful is administrative granular sharing / revoking of any number of custom Panels to children’s rooms, teen phones, and even house / pet caretakers, etc… ActionTiles Accounts are secured with unique email login and passwords; currently unlimited.

  • We don’t enhance or offer presence detection (maybe someday?) because reliability varies regardless of the implementation.

  • Many of our customers still appreciate the classic arm/disarm & sensor status view that an affordable mounted control panel provides. ActionTiles is the app to bring this to SmartThings homes.

1 Like

Very helpful, thank you. My understanding is the licensing fee is per device, correct? That gets pricey quickly for giving it to each of my kids and rooms. Honestly, I have a pretty simple, small, two-bedroom apartment now that I’m handling. So one central panel near the door to replace the alarm panel I have now from Spectrum that I’m about to shut down would probably work well.

Does the PIN Protected Tiles feature allow me to set several available PINs and track their usage? I know you indicated same PIN for entire panel, which doesn’t concern me, but are you saying that it’s only one PIN that can be configured or simply that any PINs I set (multiple included) would be able to control ALL PPTs?

Nope… The current $23.99 “Affordable License” is per SmartThings “Location” (ie per Hub), unlimited users and browsers / devices.

Currently we don’t have multiple-PIN Feature, but we’re a continuously improving app, so that’s been requested and might happen someday.


For me, I am running ActionTiles on 2 Tablets and 2 phones as of right now for the $23.99.

As for having multiple children, some of the flexibility you have is creating multiple panels for what devices each kid can see, access and have as a functional tile (pincode required), and preventing them from being able to access the administration console. One kid, you might only want to be able to access lights and one kid can arm / disarm the system and lock / unlock doors, so they would have different panels / shortcuts that each of them would access.

The one thing I’m most impressed about is what ActionTiles started as at the beginning of the year, and the number of enhancements that have been implemented since then and where it is at now. I can access all my devices, view my cameras, receive voice notifications on my tablets (not an AT feature), have real time weather maps displayed, auto wake up of the tablets when I walk by (wall mounted not AT functionality). I rarely use the SmartThings Mobile application.



Smart Home Monitor Tile access after entering 4 digit PIN



Thanks for the recognition of @625alex’s tireless enhancement development efforts - 4 major releases since the first public version in March; I guess that’s 1 every 2 months. (Hmmm… I think Alex being “tireless” isn’t exactly accurate; he gets some sleep… :sleeping::joy:).

I think we’re on a roll to squeeze in the 5th one by year-end and maintain this velocity, but no promises.

Also proud (to say so ourselves…) of our responsiveness to Customer Support requests with 98% satisfaction; no major outages, and quick fixes to most post-release bugs. This year has been and adventure!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful Panels!


Agreed, nice panels. @WB70 where do you pull those two weather tiles from?


Speaking of weather tiles … I have become quite a fan of Weather Underground - it seems so much better than either Google’s or the local TV station’s forecast. Has anybody incorporated their forecast into ActionTiles?