Chip and Joanna Gaines Share Why They Don’t Allow Their 5 Kids to Use Social Media Until Age 18

Chip and Joanna Gaines Share Why They Don’t Allow Their 5 Kids to Use Social Media Until Age 18
(Cindy Ord via Getty Images)
Tyler Wilson
6/11/2024
Updated:
6/12/2024
0:00

Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the famous reality TV show “Fixer Upper,” have a rule for their five children when it comes to social media and cell phones.

The celebrity parents shared more than just home design advice during an interview with “Today.“ The couple, who were also celebrating their 21st anniversary, were on the show to discuss their latest season of ”Fixer Upper,“ called ”The Lakehouse.“ They discussed how ”Fixer Upper” began, in addition to sharing about their marriage and family life.

Host Jenna Bush Hager then turned to a topic relevant to all parents: cell phone and social media safety with kids. She asked Mr. and Ms. Gaines, aged 49 and 46, for advice on navigating this difficult area as parents.

“Our house rule is that you get social media the summer before you go to college. So we have that time, so 18,” Ms. Gaines said during the May 29 episode.

Admitting that it hadn’t been easy keeping their children offline, the couple say the age restriction has given them “that time” to help their kids figure out how to use social media in a way that doesn’t consume their lives.

Ms. Gaines says that social media use before then is too risky, “especially for my girls,” who are currently teenagers. “That’s the age where a lot of things, mentally, you’re influenced by,” the mom of five said.

Ms. Bush Hager said that she asks her daughter to find research and statistics on how social media is a benefit to the brain. “Those don’t exist,” she said.

As parents, Mr. and Ms. Gaines acknowledge that it is extremely hard to keep their children off of social media, especially when all of their friends are involved in it.

“It’s a challenge,” Mr. Gaines said, adding that the kids “want it before that.”

"Fixer Upper" stars Mr. and Ms. Gaines pose with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 pace car at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
"Fixer Upper" stars Mr. and Ms. Gaines pose with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 pace car at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ms. Gaines shared that their kids have been relatively quiet about asking for phones and social media in the last year.

“I think they just know the heart behind it, which is hard,” she said, noting that they can feel isolated from their friends who are on social media.

“For us,” Ms. Gaines said, “it’s kind of one of those things where you say you have these other things that are really great. Our life is a little different. We care about this specific thing.”

Mr. Gaines concluded by emphasizing their reason for helping their children stay away from social media until they are getting ready to leave home.

“The reality is that it’s not better for them earlier. It’s better for them later. It might be better for them never,” he told the hosts.

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Tyler lives and scrambles among the mountains of Utah with his wife and 3 children. He has taught history and literature in public and private school settings. He currently teaches at a private school and homeschools his children with his wife. He writes news and human interest stories
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