‘Fixer Upper’ Host Joanna Gaines Changed Her Stance on Cell Phones for Kids, But There’s a Catch

Fixer Upper host Joanna Gaines has a few surprising rules for her five kids. While she’s happy to let her kids explore, experiment, and grow, she does believe in limiting technology at home. That’s why she and her husband Chip famously don’t own a television. Even after becoming famous millionaires thanks to their HGTV series.

But Joanna’s stance on cell phones has evolved over the years. During an interview a few years ago, the Fixer Upper star said her kids most likely weren’t allowed to have phones. Then recently she admitted to breaking her own rule.

Joanna Gaines wants her kids to play outside

Joanna Gaines
Joanna Gaines | Rob Kim/Getty Images

The Gaines children live on a sprawling 40-acre farm in Waco, Texas that offers them plenty of things to do. Besides the trees to climb and fields to run in, there’s a swimming pool, animals to care for, and a garden to tend. There’s almost no time for cell phones.

However, the children are getting older now, and they probably wanted cell phones for practical reasons. Drake (16) recently got his driver’s license which would be a good reason for having a phone.

Meanwhile, Ella (14), Duke (13), and Emmie Kay (11) are no doubt influenced by their friends who may have phones. Three-year-old Crew is thankfully too young for technology – for now.

The ‘Fixer Upper’ host once said her kids wouldn’t get cell phones

In 2016, Joanna told Entertainment Tonight her stance on the subject. “I tell the kids that you are probably not going to get a cell phone,” she said during the interview. “We want to teach our kids that life happens outside of these devices. It’s just a simple thing to go outside and connect with nature, play with your friends and get dirty.”

However, a more recent update makes it seem that Joanna relaxed those rules a bit.

Joanna Gaines’ kids have cell phones with 1 catch

Now the Gaines kids have phones but they’re not allowed to look at them incessantly like so many other teens in this generation.

During a recent appearance on Today, Joanna explained her genius advice for limiting how much time her teens spend on their phones.

“We have this little station where everyone charges their phones,” Joanna said. “It just became a house rule, when you’re at home, that all the phones go in one spot, so if you want to check a text, if you want to check an email, you go to that spot, but it’s not on your (body).”

Based on those comments, it seems Joanna went back on her original plan of never allowing her kids to have phones at all. But by keeping them out of reach while at home, the Gaineses are continuing to limit their screen time immensely while still enjoying the convenience of having a cell phone.

It sounds like an all-around healthy approach to parenting in the digital age.

RELATED: Joanna Gaines Has 3 Genius Parenting Rules Every Family Can Follow