Joanna Gaines on Whether She and Chip are Strict Parents: We Tell Our Kids ‘They Don’t Get a Phone’ Until College
This article originally appeared on People
Between their HGTV empire and parenting four kids, Chip and Joanna Gaines are one busy couple.
But the Fixer Upper stars make it work — at least partly because they know how to strike a balance when it comes to rule enforcing.
“I grew up in an environment that was pretty much ‘back by dark’ — [my parents] didn’t generally know what we were doing, and it was all good, clean fun,” Chip tells PEOPLE. “So I thought, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a wild parent.’ ”
He continues, “And when I got to be a parent, I don’t know what it is about it … I feel a little bit like a drill sergeant sometimes. Some elements of my personality, as a parent, I’m not real crazy about.”
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Luckily, Joanna is there to provide a little bit of smoothness when it comes to disciplining daughters Emmie, 6, and Ella, 9, and sons Duke, 8, and Drake, 11.
“It’s funny, I’m a little more laid back than I thought I’d be,” she says. “[There are] certain things that I really care about, but I think the funny part, with Chip, is just the video games, the TV. That’s where he kinda gets a little strict. It’s, ‘You go play outside.’ ”
“I think I’m like, a quarter Amish,” Chip jokes. “I’ve got some glitch in me [where] I don’t like normal technological advances.”
“I don’t even know what’s gonna happen when the girls start asking to wear makeup, but we keep telling our kids they don’t get a phone until they go off to college,” Joanna explains.
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A surprising aspect of his daughters’ future that Chip doesn’t see himself being so tough on? Dating.
“I’ve got buddies who are like, ‘Oh, can you imagine your girls dating?’ ” he says. “I think I’m gonna be a good dad when it comes to that.”
“That’s where I’m gonna turn on the crazy,” Joanna says.
“I want my kids to date, I want them to go out,” Chip continues. “I just remember great experiences as a kid, you know? Driving your car for the first time, picking up a young lady on a date for the first time. All those were little milestones to some extent.”