Magnolia Network's Joanna Gaines Shares Her Amazing Rule For Her Kids (And Chip) About Phone Time At Home

screenshot joanna and chip gaines
(Image credit: Today Show)

Joanna and Chip Gaines were known to make houses into homes on their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper for years. They’re still doing it, albeit on their very own (slightly scattered) Magnolia Network. However, it seems that the dynamic duo had to find an equally ingenious method to make their family of seven less like “robots” when it comes to phone time. They ultimately did, and now the mom and dad of “Farmhouse Chic” are sharing their golden rule – and it's kind of amazing.

The iconic Fixer Upper couple have five kids together – Drake, 16, Ella Rose, 13, Duke, 12, Emmie Kay, 11, and Crew, 3. Now obviously the toddler they're not so worried about, but when it comes to Joanna and Chip and the older Gaines kids, there's a new sheriff in town when it comes to phone time. While on the Today Show, Joanna Gaines said their new rule is this:

We just had this little station where everyone charges their phone. Finally we decided, we don't like how our kids – they’re almost like robots, all of us, just like when it buzzes, they got to check it and when they are reading, they’re checking it. And it just became a house rule when you're home that all the phones go on 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. So it's like no phones on body, that's the rule now.

Their phone time rule isn't exactly unheard of. (I once had a high school teacher ask us to voluntarily hand our cell phones over into a basket before class.) But I like the way Joanna Gaines phrases it as something that doesn't need to be an extension of your body. I'm down for it, but it remains to be seen if Joanna and Chip’s 16-year-old son likes or adheres to the new rule. (17-year-old me wasn't putting my phone in that basket, FYI.)

A phone time rule isn't the only thing new for Joanna and Chip Gaines. There's Chip’s longer locks, for one, which he says we’ll all see transformed into a bald ‘do shortly. For another, the couple’s Magnolia Network is finally seeing some more airtime. More Fixer Upper: Welcome Home episodes have premiered – to the delight of fans who feared the original show was done for good.

Magnolia Network’s rollout didn’t exactly go as planned for the pair, given it was supposed to launch in 2020 but was pushed back because of the pandemic. Some of its content did premiere with the launch of Discovery+ at the beginning of the year – and it was kind of disastrous. But now the DIY Network might not officially become Magnolia Network until 2022.

Still, my house flipping TV mom and dad haven't let me down. Their new Magnolia Network content might be slow going, but Joanna and Chip Gaines promised us we would see the work of “inspiring” and “empowering” people in the new evolution of their projects. Judging from these new episodes, they have at least accomplished that and tackled some of those old criticisms as well.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.