Strict Rules HGTV's Chip & Joanna Gaines' Kids Have To Follow

Dealing with the stress and headaches accompanying owning an ever-growing conglomerate means HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines have a tight schedule to stick to. However, it's not just the couple who abide by a fixed directive; their kids, Drake, Ella Rose, Duke, Emmie Kay, and Crew, also have strict rules to follow.

Forget the Chip and Joanna divorce rumors that perpetually swirl; after two decades plus of marriage, they appear to be in love as when they first met. Their relationship is one of the reasons Chip and Joanna's HGTV series, "Fixer Upper," was such a huge hit. Fans couldn't get enough of their seemingly picture-perfect marriage and home life. Not to mention the way Chip and Joanna brought up their kids. They made parenting look like a walk in the park despite having five offspring to care for, a hit show to make, cookbooks to write, TV interviews to conduct, and a farm to tend to. Not to mention a veritable business empire to run, with a homeware store, realtors, publishers, market, bakery, seed and supply company, retail outlets, and vacation rentals to oversee.

So it's hardly surprising that despite Chip and Joanna's on-camera laid-back personas, they run a tight ship when it comes to their family life, with strong boundaries and mandates in place to adhere to. We're looking at some of the strict rules HGTV's Chip and Joanna's kids have to follow.

Chip & Joanna's rule 1: No TV or expensive toys

Despite being TV stars, one of the major rules HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines have in place for their kids is no TV. "You see how everyone watches television now — everyone's in their own room, on their own device," Joanna told Fast Company in October 2020. She said that she hoped her and Chip's network venture, Magnolia, would drive families to watch TV together. However, Joanna admitted, "We still don't have a television."

The couple went into fits of giggles when asked whether they owned a TV during a Q&A on Variety's "Uncovered" interview series in November 2022. "The reason we don't ever know how to answer this question is because here at the office, we have a television set," Chip revealed. "So we have access to televisions but we don't have a television at our primary residence at the farm." He said they swap fresh milk with their neighbors for TV time at their house.

Chip and Joanna are also not big fans of fancy and expensive toys for their kids. "These cups have been the favorite toy of choice. From the one year old who knocks them down every time someone builds them up to the eleven year old who tries to stack the cups as high as the ceiling... If you're looking for cheap family fun, Go buy a pack of plastic cups!?" Joanna captioned a pic on Instagram of red plastic cups stacked up.

Chip & Joanna's rule 2: No social media until 18

HGTV's Chip and Joanna Gaines have a strict no-social media mandate. "Our house rule is you get social media the summer before you go to college," Joanna told "Today with Hoda & Jenna" in May 2024. Chip and Joanna admitted it was a tough rule to stick to. Still, they shared that none of the kids had asked for accounts for a year. "I think they just know the heart behind it," Joanna said. "Which is hard because all their other friends have it."

In the 2019 Spring edition of Magnolia Journal, Joanna confessed that as her social media followers grew, so did the pressure to post picture-perfect content. "I could feel insecurity start to creep in, and posting a photo was no longer an act of enjoying the in-the-moments of life but rather a more calculated decision," she wrote (via Today). "With every picture I found myself critiquing if there were messy backgrounds or blurry smiles."

That said, Joanna was eager to get Chip onto Instagram, something he'd avoided for years. "Ok, Chip bet me I couldn't get 175,000 likes on this video! If we get 175k, he'll get an instagram! Tag your friends or do whatever you have to do so we can get him on the IG!" Joanna captioned a September 2015 video of herself. The post received over 208,000 likes, and, needless to say, Chip caved.

Chip & Joanna's rule 3: No cell phones on the body

Chip and Joanna Gaines have found a way to make sure that their kids are always present when they're at home. There is no staring into their phones and texting friends while sitting around the dinner table for the Gaines Five. The HGTV stars have a strict cell phone rule, and they make sure the family adheres to it.

Joanna shared her cell phone policy during a "Today" appearance in July 2021. She said that she grew tired of the family being chained to their phones and constantly responding to pings and notifications, so she and Chip came up with a solution. "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 bodies," she said. "So it's like 'no phones on body,' that's the rule at home."

Many kids would struggle not to have cell phones by their side 24/7. However, Joanna and Chip's brood are probably just grateful to have them at all. In 2016, Joanna told ET that she had no intention of allowing her kids access to technology. "I tell the kids that you are probably not going to get a cell phone," she said. "We want to teach our kids that life happens outside of these devices."

Chip & Joanna's rule 4: Play outside

Chip and Joanna Gaines allow their kids access to modern technology, albeit limited and controlled. "Our rule for the iPad is that the kids can use it a certain amount of time every other day," Joanna told Southern Living magazine in March 2019 (via Brit+Co). "It's contingent on them doing their chores and homework. I try hard to make it not the thing they look forward to every day. I don't want them focusing on that."

Instead, Joanna and Chip, who admitted to People in January 2018 that he's not big on "normal technological advances," encourage their kids to get outside and play. Their ranch is 40 acres, so they have plenty of space to engage in fun and games. "It's just a simple thing to go outside and connect with nature, play with your friends, and get dirty," Joanna told ET in October 2016.

Sometimes, though, Chip and Joanna's outdoor rule can backfire. "He had just put on his pjs to rest on the couch when the kids came in and asked him to play outside... he got right up and forfeited his nap, and an hour later they are knee deep in a serious competition," Joanna captioned a Facebook photo in June 2020. "Thank you Chip for never being too tired to play or take them to all the fun places and never too busy to talk or lend an ear to your children."

Chip & Joanna's rule 5: Do your chores

HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines' 40-acre Waco homestead is a proper working farm with chickens, turkeys, horses, 14 baby goats, and a slew of other assorted animals. So, not surprisingly, there is always plenty of work to do — and that's when having five kids comes in handy.

According to People, the couple's youngest child, Crew, was set to work at just two years old, gathering the chickens' eggs in the morning for the family breakfast.

Chip and Joanna have strict chore rules, and all the kids play their part — even if the part appears to be more play than chore. "Monday morning chores never looked so fun," Joanna captioned a photo on X, formerly Twitter, of three of her kids on top of giant hay bales in July 2021. The parents have made daily tasks a family thing. In fact, Joanna told E! News' Daily Pop in July 2021 that it's the routine, mundane things in life that "actually bring us life." A sentiment Chip seconds. "The house charges our batteries...When we step outside the door, we feel like we can take on the world," he said.