It's always the simplest ideas that work the best, isn't it?
Joanna Gaines is an innovator in about a million different ways. Mom, wife, designer, chef, gardener, and oh yeah, MOGUL, are just some of her everyday titles. So it's no surprise that she was able to come up with an absolutely genius screen time tip that families everywhere can learn from and easily implement into their own lives.
Are you addicted to your phone? Do you feel like you never see your kids' faces because they're always covered by their screens?
Well, Joanna Gaines is sharing the one rule that keeps the whole Gaines family—Chip, Drake, 16, Ella, 14, Duke, 13, and Emmie Kay, 11 (Crew is only three so he's probably excluded from this rule most of the time)—off their phones. That way, she says, they can be truly invested in everything else, uninterrupted.
"We have this little station where everyone charges their phones," Joanna told Hoda and Savannah during a segment on TODAY this week. "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)."
She explained that the constant notifications on everyone's devices became too overwhelming for the family's daily life. If someone was reading a book, she said, they'd stop reading to answer a text or check their phones. Like we all do, every single day of our lives.
"We want to teach our kids that life happens outside of these devices," she said during a 2016 interview. "It's just a simple thing to go outside and connect with nature, play with your friends and get dirty."
This is such a great tip, because as many parents know, placing intense screentime restrictions on kids just intensifies their desire for it and can lead them to want to hide their device usage behind our backs, etc. This way, the screens are there are no one is taking them away—but they're just a tiny bit harder to get to, and your natural inclination to be on your device would likely diminish if it wasn't right next to you.
Another reason this rule is great is that it doesn't just single out the kids—it includes Mom and Dad, too. It's a great example of "do as I say AND as I do," you know?
If you're interested in implementing the genius Gaines family phone hack in your own home, Amazon has plenty of options for affordable charging stations for the whole family. Check out some options below!
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