How HGTV's Erin And Ben Napier Avoid Raising Their Daughters With Technology

HGTV stars Erin and Ben Napier are most known for their small-town Mississippi renovations on the show "Home Town," but they're also the dedicated parents of two young girls. The couple has been pretty open about their parenting experiences, with Erin sharing why her children's faces never make it to social media.

The hosts have also talked about their stance on allowing their children to use electronics and social media, explaining that it's something that they've firmly decided against. "My kids have never held a phone or a tablet or anything," Erin told Us Weekly, adding that she prefers to give them outside time instead. "They're getting filthy. They go outside, they play, they dig [and] they climb trees."

In addition to this, the Napiers have also built a community around their technology-free children and don't shy away from having challenging conversations. The couple had their first child, a daughter named Helen, in January 2018. A few years later, the duo welcomed their second kid, their daughter Mae, in 2021.

The Napiers started a nonprofit called Osprey

In an essay written for Today, Erin Napier revealed how she and her husband, Ben, plan to keep their children off of technology, explaining that they made the decision alongside other parents they knew. "When Helen was first born, my husband, Ben, and I, along with three other families, made an informal agreement to support each other in keeping our kids off social media and smartphones at large," Erin wrote.

This strategy inspired the Napiers to create a nonprofit, called Osprey, that allows parents across the country to create their own social media-free communities for their children. Erin posted about the nonprofit's launch on Instagram in July 2023, announcing that the event was to be kicked off with a panel and meet and greet at the University of Mississippi.

Even so, Erin explained that she doesn't plan to keep her kids completely off of all technology for their entire adolescence. "We don't want our kids to be disconnected," the HGTV star explained in her essay. "We always have said, 'We'll get landlines so they can call each other, and then when they're old enough to drive, we'll get them flip phones, and they can call and text each other.' When they can drive, I hope to give them a phone with capabilities to play whatever music they like."

Erin has conversations about technology with her kids

In addition to building a community for their technology-free kids, Erin Napier revealed that she also has conversations with her children about phone use. "Helen has seen kids who are glued to their parents' phones, and one time she asked, 'What are they doing on there?'" the HGTV host wrote for Today, explaining that her daughter pointed out that she uses her phone for work.

"'Yeah, that is what I use it for,'" Napier answered. "'But phones also have a bad place, a scary place that I want to protect you from. You don't need to see the scary things.'" When asked why some parents allow their kids to use phones, the Mississippi native explained to Helen that different families have different ways of doing things.

Napier added in her essay that she and her husband hope to encourage confidence and individuality in their children in addition to protecting them from the potential harms of social media. Keeping their kids technology-free in this day and age might be a challenge, but it's something that the parents have clearly created strategies for.