8 Celebrity Parents With Ultra-Strict Screen Time and Social Media Rules for Their Kids

Teenagers sitting at table together

Despite what US Weekly may want you to believe, most of us lead lives that bear very little resemblance to the stars. But there’s one area that parents in all walks of life must grapple with: deciding how and when to let our kids use technology. From being permissive to instituting outright bans, here’s where these eight famous parents have landed on the issue. 

Kelly Clarkson 

Falling into the “not under my roof” camp is singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson. She recently told People that social media “can be really hard on kids in general, but especially kids with parents in the public eye.” Partially due to this extra scrutiny, Clarkson has informed her two children (ages 7 and 9) that they aren’t allowed to use any social media until they’re 18. 

Nicole Kidman

Actress Nicole Kidman has gone a step further and imposed her strict technology rules on her kids’ friends when they visit. She and husband Keith Urban have a strict no-devices rule at their house, and that rule includes banning their kids’ friends from bringing devices over. Explains Kidman: “The general rule is: play, hardcore and outside." 

Erin and Ben Napier

HGTV power couple Erin and Ben Napier not only plan to keep their two young daughters off social media until they graduate high school, but they’re also aiming to help other parents do the same. The Napiers recently founded Osprey, a non-profit dedicated to helping other families raise their children with a social media-free upbringing. 

Olivia Munn

When their infant son Malcom started reaching for the phone, actress Olivia Munn decided it was time to impose a no-phone rule for their little one. However, in possibly the most relatable celebrity moment ever, she and partner John Mulaney allow exceptions for what Munn calls “a code red emergency.” 

So, what constitutes a code red for the Munn-Mulaney household? According to Munn’s recent Instagram post, they’re fully prepared to break the glass for long travel days. (And, let’s face it, who among us hasn’t severely bent our screen time rules to avert disaster at 35,000 feet?)  

Madonna

Parenting is all about learning from our mistakes and adjusting as we go along. That’s the approach Madonna took when it came to setting technology rules for her kids. After she gave her eldest children, Lourdes and Rocco, phones at 13, Madonna says her relationship with them was negatively impacted. So, the seven-time Grammy-winning artist and mononymous icon changed course for her four younger children. She has said she’ll hold out as long as possible with them. Television is also banned in the house. 

Heidi Klum

Of course, not all celebrity parents are so strict when it comes to their kids and technology. When model Heidi Klum’s daughter Leni was a teenager, she allowed her to join Instagram. But she wasn’t given carte blanche access, either. Leni was required to set her Instagram to private and to get approval from her mother before posting. Says Klum, “Even though it’s just her friends, you never know who they could send it to.” Prudent privacy settings and parental monitoring? We approve! 

Mark Cuban

Speaking of monitoring children’s technology use, Mark Cuban — business mogul and star of Shark Tank — has taken keeping tabs on his kids' digital use to a whole other level. During an episode of The Thrive Global Podcast, Cuban admitted to setting up Cisco routers to detect the apps his kids use. 

“That’s the downside of having a geeky dad, you know,” says Cuban. “I can figure all this stuff out.” Fortunately for the rest of us, things have advanced since Cuban’s 2017 interview. There are now plenty of services that can do parental monitoring for you (no complicated software required). 

Matthew McConaughey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Uj2pf2AOY

In an approach that we approve of, actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila look for teachable moments to prepare their children for lives as digital citizens. Before their oldest son, Levi, was allowed to join social media at 15, they spent two years helping him define what it would mean to him. They sat down together to look at the accounts of people Levi looked up to and discussed their merits. 

Says McConaughey, “We talked about, ‘Why do you like those?’ … [They had] more hits … But why did they? Were they relevant for the right reasons?’ The discussion is ongoing.”

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