"She wants to hire him a chauffeur!" Chip jokes of his wife in the current issue of PEOPLE

By Emily Strohm and Mackenzie Schmidt
March 11, 2021 11:00 AM
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Chip and Joanna Gaines handled one major parenting milestone a little differently — one with excitement and one with a lot of tears.

Chip, 46, opened up to PEOPLE in this week's issue about the emotional day in February when their oldest son, Drake, 16, got his driver's license: "I was so excited leading up to it, and Jo was too, kind of," he recalls. "Then we get this kid his license, and the first morning he goes to drive, Jo bawls her eyes out. She was just devastated and wanted no part. She wants to hire him a chauffeur!"

The couple are also parents to Ella, 14, Duke, 12, Emmie, 10, and Crew, 2. Fixer Upper fans have watched the kids grow up on TV since the show premiered in 2013.

chip and joanna gaines
Credit: Joanna Gaines/Instagram
Chip Gaines
Chip Gaines and his four oldest children in 2020
| Credit: Discovery, Inc. and Magnolia

Joanna, 42, shared an Instagram post one year earlier on the day he got his learner's permit at 15, another event that had her feeling a lot. "Drake waited in line for an hour and finally got called up to get his driver's permit and then my 15-year-old little boy drove home with Chip and all of a sudden he is all grown up," she began the caption, then comparing her teenager to her youngest, Crew, then 20 months.

"It's crazy because this morning I spent most of my time teaching Crew how to go up and down the stairs because he is still so wobbly (his weight is not distributed evenly quite yet)," wrote Joanna. "He used to reach for my hand when climbing the stairs so I could help him and now he insists on doing it himself."

She added: "The gap between these two circumstances with my boys is wide but the feeling on both is somehow the same. So many hard and beautiful moments of beginnings and ends."

Gaines Kids
The Gaines kids in an Instagram from 2018
| Credit: Chip Gaines Instagram

Chip shared a bit of his parenting philosophy in the current issue.

"Parenting our children all identically would be more efficient, but it just doesn't work, because they each have a unique personality and purpose," he explained. The idea of 'It's my way until you leave my house'—we're the opposite. Instead, it's 'You're in our house, but this is a place for you to explore, experiment and process the feelings and thoughts that you have in a safe place.'" 

The Gaines family in 2014, as seen in Breaking New Ground on Discovery+
The Gaines family in 2014, as seen in Breaking New Ground on Discovery+
| Credit: Magnolia Network

The Gaines kids continue to have a part in their parents' TV projects. They most recently appeared in Breaking New Ground, a special the couple dropped on Discovery+ that follows the expansion of their Magnolia Market at the Silos destination in Waco, Texas, and offers glimpses of the family's life on their 40-acre farm.

Following Covid-19–related production delays, many more of their new Magnolia Network shows will premiere on July 15, with the network's digital launch. Magnolia will make its TV debut in January 2022.