Home Town's Ben and Erin Napier Want 3-Year-Old Daughter's Upbringing to Be as 'Normal as Possible'
"We want to keep Helen away from screens until it's absolutely impossible," Erin says in the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. "She plays outside a lot. That's the goal. That's how we grew up and we both had a magical childhood."
The couple first shot to fame in 2017 with the premiere of their hit series Home Town — which follows Ben, a church minister turned woodworker, 37, and Erin, an artist turned designer, 35, as they find and renovate homes for families in Laurel, Miss.
They've also got spinoffs Home Town Takeoverand Home Town: Ben's Workshop (which launches Jan. 4 on the new Discovery+ streaming platform), two booming retail stores in Laurel (Laurel Mercantile Co. and General Store), their furniture line Scotsman Co., and a memoir Make Something Good Today.
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When the show began, they made a decision to keep their daughter off-camera to protect her privacy. They also don't show her face on social media. Still, despite their best efforts, they can't shut it out completely.
"People will walk up when they see her, really excited like, 'Oh, you must be Helen.' And they touch the back of her head," says Ben. "She doesn't like strangers and she doesn't want them to touch her."
He adds, "During quarantine when we would go for a walk, she started saying, 'Are there going to be people touching me out there?' It was like, 'Whoa, wait a second, what?' This will become a harder thing for her and for us."
Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Ben and Erin Napier streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.
As they continue to make family their No. 1 priority, another way in which they've tried to maintain some normalcy is by making the decision to spend less time on social media themselves.
"I want Helen to be grounded in the real world and real relationships," says Erin. "She's not ready for social media and won't be for many years. I don't even want her to know that it exists."
Season 5 of Home Town premieres Jan. 3 on HGTV.
For more from Ben and Erin Napier, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Monday.
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