Parenting

Bill Gates Has Some Technology Rules for His Kids That May Surprise You

Bill Gates (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

There are countless rules that parents have to impose on their kids over the course of their childhood. Curfews, screen time, and chores are just some of the many decisions parents have to make. But sometimes just how strict we should be is unclear. In those cases, where do we look for guidance?

If you happen to think that Bill Gates has made a few good choices in his life, you might want to consider emulating a few of the decisions that he has made for parenting his three children, Jennifer, 20; Rory, 17; and Phoebe, 14, with his wife, Melinda. In a recent interview with the British newspaper The Mirror, Gates revealed a few things about the rules in his home.

Bill Gates is the legendary founder of the world’s largest software firm, Microsoft – a company that made him the richest man in the world.

But even one of humanity’s greatest technological innovators still banned his kids from having mobiles until they were 14, forbids them at the dinner table and limits his youngest’s screen time before she goes to bed.

Father to Jennifer, 20, Rory, 17, and Phoebe, 14, he admits: “We often set a time after which there is no screen time and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

“You’re always looking at how it can be used in a great way – homework and staying in touch with friends – and also where it has gotten to excess.

“We don’t have cellphones at the table when we are having a meal, we didn’t give our kids cellphones until they were 14 and they complained other kids got them earlier.”

Gates also mentioned that his children complete chores around the house in exchange for a modest allowance, and otherwise live relatively “normal” lives. In fact, the tech billionaire has also said that the bulk of his multi-billion dollar fortune will not be passed on to his children, but will be given away. Gates and his wife founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and one of its missions is to “help the world’s poorest people lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.”

The Mirror also reported that the tech giant wore a $10 Casio watch to the interview and said, “I’m big on pretty mainstream American hamburgers, McDonald’s, Burger King.”