This is definitely not a "holier than thou" post about limiting screen time. I do not profess to have parenting all figured out. Not even close!
I just wanted to check-in about where we are in relation to screen time as a family. We intentionally try to limit the amount of time our children spend in front of screens. Henry (who is five) gets to watch 15 minutes of Netflix a week. We try to have him watch reality-based things like Cailou, Nova, Bill Nye the Science Guy. He also watches non-scary things like Bob the Builder, Reading Rainbow, and Handy Manny.
Tate (who turns three in July) does not get any screen time right now (we let Henry watch during Tate's nap). Once Tate is no longer napping, he will get to watch 15 minutes with Henry.
Neither boy gets to play any type of game on a phone or iPad. I sometimes take them to the IMAX theater at the museum to see a non-fiction movie. We most recently watched one about national parks, and it was awesome!
This arrangement is working well for our family. Although there are plenty of times when it feels like parenting is harder because we don't rely on the help of screens, I still think it's better in the long run. It would be awesome to let the boys watch TV as soon as they wake up on Saturday morning so Matt and I could sleep in, but I see how much children learn by interacting in the world. They learn real focus and concentration (which seems notably different from the kind of hypnotic focus and concentration that screens induce). They build their brain through the use of their five senses. They learn patience and delayed gratification.
I also just think there's so much inappropriate content out there. So many things that are geared toward children are overtly scary. Or they model really bad behavior for 24 minutes and then resolve it in the last 4 minutes.
There was a time when Henry was watching a longer chunk of TV each week, but it seemed to make him crave it even more. We're at a good place as a family, although I am looking forward to when they are a little older and we can start Friday night movies!