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Lori West, a mother of five from Virginia Beach, Va., knew it was time for an intervention when she one day told her 7- and 9-year-old sons and their friend to go outside instead of playing their Nintendo Game Boys. “I checked on them a few minutes later, and all three were sitting in a circle on the sidewalk, playing their Game Boys,” she says. When asked about it, they said, “We are outside. We’re playing our Game Boys outside.”
West responded promptly: “I took the games away all summer because they needed to learn to playcreatively,” she says. The first two weeks were hard, and West had to give them lots of suggestions for things to do. “But within two weeks, they were running around with Nerf guns, building forts, playing with their Bionicles, Legos, and other toys they had long forgotten about,” she says.
The same tactic applies to adult electronics too. Common advice for anyone with sleep troubles is to remove the TV from the bedroom, for example. On vacation? Leave the BlackBerry home — or, at least, in your hotel room while you’re out and about during the day.
Video: Quit social media | Dr. Cal Newport | TEDxTysons
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