With the ever-present coronavirus shutting down businesses and keeping families stuck in their homes, parents have sought new ways to connect with their children in the era of home quarantines. As a psychologist, family therapist and mother of three, Nina Westbrook, wife of NBA star Russell Westbrook, has advice on how parents can stay engaged with their kids during their quarantines.
Nina Westbrook has three children with husband Russell Westbrook; 2-year old Noah and 1-year old twins Jordyn and Skye Westbrook, and she keeps all of them engaged by having them do outdoor activities such as exercising and gardening. “We’ll go outside and have them do jumping jacks and relay races and some things like that. It’ll help them to get their energy out,” says Nina. “I also said let’s go ahead and start gardening so the kids can start picking their fruits and vegetables, and learn how to care for plants and watch them grow and take care of them.”
Nina encourages parents not stress over minor issues, saying: “If the house is a little bit messier than usual or if the kids aren’t put to bed on time, it’s OK.” As for managing children while working at home, Nina encourages parents to take turns watching their children as she does with her famous husband. “We take turns if I’m working,” says Nina. “Russell will take the kids and do an activity, and if he’s in his office, I will have them doing an activity.”
Nina Westbrook also suggests that parents temper their expectations and take breaks to refresh themselves whenever they can. “Managing your expectations during this time is going to do a whole lot to help you maintain mental wellness. Any time that you can get away and just take five or ten minutes to yourself to collect your thoughts will help,” says Nina. “And it doesn’t seem like a lot, but really five minutes of ‘you’ time when there’s so much going on; It can do a lot to help you refocus and give you the motivation — or a little boost to get back out there and keep it going.”