A taste of parenthood

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Carlee Mack

Marianna Frias, junior, taking care of her child development baby in 4th period last week.

The students of child development program were given the choice to take of a baby doll.

Each baby was about $500, and which was funded by a grant from the district.

The students signed up to care for the baby for four days. They get to choose the gender and ethnicity of the baby. Those who chose not to take care of a baby were given an alternate research assignment by child development teacher, Bird Potter. Potter decided to assign this task to the students to give them a real world understanding.

Sophomore Kayla Goldstein receives her baby on the first week of March and she is “looking forward to see and better understand what it is like to be a parent.”

Goldstein also said, “I’m very excited for the experience, but I’m also nervous about the baby crying in class and at night.”

Sophomore Gretchen Michaels already received her baby and finished caring for it. She said, “The hardest thing about caring for the baby was the amount of time I had to wake up at night just to feed, rock, change, and burp it. The worst had been waking up at night and feeding it because the feeding took almost 30 minutes. Plus, right after feeding, I had to burp it which took another 10 to 15 minutes.”

Michaels learned that motherhood is a lot harder than she had expected, but was excited for the learning experience. However, she was also incredibly exhausted.

Goldstein hopes to get a better understanding on how to take care of a child and believes she will learn how hard parenting is during this assignment.

Michaels chose to do this assignment because she has always loved children and babies so she wanted to experience what it was like to care for them.

This assignment was only a taste of the responsibilities those students will have to face in the future, but now, at least they know what they are up against.

Addie Collins, a language arts teacher, had students in her class with these babies. She said, “I enjoyed hearing the ‘parents’ complain about their babies. It made me hope that they truly appreciate what their parents went through with them as a baby. I think it’s a valuable lesson for students to experience that level of responsibility.”

Whitney Leonard, another language arts teacher, also had students with those babies in her class, She said, “I loved watching the students realize how hard the multitasking can be. They’re trying to get their work done in class while soothing a crying baby, having to take their baby to work with them, complaining about their baby keeping them up all night; I appreciated that they understood how real those challenges are for a parent, and in such a short time period.”

Potter said, “This class allows students to get insights into adult responsibilities. They learn about the difficulties of parenting and teen parenting. In addition, they learn the life skills they need to become a competent parent and adult. Some people will become parents and the information learned in child development will help prepare them to provide loving homes for their families. If people are unsure about parenthood, this course can help them make an informed decision. For those that don’t have children, this is still a valuable experience because they will likely still have children in their lives through friends, family, and work. Having insights into the behaviors and growth of children will help everyone interact, educate, and raise children no matter what role they play in that child’s life.”