Dolls teach pains of child care
Kings High Schools Family Living classes are currently working on their annual mechanical baby project.
This nationwide project teaches high school students the reality behind teen pregnancy and offers them a taste of what it’s like to be a parent while still in school. The students have the baby for 48 hours and are responsible for feeding it, changing its diaper and putting it to sleep.
Their grades are based off how well they take care of the babies needs for the 48 hour time period. A computer device allows Sandra Thomas, Family Living teacher to download the information given off from the computer baby.
Included in this information are how many times the students feed, burp, carry, or shakes the baby. It also shows the amount of crying time and can detect for shaken baby syndrome.
Students generally finish the project with a different attitude than when they begin.
“At first they’re excited to have the baby and by the first night they’re tired but by the end they’re exhausted and start to understand,” Thomas explains.
The goal is for the students to gain awareness about teen pregnancy and the hardships that come with it. Junior Shianne Rhoing evaluates the effectiveness of the project.
“The project was effective if students aren’t already around newborns because if they are they already are aware of the obstacles.”
However, there is a replacement project to avoid taking care of the mechanical baby called the Preschool Project.
This new alternative requires students to observe toddlers during their classes for a total of six hours at the Kings Education Center. Then on the last day they carry out an activity they planned for the class.
Majority of students agree that they learn the difficulties in taking care of a baby through both projects.
“Going through this is a lot more stressful than I thought it would be,” says Rhoing.