Early Childhood Development students bring home baby simulators

The+students+were+able+to+bring+the+babies+home+in+a+car+seat.+They+were+required+to+take+the+babies+with+them+wherever+they+went.

The students were able to bring the babies home in a car seat. They were required to take the babies with them wherever they went.

Parenting can be a very difficult task. It takes up a tremendous amount of time, patience and energy. Parenting can also be very stressful, even for parents of any age, but how can all of these factors affect teenagers?

On Friday, Jan. 24, Northwest’s early childhood development students took home baby simulators to give them an experience parents all over the world have to go through.

The students were given realistic-looking baby simulators, as well as, a diaper bag filled with specialized bottles and diapers to take home for the entire weekend.

“I slowly started to think that the baby was real,” sophomore Adria Schimmenti said.

 The babies turned on at 5 p.m. Friday and automatically shut off at 5 p.m. Sunday. On Monday morning, the students brought the babies back and their physical project would be complete.

“The babies could sense how many times it cried, if its head wasn’t being supported, (if it needs) diaper changes and how many times,” early childhood development and finance teacher Kara Winicki said. “This was how their grade was evaluated.” 

Many students were expecting this assignment to be fun or really easy, but they soon learned the intended reality of parenting.

“On Fridays, the students are really excited, and Mondays they’re waiting by my door,” Winicki said.

With taking on the responsibilities of caring for the baby, the students also had to deal with the opinions and judgment of others.

“I felt like I wanted to cry when the baby went off while I was in church,” Schimmenti said. “I could feel the people completely judging me.”

This assignment taught the students the hard work and criticism that parents — especially teen parents–  endure every day. 

“I think this assignment is important because the students are able to experience what young moms have to go through whenever people give them looks and really rude comments,” Winicki said.

After the experience, some students felt it would be valuable for all students to go through it for a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be a parent.

“I learned that everyone should enjoy every minute they have to themselves,” sophomore Emely Lopez said.

Many teens who have not done this project may think that parenting isn’t as hard as it seems and don’t really acknowledge all of the responsibilities that come along with it. 

“This (the assignment) should be mandatory for every student male or female, to take in high school, and they should pass it before they graduate,” Winicki said.