Simulator babies help students learn about parenthood


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Senior Miryam Zapata takes care of a simulator baby while working on an assignment.

Babies are invading the halls and the classrooms … baby simulators, that is. Child Development students are getting a taste of what it is like to be real parents.

Teacher Wendy Neyland says the main goal in the Child Development class is the make students realize that taking care of a baby is not all fun and games.

“Babies are exhausting,” Neyland said. “I feel that all students should take a child development class to have a better understanding on how child development works.”

Students signed up for the course knowing about the assignment and excited to try it out. Most of them thought it would be a piece of cake.

“The first time I took this class, I thought I was so excited,” junior Kynlee Driskill said. “Once I got my little baby, I saw how much work it actually is. Even though it’s hard, at times I still love it.”

Students that aren’t taking the class think taking care of a simulator baby isn’t that big of a deal; however,having the simulator is like having a real baby. It needs attention like a real baby would.

“Most of my students have been great with the simulators,” Neyland said. “I am a little disappointed in the students who are not taking my class on how they treat the simulators. If you wouldn’t spank, hit or shake a real baby, you shouldn’t do it to the simulator.”

Neyland said she began this course to be able to show teenagers the real side of having a baby, the tough side. She hopes it opens their eyes to the real difficulties in the world and that babies aren’t all fun and games.

“Many students will grow up to be parents one day,” Neyland said. “I try to be as real as I can with the students. I do not want anyone to look back at when they took my class and think I painted a picture of unrealistic happiness of unicorns and rainbows. Being a parent at the right time and being ready is everything in the world today.”