Baby Think It Over

Child Development Class Gives Teens a Taste of Parenthood

Christina Varney, Contributor

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No matter what anybody says, no one is really ready to raise a child, especially teenagers. In a course called “Child Development” offered to Abington High School juniors and seniors, health teacher Mrs. Daisy makes sure students know they are not ready for a baby.

This semester, students experienced a whole different life with their “Baby-Think-It-Over” project, in which they had to take care of a fake infant twenty-four hours a day for three days.

Pullquote Photo

I definitely still want to have kids, but first I need to do a lot of growing up myself before I can have one.”

— Christian Labossier

Junior Haven DiMambrio described the experience as “challenging,” but said it “taught me responsibility.” When it came to affect her day-to-day routine, DiMambrio says having her baby Camden, “really shows how judgmental people are about teen moms and how hard and tiring it is to be responsible for someone other than yourself.”

She continued to say when she was at the hairdressers, another patron kept staring at her making her feel awkward. DiMambrio had her “baby” Camden in the carrier. After many stares, that person’s hairdresser eventually came over to DiMambrio to look at Camden and said, “Oh, it’s fake” and went on to say that was good because “you are too young to be a mother.” This made DiMambrio see how people will stare and judge.

Senior Hailey Holmes struggled when even the simplest tasks. They became impossible. One day, she had a dilemma: “The baby started to cry when I was in the shower, so my sister burped it for me and accidentally gave it a head tilt.”

Missing a diaper change, feeding, or if the baby made any cry made Holmes feel “stressed out, especially at first when I couldn’t figure out what he needed.”

Besides the stress and responsibility, there were some funny and unusual moments when the babies were taken out in public. Senior and basketball player Christian Labossier recalls a funny moment with his baby AJ when he was “getting looks everywhere I went with the baby.” He said taking the baby out in public was “a very challenging thing to do. Especially when we [the boys basketball team] went to TD Garden” where Labossier and his teammates played in the MIAA D4 South semi-finals on Tuesday March 12.

At the end of the project, Holmes pointed out that, “I still want kids, because some aspects of the project were not how a real baby would act.” DiMambrio feels as if, “My opinion didn’t change about having a baby, because I knew before this project that it would be difficult. With that being said, I don’t think I would want one anytime soon unless I’m fully prepared.” Labossier even jokingly added, “I definitely still want to have kids, but first I need to do a lot of growing up myself before I can have one.”

updated 3/18 at 11:58 AM.

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