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Being a "Teen Parent"

posted Oct 5, 2017, 7:08 AM by David Tapp

Being a “Teen Parent”

EHS Parenting students get a taste of life with a baby

By: Joe Troyer

Believe it or not, there is a job that demands a person’s attention for 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This job is messy, it is stressful, and it comes with no tangible reward or payment. However, it is consistently credited to be, inconceivably, the best job to be blessed with. This is being a parent.

In Mrs. Whisker’s Parenting class, students learn about family traditions, parenting styles, types of family structures and children. The biggest assignment in the class is having the opportunity to understand a little of what being a caregiver is like.

Students got to take an automated baby home for three nights and two days. Students could choose from either Monday night through Thursday morning or Friday night through Monday morning. In those days, the students are granted three “quiet times” if needed for an activity they are involved in or another engagement; i.e. church, a wedding, or a sport/club event.

The point of this assignment is to show teens how stressful being a parent is, as well as having the added difficulty of teen-life.

The stress definitely affected the participants. Senior Adayla Carlson was performing in a play and explained how exhausted she was from performing, and then returning home to parent was just too much. She said, “When I fell asleep, the baby woke me up 3 times that night...I was stressed and overtired.”

Perspectives were changed by doing this assignment. The participants now better understand what their parents went through when raising a baby. Sophomore Alaina Dully was another participant. She said, “I am definitely more appreciative of my parents now because I somewhat understand what they went through to raise me.”

A big scenario that all teen parents face is whether or not they will finish high school. In fact, while students were learning about teen-parenting, a shocking statistic showed up. Thirty-eight percent of teen moms finish high school and receive a diploma.

Junior Autumn White was fairly certain that she couldn’t stick it out. She said, “I think that I would not have it in me to finish school as a teen parent because then I’d have a baby to look after, along with school work.”

Even with the extra difficulty added on to graduating with a child, all of the participants felt it is still important for teen moms to receive a high school diploma or equivalent. Adayla said, “They need to provide a future for that child. I understand it will be hard. But, isn't life hard already?”

From this simulation, the students learned more than just how stressful caring for a child can be. The students also learned some secrets. Alaina said, “I learned that whenever the baby sleeps, you should sleep.” This is a piece of advice Mrs. Whisker also shared with her students in class.

Overall, the students were grateful to have this opportunity provided for them. It took a lot out of them, but it was unanimous that it was a powerful experience. Autumn said, “I highly recommend it to other students. I think it might help them in the future if, and when, they have kids of their own.”