What is the Baby Think it Over parenting project?
It is a unique class project exploring the emotional, social, and financial consequences of parenthood.
The project involves an infant simulator (Baby) that will cry randomly day and night. Over a 24 hour period
the Baby will cry from five to fifteen times. Each time the Baby cries, the student must insert a care key into the baby's
computer (located in the baby's back) to simulate tending (feeding, changing diapers, etc.). The tending time may vary, but
will total about two hours each 24 hour period.
An internal computer keeps track of any lack of care or abuse. It records any abuse, which includes rough handling, dropping
or hitting. After one of those episodes the baby will cry for a period of time and cannot be stopped.
It records the number
of minutes the Baby was not tended after it began to cry. It shuts down if the computer is removed from the Baby for more
than five minutes. The Baby it records the number of times the head was not properly supported. Students wear a care key on
a nonremovable bracelet. No on else can care for the baby. When the Baby is returned, the computer is opened (it has a lock)
and the care or lack of care will be available see.
If do this project... try to think of it as a real baby (your own child)... Many times, a teenager will leave it with
someone, who will not take care of it right. Sometimes, the teenager will leave it alone, and let it cry and cry... would
you let this happen if it was your own real child?
"More than 300 students, ranging from 8th to 12th grade, have seen demonstrations
of our Empathy Belly, and approximately 75 more have actually worn it. Based on their feedback, I believe the Empathy Belly
is one of the most effective teaching methods we use at Planned Parenthood. Here are some sample quotes (from the students):"
"Thank you for showing me what it's like to be pregnant! I will NEVER get pregnant until I'm ready!" "You've made me think
about my future and my consequences about having sex too young and unplanned. I hope others got the same point I did. Thanks!"
"I have always wanted to be a teen mom but now I don't" "It really opened my eyes!" Debbie Leone, Education Director Planned
Parenthood of Southeast Iowa
People write all the time about what it is like to have their friend pregnant... here's a short
quote from a friend of one:
"About a week ago i found out that my friend is going to have a child. We are both freshmans in
high school. I have already told her that she will not get an abortion. We tell each other everything. And we have talked
about what we would if someone wanted us to have sex with them. I just didnt think this could happpen to her. She told me
she didnt mean to hurt evryone. Her dad hasnt said two words to her since she told he tuesday. Her mom understands because
she was a pregnant teen. Her mom just hoped she wouldnt make the same mistakes she did. I am going to support her all the
way through out this. She has already ask me to be the God Mother! Well of course I said yes! I hope anyone that reads this
will think before they have sex. My friend broke up with the dad today. Her life is now falling apart. Unlike her some
other teen my not have close friends to help support them. So think before you have sex unsafely. It will
change your life FOREVER!"