Teens taking care of pretend babies (school project)


I just read in our Catholic newspaper about a local Catholic school doing the “Baby, Think It Over” project. Kids take a fake baby home for 2 nights, it cries, they have to find sitters etc … to simulate parenting and make them think twice about sex before marriage.

They quoted one girl as saying, “I was tired and stressed. I learned never to have children. I don’t like babies.” Great thing for a Catholic school student to say. (I realize she may not be Catholic).

The director was quoted as saying, “I want them to make sure they consciously understand that they do not want a baby until they are ready.” I hope they suggested that readiness means a husband! —KCT


We had the same thing in our high school (public), and while it was funny at the time, I see the dangers in having this. I don’t think it really teaches responsibility and chastity. The one girl I knew who was in the class where they had these dolls was promiscuous and all it taught her was stay on the pill. Plus, a doll does not give the rewards one gets out of having a real live baby, the love this baby gives back and the natural attachment that comes with having a child. Yeah, bad idea, and it’s obvious from the reaction.


Ugh! I hate those projects, just for the very reason you posted. It makes girls not want to have children when they are grown. How much better to give them siblings and let them practice taking care of them with the support of the parents. Then they can see that not every child is exactly the same and that it is definitely doable—or else they wouldn’t be here. It’s just scare tactics from a contracepting world and I for one hate it.


But some girls have this idea that if they have a baby, they’ll have someone to love them and they don’t realize all the, well, stress and strain in life that comes from having the little needy lovebugs. The idea of these dolls is to teach children that babies have needs and will take a huge chunk out of your life. So many children today grow up as the youngest or as an only child so they honestly don’t know just how taxing a child is. Hopefully this program gets the point accross that single child bearing is a difficult prospect.

Yes, if your point is to teach chastity, then this program won’t do that, as chastity is not the only way to prevent a child from being born.


I’d almost rather have them bring in teen moms to speak about their personal experiences. —KCT


Exactly, it’s just one more plug for the “children are a hindrance/nuisance” attitude. A parent does these sacrifices out of love for a child, the love and sacrifices go hand in hand. I can’t imagine doing all the things we need to do as mothers without the love being there. This program separates the love from the sacrifices hence making it difficult to see that children are blessings. To tell you the truth, when a child is born out of wedlock, the child is actually something good that God allowed to come out of something bad (premarital sex).


I don’t like these programs for several reasons:

1. The goal appears to simply scare young women away from relationships and children. (You just CAN’T do it! Look how miserable you’ll both be!) There is no home lesson or economics lesson or parenting lesson - just plant the seed that having babies is stupid, hard, scary, and unrewarding.

2. It isn’t realistic. They purposely program those stupid dolls to be the worst babies ever. They cry and you can’t comfort them. All their cries sound the same, so even if you could comfort the thing - you wouldn’t know what to do. Lucky for me, I did a LOT of baby care during my teen years and knew better. But to teach these girls that all babies are 24/7 whinning, crying, poo/pee messies that never sleep and never give anything back is just a lie. Even if they are all that other stuff - there’s a huge return for the investment.

3. Even should that be the case. It misses the entire point of loving someone. You don’t love “when you are ready” - you just love and do what needs done. You don’t rock a baby all night for months on end because ‘you’re ready’ - you do it because that’s what you do when you love someone. You take care of them. It’s an honor and a blessing.

I’d love to see a girl play devil’s advocate …
** I wonder what they would do if some girl said that because of this course she can’t wait to get pregnant? Let’s say none of the above was an issue and some girl found she just fell in love with caring for that fake baby and couldn’t wait to have a real baby. I wonder what they would do if the girl said, “Oh I can’t come to that game even though I’m the ace player because I’d have to get a sitter for the fake baby and that’s not what I think a good mom would do. So I’m going to stay home instead.” Her and her bf liked playing house so much they decided to run to Tennessee and get married.:smiley: **

What is the goal of this course? It seems the sole purpose to teach girls they shouldn’t have, want, or even like babies.

I agree with the previous poster who said many dc today honesty don’t know anything about caring for babies. Maybe it would make more sense to actually teach them how to care for babies (babysitting, Madonna House, mentoring, ect…) than to teach them to fear dealing with them. My own dh is any ‘only’ - they can learn quick!:wink:

**Okay… down off the box now. For now anyhow.:stuck_out_tongue: **


I knew a girl who did this in her high school. When she was driving to school she couldn’t get the baby to stop crying and put the key in the back of the baby, so she grabbed the baby and put it in the front seat with her. She was pulled over for having a baby in the front seat. When the officer found out that it was just a doll, the both of them had a good laugh (as well as the rest of us when she told us the story when she arrived at school late).


I had to do this when I was in high school. It didn’t teach me much.

The thing that did teach me was working in a daycare after school. I loved those kids, but man, was I glad to go home at the end of the day.



I had to do this sort of thing in my high school health class, but it wasn’t well thought out. We had to carry around a 5 lb bag of flour, but there was no need to feed it, wake with it, change it, or even treat it especially well. The only rule was we couldn’t leave it alone. But, we could carry it around school, which is stupid, because you can’t take your baby to high school. One girl dropped hers on the stairs and it exploded.

We were also shown a horrible gory birth video. Thanks alot, Catholic school, for teaching me that birth is horrible and babies are lumps I can ignore and keep in a bag, so long as I make sure I have my sister carry the bag when I had to work. Great life lessons.

I think the perfect material for a Catholic girls’ high school health class would be NFP, or at least the information on how the cycle works. More like the stuff I finally learned when I read TAking Charge of Your Fertility–not so much the charting. I honestly get a little mad when I think about all that I didn’t know until I was a grown woman about my own body. Heck, after taking hs health, I thought any discharge tht wasn’t my period must mean I had some sort of infection.


I did the “Baby Think it Over” thing in high school, and it had no such effect on me as what is described here.

I think what this does is re-enforce a student’s existing attitude about childbearing. My parents raised me to value children. This simulation in high school gave me a brief glimpse of what babies might demand of their parents. Now that I’m married, I can’t wait to have kids. Several of them, god willing.

In my humble opinion, it’s most likely that many of the students who decide that they want to stay on the pill, or who decide to never have children would have formed those attitudes anyway, because of the influence of parents, friends, or society in general. 24 hours with a plastic crying doll is not going to be that earth shattering.

As to gory birth videos, gory images of birth are readily available on television. If you really want kids that badly, those aren’t going to stop you either.


I’m not a teacher, but I work in a high school. Our kids do the “Baby Think It Over” project, and I think it’s great. It helps teach the students that babies are a serious responsibility…not just something cute and cuddly to play with and put away when you are tired of it. In fact, I have had to “babysit” Baby Think It Over a few times. I agree with the director quoted above. Girls need to make sure they don’t have babies until they are ready.


Baby sitting had a similar effect on me. :slight_smile:


My oldest daughter will be doing this in health class in public HS this year. There is no choice. It is a required part of the curriculum. Several of her friends have already had the baby. They swap stories about what to do to shut the “baby” doll up. Tieing the baby’s arms above its head, putting the baby in the freezer (so it doesn’t wake the teen’s parents), and similar. It really makes me cringe. These are nice girls who babysit. Sounds like the kids practice child abuse. I am not looking forward to our turn. It is only for one night–extra credit for taking it for the weekend.

Of course, the intent is to show teens how demanding an infant can be. Teens who babysit but don’t have very young siblings may not understand that a crying infant when you want to sleep is not glamorous. So many unmarried teen mothers get pregant because they want “someone” to love and to love them.

It never occurred to me that it might be sending the message to use birth control or, worse, to consider abortion. I certainly hope with my kids it reinforces our very Catholic views that sex belongs only in marriage.


The trouble with the “Baby think it over” program is that it teaches teens not to have a baby b/c it will mess up their lives.

The reason that teens shouldn’t have a baby is b/c it will mess up the baby’s life!!

The message that Catholic parents and schools should be teaching students is to value and cherish their sexuality and the child they could bring about. This is the culture of life.

Teaching them that babies are more trouble than they’re worth is not only an obvious lie (ask any mother!) but is the mindset that encourages abortion and birth control. This is the culture of death.

Would you give one of these dolls to a girl who is already pregnant? Of course not! That would only push her towards considering abortion. You would want her to learn to love and protect her child, not despise it.

These dolls do not belong in Catholic schools.


I’m not sure what it really teaches. I suppose it could be good for a young teen who thinks that having a baby would be cool. But, while I would glady throw a screaming robot doll out the window, I know that the mothering instinct and love for a real baby keeps us from doing that.

At my hs, they used hardboiled eggs that had to be carried around for two weeks. Cracks and breaks meant you failed.


I really dislike this program for many of the same reasons as Rob’s Wife.

It’s sad that they have to rely on plastic dolls and not real, live families to learn about babies. What ever happened to younger siblings (the families or family friends) and babysitting? I agree these dolls seem to only teach that children are inconvenient–not a very pro life statement at all. I think it would be more valuable to have a mother/father come in and speak about having a family (large and small) and the sacrifice and rewards that parenting bring.



But what I wonder is, did talking about “readiness” include marriage? The article didn’t say. —KCT


I think it won’t encourage girls not to have sex, just not to have the babies that result.
I don’t see how it would encourage chastity, just a hatred of “babies”.
I think that if a girl would care for a doll without questioning it, then there is something up. I’d be darned if I was going to get up at 3 am to see to it. I would stick it in the shed at the bottom of the garden, so I couldn’t hear it.
I feel the need to point out here that I wouldn’t do this to any of my real children, or indeed a real baby, but these dolls are all the hassle, and none of the joy.


They were doing this in one of the schools where I sub-taught several years ago. One girl brought her “baby” in to the classroom during class change, left it on her desk, and went back out in the hallway. I had the evil thought that I should hide it and leave a ransom note devilsmiley, but I didn’t.


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