Developing New Generation of Parents: Students learn skills to take care of children in child-development class


Colin Batliner, Staff Writer

“Will I make a good parent?” is a question that people ask before having a child and taking on the responsibility of caring for another human being. In child development class, family and consumer sciences teacher Mrs. Bridget Hays said she aims to take some of this fear away that comes with having a child by preparing students as best as she can for parenthood.

In her first year teaching this class, Hays said she was excited at the beginning of the school year that she is able to teach it and pass on some of the knowledge she has from being a parent of two children. 

“I think child-development is an excellent class for people this age to experience and learn,” Hays said. “Whether they’re going to be looking at babysitting or becoming an aunt or an uncle, it also gives them some of the realities of parenthood.”

As one of the few boys taking Child Development, senior Macallum Martin said he has already learned more about taking care of a child in the class than he did ever before in his life. He said he was most surprised that babies will cry just to get your attention and it could happen at any moment which is what he experienced with the baby doll that he was given to take care of for an assignment.

I would try to take care of [the doll] while I was driving, I would put it in my lap and then do what Mrs. Hays told me about how to care for it,” Martin said. “I would open up the back part and try to get the right key into it to make it stop crying, which was really difficult. All the while I was driving and trying to not crash, but I got the baby to stop crying, so it worked.” 

According to Hays she teaches students the difficulty of caring for a child and helps the students experience this so whenever these lessons are necessary in their life the students will already have the knowledge to take care of a child.

“Being responsible for a human life is hard,” Hays said. “It’s not easy, it takes time and patience, and I just hope that they learn a few skills that they can remember when it comes time for them to have their own children.”