"Baby Think It Over” Gives Teens a Tough, Real-World Reason Not to Get Pregnant
by Brian Vaszily, Author of the #1 bestseller, The 9 Intense Experiences -- named one of the best motivational books ever -- and founder of IntenseExperiences.com
Baby Think It Over
, also known as the Realityworks infant simulator, is a computerized doll designed to be a lesson for teens in the real-world demands of caring for a new baby. The doll is programmed to cry at random, and from child psychology classes in high school to government and community programs, teens are required to “care” for the
dolls 24/7 for a set period of time.
They cry … and then cry … and then cry … and then cry. And then they cry. Welcome to parenting with Baby Think It Over!
To stop the cute robo-baby from crying, the teenagers must rock, feed, burp or even change Baby Think It Over’s diaper – whatever baby needs -- until the next random cry.
Nothing can substitute for all the care and concern that goes into a real infant, of course, but Baby Think It Over is increasing in popularity because the intense experience of caring for something close does indeed seem to make an impact.
In one study, Baby Think It Over: Evaluation of an Infant Simulation Intervention for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, out of 353 predominantly 9th grade Latino students
who cared for the programmed dolls, 108 reported statistically significant differences in whether they wished to have a child before caring for the infant simulator versus after.
Over twenty studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of infant simulators. In addition, extensive anecdotal evidence in programs the dolls are being used at across the country and overseas support its effectiveness, and Baby Think It Over has won a number of prestigious awards, including Fortune Magazine’s "Product of the Year Award" when the dolls was first released in 1994, What’s
New in Home Economics’ “Healthy Living Award” three separate times and Parenting Magazine’s “Parenting Achievement Award.”
Baby Think It Over is the brainchild of Mary Jurmain and her husband, Rick Jurmain. They invented the doll in 1994 and now lead the company that produces the dolls (with a staff of over 25) out of Wisconsin.
The 6 ½ pound dolls come in male or female versions and with Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Light-Skinned African-American, and Native American appearances.
Though numbers have fortunately been trending down, the U.S. still leads developed nations in teen pregnancies – over 10% of all woman aged 15-19 become pregnant here – and so if Baby Think It Over can be part of making a dent in those numbers, well, cry on!
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