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L8 Parenting

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Description

Aim: To enable young people to explore issues of relationships & parenting and develop their own views & understandings. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-8

Resources

Taster 1
Quiz questions
Flip chart and pens
A4 paper and selection of felt tips/coloured pencils/crayons etc

Taster 2 & Project
A baby simulator (hired from education authorities) or you can improvise with a sandbag and a recording device (mobile phone etc).

Taster 3
To be borrowed or bought
One black bin bag, containing:
• A nappy for a newborn
• Muslin square (comfort for baby, or over-the-shoulder vomit protector!)
• Dummy
• Breast pads
• Cinema tickets — You can just draw these on small pieces of card (parents need time off occasionally)
• Teething ring
• Bottle
• Sterilising tablets
• Jar of coffee (For parents to stay awake the next day)
• Breast pump
• Room thermometer
• Nipple cream
• Marble (stomach capacity of a one day old baby) This helps to illustrate that feeds are little and often.
• Ping pong ball (stomach capacity of a week old baby)
• Large chicken’s egg, or equivalent (stomach capacity of a 10 day old baby)
• Condoms (Just in case you don’t want another just yet)
• Joke book or comedy DVD (keep smiling...)
• Anything else you think of
• Feel free to omit anything you feel embarrassed about or think is unsuitable for your group.

Christian Faith
Paper & pens

Instructions

Taster 1 - Teenage Parenting - Myths & Realities

Aim: To find out the facts about teenage pregnancies and teenage parenting.

Instructions:
Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe, and lots of people and agencies are trying to tackle the issue.

Think about:
Do you know of any teenage parents? Maybe a girl in your school is pregnant, or has a baby. Maybe one of your male friends has got a girl pregnant or is a dad. If no-one has any personal stories then move on.

A Picture of a Teenage Parent
• Give out a flip chart sheet and in pairs draw a teenage parent”. You can draw as much detail as you want in 10 minutes or so. Give them a name, clothes, maybe draw their home in the background or pets or prized possession. Don’t advise what gender the parent is, leave that up to them.

• Make notes around the drawing or embellish it in any way you like. When you are all done, ask each pair to talk the rest of the group through their drawing.

• Make mental notes of the gender/class/race/appearance etc. of the drawings and try and pull out any emerging themes. Particularly comment on any that stand out because they are different. If they are all fairly similar, comment on that.

• Comment on each others drawings (This is intended to be light-hearted — so no need for a deadly serious moral stance to be adopted!) It is probable — but be prepared to be surprised — that most people will have a stereotyped image of teenage parent”. This is likely to be female, working class, unemployed, living on benefits, a bit stupid, live in a council flat, irresponsible, smoker. chav”, loser etc. All you need to do is flag this up — no need to challenge at this stage.

Quiz
Stick flip chart sheets on the wall, with each of the questions and the three possible answers to them. Alternatively you could give each person a quiz sheet, or even put them into pairs and call out the questions and get them to write down ‘W’”B” or 0” on a sheet of paper.

Questions
1. In the last five years teenage pregnancies have:
a). Risen
b). Fallen
c). Stayed around the same

2. In 1970 young women aged 15 to 19 were:
a). Less likely to have become mums
b). More likely to have become mums
c). Around the same

3. Where are mums under 18 most likely to live:
a). In Council accommodation
b). At home with their parents
c). In private accommodation

4. Young women from poorer backgrounds are:
a). Less likely to become mums
b). More likely to become mums
c). Around the same

5. What do young mums say about the effect having a baby has had on their determination to get a good job:
a). Less determined to get a good job
b). More determined to get a good job
c). Around the same as before

6. How much income support (benefits) do pregnant young women aged 16 and 17 get to live on each week?
a). Less than £45
b). £45 to £60
c). £60 to £80

Once you have completed the quiz, in whatever way you have chosen, give the answers:

1. Overall, teenage pregnancies have fallen by 10% since 1999.
2. In 1970 young women aged 15 to 19 were almost twice as likely to have become mums as they are today.
3. 70% of mums aged 15 to 16 live at home with their parents and over 50% of 17 to 18 year olds stay at home with their parents.
4. Young women from unskilled manual backgrounds are more than twice as likely to become teenage mums than those from professional backgrounds.
5. A survey in 2003 showed that 80% of teenage mums said that having a baby had increased their determination to get a good job.
6. Pregnant young women aged 16 to 18 get about £33.50 income support a week (£57.90 if they are living away from home). Under 16s who are pregnant can’t claim any benefits. (correct at 2016)

Think about:
• Why do they think the media gives us such a distorted view of teenage mums?
• How are mothers in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s viewed? Are they given more respect?
• Is there a stereotype of a teenage dad? e.g. the stud, the chav.
• Why is there less to say about teenage dads?
• What responsibility for the care of a child would a 15 or 16 year old boy have?
• How would his life change compared to a 15 or 16 year old mother?

End the activity by summarising that there is very little respect for teenage parents.

Think about:
• Why do they think this is?
• Is it because teenagers are not viewed as responsible parents?
• Or are teenagers just generally seen as irresponsible and a problem?
• Is teenage pregnancy always a bad thing? Who for? The teenager? The baby? The teenage parent’s parents? Why?

Preparation:
- Write the quiz questions onto separate flip chart sheets.

Tips / Advice:
Be sensitive to the possibility that one of the group member may have direct or close family experience of teenage pregnancy. As group leader, keep all judgement-loaded words or phrases out of your communications. This activity is a taster that will link with other activities about the realities and skills of parenting, but is not designed to put young people off — but to give them facts and information so that parenting is a role they can choose if and when it is right for them.

Taster 2 - Baby Think It Over !

Aim: To experience the “round the clock” care needed by babies.

Instructions:
The
idea of this taster is that group members take turns in caring for the “baby”. Simulator babies are lifelike replicas that are programmed to sleep, cry, need food, nappy changes, play, attention and constant supervision (Unfortunately the only thing this simulation cannot replicate is the love and bonding...aaaaahl) If their needs are unmet after 12 hours or 24 “abuses’ they turn themselves off. Clearly, this could be quite distressing even though it is a simulation, and the hire kits have lots of advice and guidance for whoever is the facilitator of the activity.

You will need to make sure you have planned in advance how many people are going to take turns caring for the baby, and for what periods of time. You can be inventive with how you organise This — maybe some people will be “single parents” while others share the care. You can get the group to take turns while other games or activities are going on during a normal RB night, or you can extend the activity over a week or so with people having genuine “round the clock” responsibility. Negotiate in advance how you want to play it, and encourage ideas on how to make the activity more challenging or lifelike!

Preparation:
- Work out how many people are going to take part and how long their responsibilities last.

Tips / Advice:
Details of how to source your baby, as follows:
• life Choice www.lifechoice.co.uk
Life Choice will hire out babies with accessories and clothing for £25 per baby but only take orders for a minimum of 20 babies, so this could be something organised regionally.

• You can also Google “Ready or Not Tot” to see if your local Primary Care health Trust hires out these baby simulators from their health resource centre. At time of going to print, a quick glance shows that several do.

• Alternatively, you may be able to hire a baby simulator from your local education authority resources centre, as these are used in many schools.

• If none of these is an option, you could get the group to think how to create a “baby” using a sandbag of about 20Ibs and an alarm device and recording of a baby crying (This could be a Taster activity in itself to promote creativity and technological invention).

Any project exploring parenting will inevitably cause people to reflect on the way they themselves were/are parented. The leaders should be prepared to listen sensitively to anyone’s personal stories, and also know where to refer if necessary:

• Childilne wwchildline.org.uk Tel: 0800 1111
When you phone ChildLine, you’ll be able to speak to someone who cares about your problems. The counsellors are all trained — they will listen to you and try to help you. Calls to ChildLine are confidential — you can talk about whatever you want to and we won’t tell anyone else, unless you want us to. Your Childline counsellor will only take action if they feel it’s an emergency.

• Get Connected wAv.getconnected.org.uk Tel: 0808 8084994
Get Connected offers confidential help for young people.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• If hiring simulator babies, check the small print for what happens if the babies are damaged.

• Good preparation should reduce the amount of incidents where simulators are “abused” i.e. people grab them and try to make them cry. If the group feel an investment in the experience, it is more likely to be a valuable project. The way to increase the investment is to encourage young people to take ownership of the planning and preparation.

Taster 3 - Bin Bag Exercise

Aim: To acquire some practical knowledge of baby care

Instructions:
Introduce this taster by saying that the game highlights some of the practical knowledge about a baby’s and parent’s needs in the early weeks.

• Sitting in a circle, pass round the bin bag (either take it in turns to pull out an object, or play in the style of Pass the Parcel”).
• As each object is taken out ask the person to say what they think it is and why it is in there.
• If anyone is struggling, throw it open to the group.

Preparation:
Buy or borrow the items in advance.

Tips / Advice:
Keep it quick and lively.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Not applicable, but be sensitive to anyone who might be a bit squeamish about birth or breastfeeding!

Christian Faith - Children Of God

Aim: To relate the experiences of caring for children to our own spiritual life.

Instructions:
When people have children their lives are changed. They often spend time just watching them when they’re asleep. A man who had become a father recently started explaining his love for his new daughter He said, ‘Before, I’ve loved something because they’ve loved me back — my wife, family, mates. But with Victoria, it’s the first time I’ve ever just loved somebody without them loving me back.’ He went on to speak about how deep his love was for his baby daughter The same can be said for God — he has that kind of unconditional love for you — only much deeper, much wider and beyond words.

Read John 1:12-13. God’s love for his children isn’t based on who your parents are, who others think are worthy, or someone else’s imposition, but the fact that God simply is love.

Think about:
• Is it hard to understand the unconditional love of a parent?
• Is it a useful image to see God as a parent figure?

Read Matthew 18:1-14. Here God calls us to be like “little children”.

Think about:
• What did Jesus mean by this?
• What didn’t Jesus mean?
• What are the characteristics of children?
• What characteristics is God looking for in your life?
• How can you humble yourself?

To become like a child means to become trusting in God’s decisions, that he knows best, that he won’t leave you and that his way is right, that he will be there to guide and help you. It also means having a teachable spirit. Young babies and kids earn at a phenomenal rate — way faster than adults do. They are greedy for information. Many kids around the age of 2 have the ‘why stage. This is when they wander round and keep asking ‘why’ until their parents and everyone else goes mad! Nate that God is not looking for spiritual babies, The characteristics God is looking far aren’t the ways children behave but their innocence, simplicity, trust, love, desire to learn etc. Humbling yourself means putting others first, recognising your place next to God. Humbling means not seeking stuff for self but being selfless.

Tips / Advice:
• • For many people seeing God as a parent can be very challenging, particularly if they have had bad relationships with their own parents. Be sensitive to the situation.

Project - "Baby think it over" - the project version.

Aim: To explore the experience of parenting a baby, and to develop an awareness of what is involved.

Project Description:
The project works best if it is planned properly. If you are hiring a baby simulator from a company or local authority or health trust you will be given full guidance on setting up and running this project along with all the potential pitfalls. Generally speaking, the project should be planned by going through the following stages:

• A choice is made to take pan in the longer project after a taster session on parenting or relationships.

• The group decides what level of experience they want to go for, and finds out any costs involved if they wish to hire a simulator baby.

• Before any “babies” arrive, spend a couple of sessions with your group discussing what they think it will be like, and record their thoughts and feelings at this stage. This could be done using video interviews with each participant.

• Agree care “contracts” and get each participant to sign. This could be for day care and one weekend or whatever works for your group.

• Before the babies arrive, do a basic skills and knowledge session with the group. This could be done by a health visitor or midwife. A balance of fun and the more serious learning should be aimed for.

• Babies are given out and time spent with them at a SB night before they are taken home.

• Run the parenting experience for the agreed time period and then plan a review of people’s feelings and discoveries.

• Create a video diary or journal detailing experiences and feelings.

• Structure in advance your review session. Show any video diaries that participants have made, or print off any photo-stories and display on the walls.

• Facilitate a discussion aimed at drawing out the experiences — good and bad — of the participants

Think about:
• How would your life change if you were a parent?
• How would your partner’s life change? Draw out the differences for men and women, and ask themto define a mother’s role and a fathers role.

Mark the end of the project with a silly celebration, for example a baby food supper while playing songs with baby” in the lyrics. Hire a DVD of “Three Men and a Baby” or other relevant comedy.

Tips / Advice:
Details of how to source your baby, as follows:

• Life Choice www.lifechoice.co.uk
Life Choice will hire you babies with accessories and clothing for £25 per baby but only take orders for a minimum of 20 babies, so this could be something organised regionally.

• You can also Google Heady or Not Tot” to see if your local Primary Care health Trust hires out these baby simulators from their health resource centre. At time of going to print, a quick glance shows that several do.

• Alternatively, you may be able to hire a baby simulator from your local education authority resources centre, as these are used in many schools

• If none of these is an option, you could get the group to think how to create a ‘baby” using a sandbag of about 2Olbs and an alarm device and recording of a baby crying. (This could be a Taster activity in itself to promote creativity and technological invention)

Any project exploring parenting will inevitably cause people to reflect on the way they themselves were/are parented. The leaders should be prepared to listen sensitively to anyone’s personal stories, and also know where to refer if necessary:

• Childllne www.childline.org.uk Tel:0800 1111
When you phone ChildLine, you’ll be able to speak to someone who cares about your problems. The counsellors are all trained — they will listen to you and try to help you. Calls to ChildLine are confidential — you can talk about whatever you want to and we wont tell anyone else. unless you want us to. Your Childline counsellor will only take action if they feel it’s an emergency.

• Get Connected wsgetconnected.org.uk Tel:0808 8084994 Get Connected offers confidential help for young people.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• If hiring simulator babies, check the small print for what happens if the babies are damaged.

• Good preparation should reduce the amount of incidents where simulators are abused i.e. people grab them and by to make them cty. If The group feel an investment in the experience, it is more likely to be a valuable project. The way to increase the investment is to encourage young people to take ownership of the planning and preparation.

For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Life Skills Project L-8

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