Have you heard of flour babies ?
I hadn’t either until last week when I spoke to a youngster, a 11th grader who goes to school locally. As part of her Human Development class, she and her classmates were required to dress up a bag of flour as a baby and take care of it as if it were a real baby. For one week they had to carry their ‘baby’ with them at all times and , when they couldn’t, had to leave it with a responsible friend or adult. This sometimes proved to be difficult. The Gym teacher for instance absolutely refused to take care of the babies while the class exercised… so some students wound up missing Gym. My friend said that she hadn’t realized how much time and effort is required in bringing up a baby; she was glad when the week was over and life didn’t revolve around taking care of the ‘baby’.
What is also interesting is the attitude of the other kids, the ones who didn’t take the Human Development class and didn’t have flour babies of their own. These kids would treat their friends babies roughly, poking and prodding and pulling. ” After all” they would claim , ” it ain’t a real baby.” One boy poked a flour baby repeatedly and so hard that he punctured it and the flour spilled out. He is due to be punished for his actions, perhaps with detention for a a couple of days ,maybe more. But will that really teach him a lesson? I wonder what kind of person he will turn out to be a few years from now.
I really feel that the Human Development class ( and the flour babies) should be mandatory for all highschoolers.