My Virtual Child Reflection

My Virtual Child Reflection
Misti R. Neely
Ivy Tech Community College
My Virtual Child Reflection
Raising a virtual child exceeded my expectations. When I first heard about this
assignment, my mother said to me, “isn’t raising two real children proof enough.” The first night
I started raising my virtual child Elena Michelle, I was completely surprised to see how many
similarities my virtual child had to my biological child! I was amazed! Suddenly this project
became exciting, because my daughter is almost a year old and through raising this virtual child I
can see what effects my parenting methods will have on her and her two year old brother.
The Early Years
My virtual child was born small and was an extremely fussy baby. Which matched up
perfectly with my daughter. The program showed that this can be a very stressful time for
parents, and I completely agree. Having a daughter born with milk allergies and colic lasting
over four months, is enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out. Then, suddenly in the
program, when my child was 8 months old, I was apparently in a car accident. It’s pretty
interesting that they added real life curves in there, for the reason that you never really know
what is going to happen. And in real life bad things happen all the time. The main point of the
early years of my virtual child is that raising an infant can be terribly exhausting and stressful,
but it can also be rewarding and fulfilling depending on your outlook of things. I was pretty
excited to see that my virtual child was up and walking at 9 months old, because while I was
playing the simulation, my 9 month old in real life was also started walking. It was almost eerie
how similar the simulation was to real life. As each month passes and the child gets older it
reaches new capabilities and achievements. Almost as if it’s a developmental latter, each month
unlocking new capabilities. It’s amazing how fast an infant grows from birth to 12 months
alone, physically and mentally.
Child Rearing
When it comes to raising my children I am very hands on and put their education first. When we
have a chance to go to a museum, a musical, or an educational program, I am the first in line
with my children. I am constantly introducing new vocabulary to my children every day.
Therefore since this was my method of real life child rearing, I chose to stick with this method
during my virtual child, I was thrilled to find that my virtual child was above average on
language skills and motor skills. I continued to take my virtual child to educational programs and
get her books and encourage her to read and worked with her, as she continued to grow. At six
she showed strength in math, science, reading and writing. I fully believe if children are helped
by their parents and worked with daily, they all have the ability to succeed. When a student
enters into first grade and doesn’t know up from down, the parents are at fault, not the teacher.
Therefor in the early years of child’s development it’s crucial that take time out of their days to
work with their children and help the child discover new skills.
Important decisions. Throughout my virtual child I continued to read with and supply
my child with reading materials, encouraging reading. I also encouraged my child to play sports
and be physically healthy. At a young age my child had to play a musical instrument. She later on
decided it wasn’t something she was interested in anymore. I found this pretty funny, because
when I was a child I wanted nothing more than to play the flute in band. My parents spent a lot
of money buying me a flute only to learn years later that I had never learned how to actually play
the instrument. It’s funny how strong but fleeting your childhood desires can be. My virtual
child, ended up becoming very good at soccer, where I was good at volleyball. And both of us
maintained good grades. I do feel that grades come first, but it’s important to find a hobby that
your child enjoys and is good at and encourage the child to practice and stick with it. But, it’s
also important to let the child make decisions on their own their own. Some of life’s greatest
lessons are learned through the mistakes that we make.
Development testing. Before my virtual child I never knew there were so many
developmental tests available. Honestly I didn’t know there was a way to tell if your two year old
was developed or not, until they started grade school. I like the fact that this program showed me
where my child was developmentally and the different stages the child was going through. Every
parent worries whether their child is “normal” or not. It’s good to know that most children do go
through these “phases” or “stages” and can grow out of them. The thing I didn’t like about this
program was that it didn’t have a stay at home parent option. Although it’s extremely rare, there
are stay at home Mom and Dads out there, and I would like to see how these children develop.
Are the codependent? Do they have separation and behavioral issues? I’m curious to see what
the effects are if a mother stays home with her children until they reach preschool.
Ending thoughts. Overall I was pleased with this program. My child did very well
academically and developmentally, through the parenting tactics I used. I think you just have to
find that perfect balance of socializing, educating, encouragement and nutrition to have happy
healthy kids. Being a parent myself, I know this is hard to achieve, especially when it’s easier to
grab a pizza and have a movie night. Also along with the perfect balance of award and
punishment children learn to make good and bad decisions, leading them to needing the
independence to make their own decisions to learn from their actions. Raising a child is one of
the most difficult things to do. The decisions you make from day to day can affect the entire
future and development of the child. I really enjoyed this program for the simple fact that it
assures me that my kids are going to be alright. And that’s all any parent can ask for.