Here are some pictures from the conference. There were 19 girls i believe. I would say about 1/2 of them had their babies already! The conference began with a lady teaching sign language, which i loved and can't wait to teach my children and help mom teach theirs as well. She spoke for a bit and then we learned some new signs. Then a lady that was also a teen mom spoke about child development. This lasted a good hour. She showed the girls what happens when you shake a baby. She had a doll that had a transparent head where you could see the brain. She shook it and you could see and hear the brain rattling around in the head. She also pointed out that the brain is made of soft tissue and the skull is hard bone and each time the brain hits the skull, it causes great damage. One thing i really enjoyed about her was that she wasn't afraid to say how it was in a sense. I feel that some moms are afraid to say they get really frustrated with their children at times. She said that there had been some times when her baby wouldn't stop crying at getting really stern (not hurting the baby but firm) with the baby and took a step back, said to herself, what i am doing and took a second for herself. She explained that she put the baby in the crib made sure it was a safe environment and took herself to the other room to cool down. The baby was still crying but was safer without her at the time until she could take a second and collected herself. She did this because it was only her at the time. She also said that it would be a good time for another person, if around to come and try to soothe the baby. I feel that if many more people would do this the amount of violence and abuse would decrease. It was great advice. After she was done speaking, the moms decorated their picture in a frame, which had been taken as they arrived. Then we had a delicious spaghetti lunch and homemade cupcakes decorated and baked by a very talented 12 year old! After lunch, they did the merry-go-round, which is where my part came into play.
My part was reading to your children! I think that reading is one of the most important things to teach a child and was super excited to share my knowledge and excitement! Here are some pictures of my board/area! I did give away a car seat through a drawing with some clothes! Each girl was given a red bag with a bunch of goodies!
A few girls went to each booth based upon which color folder they had and were there for 7 minutes. Then they would go to the next one! After the merry-go-round, a speaker came in and talked about her experience as a teen mom and what she did to get where she is today! Finally, the head lady spoke and told her story through a goal setting activity. The girls were to write down some goals. Then they had to think back to when they were little and what they wanted to be when they grew up. They wrote that down at the bottom of the paper. Then they were to do it when they were in middle school and then what they wanted to be now. As time went on they were to add to it. This was to represent how every piece of their life helped them reach their goals. The head lady, told us her story and related each goal and how it related to what she wanted to be when she was younger. An example, she teaches classes on domestic violence, earlier in life she was a teacher. Being a teacher had lead and helped to where she is today! It's hard to explain, but i hope you get some what of an idea! After that, the conference was over. Each girl left with 4 bags full of goodies, and many door prizes! I am hoping they left with a network of other moms to talk to and a confidence in themselves to strive for the best and a happy future with their new family!