Counseling Psychology Students Walk in New Parents’ Shoes

Feb 26, 2018

Counseling Psychology Students Walk in New Parents’ Shoes

Courtesy: Dr. Allison Buskirk-Cohen. Students evaluate the cost of products new parents need to purchase during a field trip.

A Delaware Valley University class recently visited Babies "R" Us to learn about the economic realities of raising a child.

On Thursday, Feb. 22,  Dr. Allison Buskirk-Cohen, chair of the University's psychology department, took her Life Span Development students to the store so that the counseling psychology students could gain a better understanding of the issues facing new parents. At the Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania store, students completed a hypothetical registry for baby items.  Their budget was set at $1,000, and students needed to justify their product selections.
Articles on the costs of raising children inspired Dr. Buskirk-Cohen to have students participate in the exercise. A recent study conducted by NerdWallet showed that expectant parents dramatically underestimate the costs of raising a child in the first year. 

“Economic resources impact all aspects of development-physical, cognitive, social and emotional," said Dr. Buskirk-Cohen. "It’s important for students to understand this relationship, along with the multitude of choices caregivers face."
Students will write a reflection paper integrating their thoughts on the activity with information learned from the course textbook and class discussions. 

“Experiential learning is an integral part of what DelVal offers,” said Dr. Buskirk-Cohen. “Through activities such as this one, students have an opportunity to apply theories and concepts to the real world. Plus, it makes learning fun!”