Kenzie needed a quick escape from real-life pressures, and found "The Sims 4." She now enjoys playing, writing, and YouTubing the game.
I’m a Fan, Not a Hater
I am a big lover of The Sims 4. It's hard for me to get out and do much in my life right now, the game really fills a void for me. It's my virtual escape from reality. I'm not putting the game down, but the game makers are always improving/evolving it, so fans should throw in their two cents.
Here are 10 ways I think having and raising kids would be better in The Sims 4.
Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.
Pregnancy on The Sims: How to Make It Better
Pregnancy lasts three Sim days. What's the rush? The game gives you an option to extend your Sim’s life span or age up in your own time; it would be great if pregnancies could also be extended, or if the player could decide when to progress to the next trimester.
Make Partners More Involved
Mothers in The Sims 4 have a lot going on during pregnancy. Partners, even if they live in the household, don’t get that involved. The partner spends a few minutes reacting to the news of the pregnancy, and a few minutes in a “pre-parental panic” when the mother announces she's in labor. That’s pretty much it.
Even if the mom is in labor, the partner will usually go off doing whatever whim enters his head, or will go to sleep, completely uninterested in his partner's painful labor or meeting his newborn.
I'd love to see partners do more. Give dads the option to share the news with people, have them dote on the mothers or, at the very least, stick by her during labor. Maybe fathers could cheer on the laboring mother, or run around with excitement passing out cigars (or something similar).
Step up, Sim dads.
Baby Care on Sims: How It Could Be Better
Surgically Remove Babies From Bassinets
Why are infants unnaturally attached to bassinets for the entirety of this life stage? You have to go into build mode to even move a baby/bassinet to another part of the house. Parents are always running back and forth to that stationary bassinet, it's exhausting.
I’d love it if Sims could "wear: a baby in a sling or carry the baby around the house in a carrier. Even better, I'd love to see them go to flea markets or visiting friends while pushing around a carriage.
It has to be doable from a game-making standpoint, just look at the things animals can do.
Let Moms Breastfeed In Peace
Sims are too eager to stuff a bottle in a baby’s mouth. They’ll actually get in the way of a nursing mother as she’s trying to get to the baby to breastfeed. Nursing Sim moms don't even have the option to use “Super-Efficient Baby Care” because it automatically imposes a bottle. That's ridiculous, because there is nothing more efficient than stuffing a boob into a baby’s mouth when it cries for nourishment.
I'm not opposed to the bottles, but why does breastfeeding have to be more like an afterthought? Let the mom (or the player) choose.
Give Caregivers Priority
For me, this is one of those things that remind you that your Sims are basically stupid.
Here’s the basic scenario: A baby cries, so I command a nearby caregiver to tend to the infant. Alas, she cannot help her helpless child. She just stands two feet from the bassinet, waving her arms and shrugging, saying something in Simlish which I believe translates to, “Uhhh… hello? I obviously can’t do that, duh!”
Clearly, she cannot go near the baby because someone else somewhere on the lot is thinking about the baby. The assigned caregiver telepathically senses this other person’s concern. Naturally, the polite thing to do is let the baby cry and stay out of the interloper’s way.
The interloper thinks they're helping, but they just prolong the child's misery by blocking the assigned caregiver. Meanwhile, you’re getting notices that the baby is very hungry and in danger of being taken away.
A Sim can tell someone to get out of the bathroom when they have to pee, but caregivers apparently can’t tell someone, “Get the heck out of my way, I’m trying to feed my baby, doofus!"
Toddlers on Sims: Ways to Improve
Hired Help Should Be . . . Helpful
In my games, hired babysitters are so neglectful it's a wonder that Sims police don't show up and arrest them. They get distracted by meaningless tasks and interactions, frequently ignoring the child.
Once my work-at-home mother Sim was exhausted and all four toddlers were on the verge of tears because their need bars were way down. The nanny the family hired spent practically her whole shift playing on the water slide or sitting in the sauna. My Sim spent half her day picking up the nanny's slack.
I got the slacker nanny back, though. Before she could leave, I locked her in a room with the toddlers. For the next 12 Sim hours, I had them ask her to potty train, feed, bathe, play with, read to them and put them all to sleep. She even broke down crying hysterically at one point. I laughed maniacally and showed no mercy. It was glorious revenge.
No, not revenge—justice!
I don’t really have a lot of complaints about toddlers. With The Sims 4: Parenthood expansion pack, and packs like Toddler Stuff, I have a lot of fun with them. However, more hairstyle and better wallpaper options would be nice.
Ways Childhood Could Be Improved on Sims
Option to Homeschool
If your Sims manage to get their kids rested, showered, fed and to the toilet before school starts, kids come home exhausted, starving, smelly, and doing the pee pee dance. They're often furious and depressed. By the time you get them sorted out, you have to rush them to bed because school starts again in three hours.
My first family never got to do anything fun. Life revolved around damage control in the aftermath of a school day.
When the kids stay home, they get their needs met, they have fewer outbursts, they bond with the family and the family actually does stuff together. Best of all, they’re able to build valuable skills at home much more quickly.
Stop Penalizing Good Advice
Parents can’t win when kids ask for advice. One piece of advice might raise responsibility but lower conflict resolution. Another might raise manners but lower emotional control. Even simple, sensible advice like "don’t eat dirt" comes with consequences.
What's the point in parental guidance if the kids won't be better or worse off from advice?
Stop Trying to Kill My Teens
It’s not just annoying when your Sims' emotions get out of control. It can actually be deadly. I found this out the hard way when my young, cheerful, outgoing Sim dropped dead from having too much fun.
Apparently, your Sim can die from being mortified, enraged, or hysterical. This makes high school a big game of Russian roulette. Teens frequently come home from school having an emotional meltdown, and there is nothing to do but send them to bed and hope the mood passes before the teen does.
Many simmers say emotional deaths are very rare. After seeing one beloved young, happy, healthy Sim literally die of laughter, color me paranoid. Teens should be exempt from emotional deaths.
What's Your Opinion?
"The Sims 4: Toddler Stuff" Pack
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Kenzie Cartwright