Virtual Reality children are good for your mental health

It goes without saying that parenthood is a stressful business. From the crying baby, to the experimental toddler, inquisitive preschooler and beyond (though we’re not there yet I hear it doesn’t get easier, just different). But while my kids pushing my buttons certainly increases my stress levels, virtual reality kids (made by pushing buttons, ha ha) might actually be good for you.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that talking to virtual reality children can help clinically depressed adults. By comforting the children successfully, then, in this virtual world, becoming the child and hearing those words, patients were less self-critical and less depressed. It was a small proof-of-concept study, but interesting nonetheless. 

While I’m not clinically depressed, and haven’t got access to the kind of equipment required for immersive virtual reality, I wonder if I can learn something from this. Here’s my thoughts:

  • We are often our own best confidantes and advisors, if we give ourselves the chance.
  • Technology can do amazing things. Next time Girlbug wants to spend a while on the iPad, I’ll embrace technology for half an hour and go get a cuppa. We’ll all be happier!
  • Kids, real or otherwise, repeat everything you say. Sometime this is to comic effect, like the time Gurlbug asked “who’s driving?” when asked what she wanted to drink that evening. But maybe, just maybe, if I’m nice to them they might be nice to me one day?! Worth a shot.
  • When I deal with the kids, I should take a minute and imagine we are in this VR world and swap places. Would I like what I hear?
  • Comforting kids makes you feel good. Rather than get annoyed that Boybug has woken in the night, I will try to focus on the euphoria I feel when I get him back to sleep. If he didn’t wake in the night, I wouldn’t get to feel that euphoria (who am I kidding??)
  • Being a parent is tough, but the rewards can be amazing. 

I don’t suppose I can trade either of mine in for a VR model though?


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