How an Aussie Cartoon will Change Your Parenting
America, get ready for Bluey
If you’ve not yet seen the 7-minute instalment of #parentinggoals delivered by a family of lovable pups, you’re missing out!
Earlier this month, Disney broadcast the show in the USA after becoming the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s most downloaded show. Ever.
What sets Bluey apart from the crowd is not just the distinctly Australian expressions, but the play-based parenting style of ‘Dad’ (a.k.a Bandit). Dad works from home with his two adorably wiley pups ‘Bluey’ and ‘Bingo’. His work is regularly interrupted with requests to play. Something work-at-home parents across the globe know an awful lot about.
However, unlike most other animated shows for kids, this family-centred comedy delivers everything — laughs, life-lessons, loveable characters, and relatable plots. But mostly, the show is so freaking adorable, parents are confessing to watching episodes after the kids are in bed.
Bluey is changing parenting. Here’s how a bunch of Aussie pups will inspire you to show up differently for your kids.
1. The Value of Play
Many agree that our kids are in danger of losing their childhood. Play is becoming extinct. Today’s parent is hyper-aware of the risks surrounding our society. As a result, we tend to pull the net a little closer. Give them a little less freedom. Worry a lot more. Add to that the influx of technology that has consumed our connection time. With both parents working to keep the finances afloat, many families just don’t have time for fun.
Bluey shows us the opposite. Bandit regularly stops and engages in his kids’ games — particularly the kind that require imagination. He injects whimsy back into the often monotonous task of teaching children how to get on in the world (and with each other).
He plays along with the antics of his children, following their lead and immersing himself in whatever world they’ve created. His playfulness speaks to a part of ourselves that most parents have shut down. Bandit reminds us that play is just as important as the more serious aspects of parenting.
2. A Role Model for Dads
One of my favourite episodes is ‘The Pool’, where Mr Fun forgets to take all the swimming gear. And snacks. The wheels fall off his plans and the realistic demands of preschoolers get a little…intense. He’s not above losing his patience, but he’s also not a complete idiot. He finds creative ways to recover the situation when things don’t go to plan.
He talks to his kids about feelings, rather than shying away from the topic. He accepts when his kids explain he played a little too rough. He apologises when he screws up. He’s not perfect, but he’s an all-round good Dad.
New Bluey Episode - Teasing
After tonight's episode, Bluey will be taking a break until she returns with all new episodes at 8am Monday April 1 …
3. Parents who play together, stay together
One thing that stands out in this show is the playful relationship between Mum and Dad. The little jokes between them that fly over the kids’ heads, the playful flirting, the way they rope each other into various games and outplay the other.
Parenting is hard. It’s particularly hard on adult relationships. There is so much responsibility and so little time. Bluey puts an emphasis on not taking life too seriously. While Mummy and Daddy Pig are busy teaching our children what 1950s gender roles look like, Bluey’s parents are showing our children that modern parents can play, too. And they’re better for it.
4. It Teaches Kids (and Parents) How to Deal
Bluey’s creator, Joe Blumm, doesn’t shy away from the real work of parenting — coaching our children through hard feelings when life doesn’t go their way. Each episode weaves a life-lesson into the plot. From playground tiffs to not being able to reach the money bars, Bluey gives us insight into the world of children. He navigates through the choppy seas that parents commonly experience, but he does it with understanding, compassion and always good humour.
Bluey is has taken Australia by storm, and hopefully, you’ll come to love our playful band of Blue Heelers as much as we do. I double-dare you to watch an episode without smiling.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to play.