“How does the baby get in the lady’s belly?”Bluey, Daddy Putdown

It’s awkward but relatable interactions like these, which makes children’s television show Bluey so relevant and entertaining to Australian families. Set in Brisbane, Bluey features a blue heeler family; Bluey (6 years), Bingo (4 years) and parents, Bandit and Chilli.

Not only have kids fallen in love with the show, but parents have too. Why? Because there’s always a positive takeaway message. And beyond the wonderful teachable moments for kids, Bluey offers poignant lessons for parents too.

If you’re a fan of Bluey (or you’re wondering what all the fuss is about) we’ve pulled together our 5 favourite parenting lessons from the series.

1. Get back to basics

If COVID has taught us anything as parents, it’s getting back to the very basics with our kids. This approach is seen in the episode, The Creek, where Bluey and Bingo are playing at a playground. They get bored and ask their dad if they can visit the nearby creek. Bingo races through the scrub but Bluey is hesitant, encountering spider webs, thorns and a leech. At the creek, Bluey soon appreciates the beauty of the natural environment and the wonders to be discovered; lizards, tadpoles and a dragonfly. It reminds parents to allow kids (and ourselves) to get back to nature and have fun with water, dirt and getting messy.

Tip: Incorporate nature play into your children’s day- or step outside your comfort zone and allow your kids to get messy.

 

2. Be present

 One of the most favourable aspects of Bluey is how involved their parents, particularly their father Bandit, is in their lives. He’s completely invested in Bluey’s imaginative games and he also takes the time to check in with Bingo when she feels overwhelmed.

 It’s easy to get caught up with all the things that need doing when you’re a parent, but Bluey reminds parents to be in the moment with their children, and just like our children, to be curious and have fun.

Tip: Slow down and be in the moment with your kids

 

3. Say ‘yes’

A child’s exhaustive request to “play with me!” can drive parents up the wall, but there’s power in saying yes to your kids. Sometimes it’s important to say ‘yes’ and delight in the fun of being a kid.

In the episode Mount MumandDad, the family have just returned from a big day out and Bandit and Chilli are exhausted. They collapse on the lounge but the kids decide it’s time to start a new game! This is usually the time when parents encourage their kids to engage in quiet, independent play but Bandit and Chilli succumb to the newly invented game- a race to the top of Mount MumandDad. It’s a clever episode as the parents are clearly exhausted but even when they physically have to do nothing (apart from allowing their kids to climb over their tired bodies to reach the peak!) they are part of the play and the kids have a great time.

Tip: Be mindful of how often you say ‘no’ and see what happens when you say ‘yes’ instead.

 

4. Be an active part of your child’s imagination

When your child pretends to be a cat and only responds to you with ‘miaow’ or ‘woof’ it can be frustrating but these imaginative games are so important for children’s brain development. It may feel silly to go along with the games and feed your child’s morning tea in a bowl on the floor, but building on imagination helps your child to flourish. In Bluey, Bandit and Chilli are often involved in their children’s imaginative play, building on the worlds they create and enriching the play experience.

Tip: Go along with your child’s imagination- what they come up with may surprise you!

 

5. Unstructured play is important

 Kids do benefit from having structure in their lives, but when their weeks are cluttered with scheduled activities it can be emotionally and mentally exhausting. Playtime and even boredom enhance children's creativity. Creativity helps your child with emotional expression and problem-solving skills. With all the demands of daily life, parents can sometimes forget that play is also an important and enriching childhood experience.

“Flowers may bloom again but a person never has a chance to be young again”- Bandit, Takeaway

Tip: Let your child take the lead in play, allow them to be bored at times, and encourage them to build on their own ideas.

In Conclusion... 

In Bluey, there’s a real focus on independent and peer play but also ways in which parents can join in on the fun too. Encouraging imaginative play, unstructured play, nature play, being present with your children and saying ‘yes’ are our favourite positive takeaway messages from Bluey. So give one (or all!) of these a go- you may even have fun!

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