You know, when I first saw Bluey on TV I just dismissed it as being another Peppa Pig knock-off. Not that there's anything wrong with Peppa Pig. That show is fine, I guess. It's a little annoying, sure, but it's fine. I mean, it's a children's show, after all, and not really meant for me.
But, here's the thing. After several more viewings of Bluey, I now have a vastly different impression of the popular BBC series. Sure, it's not one of the original shows to watch on Disney+, but when it comes to the popular streaming service, it's probably the show that we have on the most in our household (well, that and all of the Disney+ MCU shows, of course).
Because Bluey is actually a show for me. That's right, besides being a show that my two children can deeply enjoy, I think it has a lot of lessons that I can also glean from it. In fact, here are four ways that Bluey and Bingo's father, Bandit, has taught me to be a better father overall.
He Gets Frustrated With His Children, But He Doesn't Yell At Them
I'll tell you, Bandit Heeler is a saint. Don't get me wrong. Bluey and Bingo are lovely children. The best, really. Charming, caring, loving, the whole package. But, like every young person, they can be annoying as hell sometimes, too. Bluey is super impatient, and Bingo screams a lot. So, you know. They act like kids!
That said, despite it all, Bandit doesn't yell at his children. Not even when they flush the toilet while he's sitting right beside it, trying to unclog it. And, believe it or not, I have channeled Bandit Heeler on a number of occasions when I get angry at my own children. Look, I'm no Homer from The Simpsons, choking my son whenever I get angry, but I definitely do yell at my children every now and then when they get into fights or knock all of their juice on the floor.
Bandit doesn't do that, though. He actually talks to his children very much like how I deal with my students (that's right, I'm also a teacher, by the way, so I'm always relating to children on at least some level). I've learned over the years that yelling at my students is never a good idea, so I always keep a quiet, albeit firm, tone whenever they challenge me or try to get under my skin on purpose.
And, that's how Bandit talks to his own kids. Through watching Bluey, I learned that I should do more of that with my own children, and less yelling whenever possible. What a world. I’m learning patience from a talking dog! Oh, well. Whatever works.
He Makes Time For His Children, But Also Time For Himself
One thing that I love about Bandit is that you'll frequently see him lying on the couch, exhausted, or talking to other grown-ups when going for a walk, and I love that. As a parent, I often find that when I'm not working, I'm devoting almost all of my time to my children, and I rarely just take a moment to have some time for myself. But, Bandit makes room for both me-time, AND his children, sometimes devising games so that they can go off and play by themselves and he can relax just a little bit.
He is also a very good husband. His wife, Chilli, is also pretty stressed out, and he'll often take the kids out so his wife can get a break, too. I was already doing this for my wife, but I do it more often now because it's the right thing to do, and because Bandit is a total super dad/husband. And I want to be one, too.
He Teaches His Children Through Games That They Can Also Enjoy
I mentioned how Bluey is excellent for parents, but it's also a great show for kids to watch (I mean, duh, it IS a kid's show) because it gives great examples of ways for children to play with their parents.
Case in point, Bandit is always playing games with his kids so that they can also learn a lesson, like in the excellent episode, “The Claw,” where he pretended to be a crane, like those crane games at the arcade, and they had to do chores to get money to pay for another go of him picking up their dolls.
I have since played this game with my own kids, and they love it. The game, and episode, are great because they teach the value of money, but also that life is unfair sometimes. I've scolded my children many times about not doing this, or being careful about that, but teaching them through fun activities is always more effective, and Bandit taught me that.
He Is A Big Kid Himself
I feel like now is the best time to be a parent, with all the great family-friendly movies, but you know what? I sometimes forget that even though I am a parent, I'm also still a big kid at heart (I mean, I recently debated whether Avatar: The Last Airbender or Attack on Titan has better lore, so the kid in me definitely still exists), and Bandit proves to me that that's just fine.
Because Bandit sometimes plays even more than his kids. Sometimes, he plays so much that his kids even tell him to stop, which in turn teaches them what bad behavior looks like. I think this is very important, especially in today's society where stress levels are through the roof for adults. I need to remember that, like Bandit, even though I pay bills, and worry about my kids 24/7, I'm still really just a big, graying, kid myself, and that I should never forget that.
And, that's the list. But, what do you think? Are you also a big fan of Bluey? For more news on other great kid's shows, make sure to swing by here often!
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.