You know a kids TV show has some power when you start feeling judged by the main character.
At least that’s how Sydney dad of two, Nick feels.
His kids, aged three and five, are completely obsessed with ABC Kids TV show Bluey. That cute cartoon family of kelpies living in the Brisbane suburbs.
At Nick’s place, Bluey plays on high rotation because it does what great kids TV shows should do: it’s cute, funny, instantly relatable and inoffensive.
Plus, it’s Australian. So, you totally get extra good parenting points for that.
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“He’s so patient and nice”
The only real downside is that the dad character, Bandit, is just so damn nice. Like, all the time.
And as Nick says, that can really make you doubt your own parenting prowess.
“I feel like the dad is way too patient. There are times when I’m getting frustrated that I think, “What would Bluey’s dad do?”. Then I start to resent him for judging me as a parent,” Nick said.
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The spirit animal of modern dads
The first episode I watched with my two sons was the one where the kids are waiting outside the Chinese takeaway.
And kids being kids, (to cut a longish story short) the takeaway gets chucked all over the footpath.
Given the time it took for the damn food to get cooked, anyone would have forgiven him for losing it. But not Bandit.
“The spirit animal of modern dads,” as Luke Benedictus from The Father Hood dubbed him, just has a laugh and hoses the kids off with the tap around the corner.
“Bandit never loses his temper,” says Nick. “When I’m in a rush trying to get the kids ready for school and not be late to work, I sometimes lose my cool when we have to return to the house to change shoes for the third time … even though I warned them the pink shoes didn’t fit anymore and wouldn’t be comfortable. So occasionally I snap at them. And then I feel guilty because there’s no way Bandit would snap at Bingo and Bluey.”
Get stuck into adventure with your kids
But it’s not all bad. Nick has also been inspired by Bandit’s fun-loving approach to daily life. A deadset struggle for most of us.
“Despite the fact that Bandit is a dad trying to work from home, in each episode, there is a game they are playing. I get stressed by an urgent email during the bath routine, but Bandit takes it in his stride,” says Nick.
“It reminds me that adventures for kids aren’t necessarily all about going somewhere or seeing something … it can happen all in their imagination. And you can share in it too if you get lost in their world too. And stop checking your work emails.”
Pretty good advice for all of us, right?