I love the ABC cartoon Bluey that follows a family of Blue Heeler dogs and their friends. The characters are fun; the storylines are touching and relatable, and the parenting by Bandit and Chilli is aspirational. I wish I had a fraction of their energy and enthusiasm for fun parenting and I am sure my kids wish the same.
This week an episode of Bluey, or a character called 'Lucky's Dad', started a national conversation about the rules of the kids' party game 'pass the parcel' and whether us parents in 2021 are doing it all wrong.
For those of you who have not yet watched this so-called controversial episode, please let me explain.
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The episode opens at a kid's birthday party.
One of the mums is rushing about (after probably having done all the party prep) and she asks Lucky's Dad if he could run the game of pass the parcel. He jumps into action from where he was just chilling out with all the other dads, and immediately gets confused.
He is told he has to watch the game and stop the music strategically, to ensure that each kid gets a little present that the mum has carefully wrapped into each layer.
Lucky's Dad explains how back in his day, in the 80s, pass the parcel had just one big prize at the end. It was much easier because the grownups could just carry on chatting and randomly stop the music whenever they felt like it.
On this occasion, however, he does what he is told and all the kids get to take home a lollipop or a cheap bit of plastic tat from each layer.