The Aussie singer reveals all about fatherhood
Singer Peter Andre, 44, has two children with wife Emily MacDonagh, 27; Amelia, who’s three, and six-month-old Theodore. He also has two children with his ex-wife Katie Price: Junior, 12, and Princess, nine.
Hey Pete! What would you say you’re like as a father?
I’m a firm dad, but I’m fun. Junior and his mates did this thing where they judged who had the strictest dad. I came out on top – I was devastated! But I also came second in the ‘most fun dad’ [laughs]. I try to have the balance.
[Now laughs] Sounds ideal…
It’s hard sometimes because people say: ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be friends with your children – you should be a parent.’ I’m like: ‘What a load of absolute rubbish. You should be both.’ A parent first, but you can’t be friends with your children? What’s all that about?
You say you’re a firm dad – what are your biggest rules in the house?
Manners. I don’t mind kids being spoilt, but I hate them being brats. I don’t like that. A kid can have nice things but what I don’t like is them going: ‘Dad, I want this and I want it now.’ You can forget it! They ain’t getting nothing if they’ve got an attitude.
We agree! Anything else?
I’m pretty strict on cleaning their teeth, bath and showers and doing their homework. I’m a bit too strict about it, I think. Whenever Princess and Junior come to our house they never ask for the rules – they know the rules.
Do you help them out much with their homework?
Yeah, here’s the funny thing. Emily’s a bit of a mathematical genius, so she helps them and she says to me: ‘Pete, can you do this one?’ I try to act like I can do it, but I actually can’t. The maths homework they give kids is so hard!
We learn it and forget it so quickly! What path would you like your children to go down in the future?
I’m going to let them choose what they want to do, but they have to have finished school for that to happen. My dad wanted me to be an architect and I told him I wanted to be a singer. He said: ‘As long as you finish school, you can do what you like. Study hard, do your homework and get good grades, then you can do what you like.’
You’ve said in the past that you want Junior to sing on your album. We’ve seen his singing skills on social media; would you like him to follow in your footsteps?
This week Junior’s obsessed with football. Next week he might want to be a fireman. I want to encourage them and guide them. The most important thing is schooling – as long as they can do that, then eventually out of all the little dreams they can follow the one they want to.
Do you and Emily get couple time?
It’s more difficult now, with little TJI Friday [Theodore]. He’s so cute, I think he’s almost like: ‘You ain’t touching Mummy; you ain’t going anywhere near Mama!’ I’m not allowed to go anywhere near her, but I love him so much and he’s such a beautiful boy.
If you did have 24 hours with Emily – no kids, no work – what would you want to be doing?
Probably something I wouldn’t talk about! But apart from that, honestly, sleep. I think we’d do anything to just have a full night’s sleep without interruption. It’s a bit of a toughie at the moment.
What are Princess and Junior like with the baby?
Absolutely brilliant. I love that Princess has really bonded with Amelia and she’s so hands-on with Theo. Junior’s great, he’s a loving kid.
What about nappy changing?
Princess will help. Junior, forget it! No chance.
Are you prepared for the teen years with Junior and Princess?
No. I drive past churches on the way to school with Princess and tell her that’s where she’s going to go, she’s going to be a nun. She’s not happy about it [laughs]. I’m stressing about it, but I’m going to try to embrace it because every child has to go through it. Babies have mood swings, so do toddlers, so do adults, so why not teenagers?
Very true! How do you ensure your kids all stay healthy and eat well?
I love cooking, so when I make a spaghetti Bolognese, it’ll be full of about 10 different fresh vegetables and they won’t even know because it tastes good.
Sneaky! Do your kids have any bad habits you’re trying to nip in the bud?
I have a thing about how much time they spend on the iPad. About 60 years ago when TVs first came out, could you imagine if a parent came home and saw their children sitting in front of the TV? They would have had a heart attack, going: ‘Oh my God, they’re all looking at the screen, this is terrible!’ Basically, iPads are this generation’s TV. We’ve just got to do what the last generation did: allow them to use them, but be limited on it, that’s all.
So what are your iPad rules?
When they come home, they’ve got to do their homework and have a shower. Then they’ve got an hour before dinner to go on the iPad and do what they like. When we have dinner, we socialise. After, we’ll sit together as a family and watch something.
Sounds lovely. Finally, what’s been your proudest moment as a parent?
Seeing the children being born. There’s never one birth that’s more special than another. A child born for any dad is the ultimate feeling and I think that’s the proudest moment any dad could ever have.
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